I’ve been awaiting the opening of Minden Meat and Deli with high hopes. Stopped in today for a sandwich, and was fairly disappointed. The beef all comes from Creekstone Farms. http://www.creekstonefarms.com/about.html The good things: according to their website they don’t use hormones or antibiotics, the slaughterhouse is designed by Temple Grandin, the animals are all raised in the US, which makes it dubiously local, but better than Mexico I guess. Still, they brag about it being corn fed. There were no organs on display, and when I asked was told “maybe, we don’t have all our shipments yet.” Not the way I was hoping a local butcher would be operating…. And there was literature about how the salmon was all being farmed in a responsible manner in Patagonia. http://www.verlasso.com/our-story/faq/ Hmmm. I won’t be buying fish there either.
The ambiance is overall very pleasant: display, checkout, tables and a bar; I could see it being an enjoyable bar in the evening. The space devoted to meat and deli cases though is quite small, and the line to order food goes in front of them, so if you come in looking for butcher purchases at lunch time it’s not very convenient. Signage about the prepared food prices is lacking. Pickles, breads, cheeses, olives, and some other deli type things were in a center display. Jars of pesto made with canola oil. There *was* some raw sauerkraut and a raw goat cheddar. Some nice Cabot cheeses. Sauerkraut is so easy to make, though, and the cheeses you can get so much cheaper at Costco….
I ordered a Reuben and a cup of artichoke bisque. The soup was very nice. The Reuben was done in a panini press, and although it had sear lines across the nice marble rye, the sauerkraut could have been straight from the fridge it was so cold. Cheese not melted. And surprisingly bland for a Reuben. I’ll give them one more try in a month or so, maybe some of these are start-up issues. As a deli and bar they might turn out ok. For a butcher I suspect we have to keep waiting.