Unfortunately veering vexingly close to the fate of the dodo, 10 years ago chewing the fat at the butcher shop seemed about as archaic an activity as calling someone on a landline. But fear not, my ravenous readers, for, much like nature, our nation’s commercial consciousness abhors a vacuum. Responding gainfully to the foodie phenomenons clamoring for craftsmanship, hip, hole-in-the-wall butcher shops have been popping up across the country. And, eager that their interests not fall far behind, many national grocery chains are endeavoring more than ever to school their employees in the age-old art of the round and rib. Far more than a paltry provider of foodstuffs, a true butcher is an educated escort, sort of a savory sommelier, gracefully guiding you and yours through the many marbled facets of their work. As in all things, when it comes to provender, knowledge is power, and whether ensconced under the fluorescent fixtures of a chain supermarket or artfully arranged amongst the exposed wood trappings of the traditional farm-to-table hipster hangout, understanding, more than knives and slicers, is the ultimate tool in a butcher’s arsenal. Whether it’s identifying the area from which your sirloin was sourced, selecting lean meats for those eager to engage in healthier eating habits or simply suggesting alternate cuts and meats you might enjoy, butchers provide a personable experience impossible to quantify. “You come into our shop and there’s an immediate feeling of freshness,” says Freddy Kaufmann, Co-Founder of Miami Shores hit Proper Sausages Butcher Shop & Meat Market, an upscale purveyor of beef, pork and a wide variety of exotic cured products. “There’s a level of intimacy here between ourselves and our customers. We talk to them about all kinds of things, not just food. And as a result, we become better advisors. It’s that experience that makes us a true resource.”
Purveyors of fine farm animals for public consumption since 1978, Hialeah’s Matadero Cabrera provides a simple service: supplying the meat-manic Miami public with the best grain-fed, antibiotic-free whole goats, lambs and pigs this side of the Turnpike. Just a short drive away is North Miami’s Proper Sausages Butcher Shop & Meat Market, established by husband-wife team Freddy & Danielle Kaufmann with one simple, if onerous, mission: To satisfy even the most ravenous of carnivores. If you prefer to avoid yet another pop-up bespoke meat merchant with an invitation-only charcuterie suite, head to your local Publix where meat-savvy hair-netted men and women can help you bring home the perfect cut of bacon — and so much more!