As I mentioned last week, I’m currently on a week-long escape to Argentina. If you aren’t aware, Argentina is known for its vast network of centuries old ranches that produce the world’s finest beef. The red stuff is so good here that being surrounded by the most amazing cuts of iron laden prime rib oho and bife de chorizo has almost made me forget how much I love redfish, halfshell oysters, and head-on 12 count shrimp.
If you think about it, New Orleans is a lot like a fine cut of steak. It’s diversely marbleized throughout, has a good bit of lean to balance out the fat, and is best enjoyed as a savory indulgence on any occasion. Like New Orleans, steaks in Argentina are big, thick, and primal, but at the same time carry connotations of refinement and class.
There’s so much more to the meat category than just steak and thanks to many local purveyors NOLA’s got it all. Below are a few or the Crescent City’s cutting counters where even a caveman can lay the foundation for a great meal.
Get Dolled Up
If we’re going high-end why not start with the best, right? Doris Metropolitan started in Israel 10 years ago by group of carniverous experts commonly known as butchers. They came to New Orleans in search of a good time and in return they’ve brought delicious offerings prepared to your liking. Doris Metropolitan is nothing short of a high-end steakhouse and you’ll find everything, from Rib Eye to Porterhouse, dry aged in-house by experts of their craft. Leave the cooking to the guys who know what to do and sit back, relax, and enjoy the tender luxury of a meal well-done, or rare, or medium…
Patois is a neighborhood joint that gives you that French bistro feel without the need for a plane ticket. Chef Aron Burgau’s menu boasts a double threat with two salivation-worthy beef dishes. The first is a New York Strip served with mashed sweet potatoes, ginger infused rainbow Chard, and a black rum allspice reduction. The second is the Short Rib made with worcesheteshire sauce, shitake mushrooms, succulent marrow, and garlic butter fries. My advice: Do not bring a vegetarian date, and do make him/her share with you.
If you’ve ever been to Wayfare you may have noticed the meat room in the corner. Yes, they have a whole room dedicated to the process of delici-fying meat. You’ll see all kinds of animal gifts hanging from the ceiling, just curing away to reach their best flavor. Good things come to those who wait, so it’s a good thing the people of Wayfare have all the patience in the world. Try the signature Knuckle Sandwich next time: roast beef, pickled red onions, a layer of crispy fried potato lace, with horseradish aioli and arugula on a fresh pretzel bun.
Do It Yourself
Prefer to make your own gour-meat creations? Cleaver & Co. can hook you up with the finest beef, lamb, and pork within 200 miles of New Orleans. The list of cuts reads like an encyclopedia, and if you’re new to cooking the staff of experts will be glad to help you select your protein and even give you advice on how to prepare it. Cleaver & Co. offers a cool punch card to guests looking to eat their way through an entire animal. For $125 ($100 for pork) you can try almost everything between the cow’s head and tail. Punch your card at your own pace and in any order to continue your gastro-anatomical tour.
Hong Kong Market on the West Bank sells the normal stuff along with everything else you might want. If you’re going exotic, you’ll certainly find things beyond just meat. The butcher counter will sell you tongue, heart, liver, and blood if you’re into that sort of thing. I prefer my protein of the muscular kind, but I really do admire some people’s scense of adventure. I’m sure it makes for some very delicious memories! Hong Kong Market knows that when it comes to food a no-waste approach can make your belly very, very happy.
Whether you prefer to get your daily dose of iron off the menu or in the kitchen New Orleans has some great dishes and butchers that will take care of your meat tooth. Where do you like to get in touch with your carnivore side?