Here's the Beef!
I have, like many, regretted the loss of the local butcher. Not just the intimacy of the relationship (and I grew up in a Kosher home so there was only one local choice and the butchers knew you by name) but the lack of choice.
The rise of of the Supermarket meat case, in part influenced by the centralized processing of meats, in part by the ever growing ostiophobia (my team for fear of bones) have so limited choice that being able to distinguish which is a 7-bone chuck and a pinbone sirloin is a lost art. The fact that the people behind those counters generally don't know the architecture of a beast is why they can sell a pork sirloin roast as a pork loin roast. Now, add to that the fact that feedlot beef has no taste . . .
But, this isn't supposed to be a rant, but an appreciation of a local gem. So, there are a lot of people that know that I have lusted for such a place. One of my wife's co-workers heard of this and recommended a place in Ransomville called D. H. Cloy and Son.
I was excited, but with reservations, I'd been burned before. Because of its location, we decided to combine a trip there with some winery visits, and a picnic/geocaching event. I had not really gotten started with blogging then, so I wasn't thinking of photos - but here's one of the picnic later.
As for Cloy's - it wasn't was I expected when we pulled up. I was impressed by the array of smokers out front, but the inside wasn't what I expected either. I had the momentary urge to just leave before being disappointed once again. BOY am I glad we didn't!!!!
We were welcomed as soon as we walked in, and when they discovered that I was really interested, Dave Cloy himself gave us a tour of the place (it was his wife who welcomed us). I was a bit worried about how the girls - then 6 and 7 - would react to the walk-in filled with beef, lamb and pig carcasses, but they were fascinated. I was fascinated watching the skill of the butchers breaking meat down.
We knew we were going to buy something for dinner, and not just because of our "winery" rule - if we are shown a good time we will buy something, even if it goes straight in the vinegar cask. If we are bored, or worse condescended to, we walk out no matter what the reputation of the winery is (take that Warm Lake). We ended up buying a whole strip loin of marvelous tasty beef. You can see it below.
When Spring finally arrived, our first thought was of grilling one of those babies up - delicious!
I only wish it was closer . . .