Here’s a great post from a new contributor, Matt Lardie, the voice behind www.greeneatsblog.com. Check it:

The Chop Shop: A neighborhood butchery comes to Asheville

If the name doesn’t pull you in, perhaps a look in the window will pique your interest. The Chop Shop, Asheville’s first whole animal butcher shop, has cases loaded down with what can only be described as a meat lover’s dream come true. Ribs, steak, roasts, and more beckon you in from the street, and the shelves lining the perimeter of the room are stocked with enough mustards, rubs, and sauces to satisfy any taste.

The butchery, located at 100 Charlotte Street in the historic Charlotte Street Pharmacy building in North Asheville, partners with local farmers to bring customers sustainably raised, ethical, and most importantly, delicious meats and deli products of a quality rarely seen these days. Owner Josh Wright and his staff have recreated that neighborhood butcher shop atmosphere that has recently been back in vogue, and with its prime location right next to City Bakery and Blue Water Seafood, The Chop Shop has helped make the kind of multi-store shopping that was thought to be extinct a reality once again.

I popped in on a recent Sunday (Bonus! Open Sundays!) and immediately began salivating over the thick-cut steaks and house-made charcuterie. The well-curated selection of rubs and marinades, not to mention the mustards and sauces, was also tempting me. Unfortunately I was on my way back to Durham and figured I was out of luck; nothing says “unappetizing” like a hunk of meat that has been sitting in a car for four hours. Luckily The Chop Shop staff came to my rescue, assuring me that they could pack whatever I wanted on ice for the car ride back east. A quick peek in one of the refrigerated coolers chock-full of their house-made charcuterie and other creations and I was sold – I grabbed a package of kimchi headcheese, swiped up a bottle of Crooked Condiments Gaelic Ale Mustard from one of the tables, and quickly made my purchase before I ended up draining my bank account on meats. That’s not to say that The Chop Shop was pricey – in fact my entire purchase was less than $10; its more a testament to my deep and dangerous love for all things pork.

The Chop Shop is the kind of place that your grandmother or great-grandmother might have gone to, and with good reason. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, the atmosphere is pleasing and neighborhoody, and above all the product is impeccable. Don’t think of The Chop Shop as your special occasion source for a few NY strips, rather treat it as your neighborhood butchery, worth a daily visit. You’ll be glad you stopped in.

Matt Lardie is a freelance food writer and the voice behind www.greeneatsblog.com. He is based in Durham, NC where he spends his time cooking, eating, drinking, and buying far too many vintage cookbooks.

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2 Comments

  1. Sorry, as someone who has worked in the meat industry and the natural foods industry, I think you are mistaken. Grass fed anything takes on a very particular taste which is unappealing to some folks. Rather gamey to be honest, but some folks like it.

    I’m unsure on what basis you are criticizing the Chop Shop. Their meat is incredibly tasty and priced accordingly. Also, according to their own website they have both “grass fed” and “grain finished” beef.

    Most importantly, in contrast to what you would find at most grocers, it’s all hormone and antibiotic free. Oh, and it all comes from local family farms.

    When I can afford to, I love shopping there. It’s the only place in town that sells a steak that is up to par with what I have found in larger cities.

  2. Honestly, the place is fairly disappointing. Glad they carry meat, but none of it is grass fed. And I’m sorry, but grain finished is definitely not the same as grass fed or grass finished. I love meat, but it is only a viable food source if the animal eats what it would in the WILD. Ever try living off corn or grains only? You get fat. Guess what they feed the cow? You are what you eat. Nuff said.

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