As I prepare for my move to Boston, I realize that it’s time to say goodbye (Sarah Brightman style) to many of my Albany favorites. This, without question, includes my favorite Albany butcher shop. Sigh. But hey, its cool because I’m about to say hello to my favorite Cambridge butcher shop (indeed, both favorites).
Primal: Your Local Butcher
Although one might say that Albany NY is not necessarily the pinnacle of gastronomic diversity, there are most definitely pockets of local food businesses that house very tasty, healthy, and locally-produced food items. As an Albany native I am increasingly impressed with the emergent number of said pockets and, of course, the unbelievable Troy Farmers’ Market.
One example of the aforementioned Albany food businesses is Primal: Your Local Butcher. Primal is without question my #1 butcher shop in the Capital Region. I lucked out this past year because my apartment was located no more than 5 minutes from this steak tip paradise, inevitably resulting in an ample supply of local, grass-fed meat in my refrigerator. Primal also sells specialty items such as house-made spice mixes/rubs, local pickles, kombucha, vegetables, chocolate, and more. Primal is my favorite Albany butcher shop because it sources from local and regional producers that humanely raise their animals. If you have yet to visit Primal, and you enjoy meat, do yourself (and the food system) a favor and check them out ASAP.
Some personal Primal favorites include:
- House Marinated Grass-fed Steak Tips
- Chipotle Habanero Marinated Grass-fed Steak Tips (*contains wheat-containing soy sauce, however)
- Grass-fed T-bone steaks
- Grass-fed marrow bones
- House-made sausages
Savenor’s Butcher and Market
Oh Savenor’s. I can’t begin to explain how excited I am for Savenor’s. My boyfriend (a Cambridge native) introduced me to this market when we started dating 4 years ago and, just like with him, I was immediately entranced.
Savenor’s is a full service butchery offering local + organic + prime meats, bones, rendered fats, house-made stocks, charcuterie, pate, house-made sausages, prepared foods, sandwiches, artisanal cheese, grocery items & produce. Savenor’s was also Julia Child’s first butcher in America.
Need I say more? Actually, I am definitely going to say more.
Besides being exceptionally aware of the health of our food system, all of the unique food items that are prepared in-house are out of this world. This includes a wide array of homemade sausages including kimchi chicken sausage and homemade breakfast sausage (with real maple syrup); salads, including chicken salad with pickled grapes and potato salad with bacon and crème fraiche; bacon, ranging from spiced bayou to double smoked; and, if you enjoy pate as much as I do, well, then.. this is definitely your place (and with that, I am officially out of breath).
Some personal Savenor’s favorites include (but are certainly not limited to):
- House-made breakfast sausage
- House-made kimchi chicken sausage
- House-made sausage with provolone, red peppers and prosciutto
- House-made lamb sausage
- House-made bacon (pretty much all varieties)
- House-made chicken salad with pickled grapes, herb aioli and almonds
- House-made potato salad with crème fraiche, bacon, and cornichons
- House-made pate
Let me know if you’ve ever visited either of the above butcher shops and/or what/where your favorite butcher shop is!
And now with that out of the way, I should continue packing. 😉