Photo courtesy Lowry Hill Meats
Minneapolis, have you been yearning for a Bar La Grassa chef to make you sandwiches, prepare your Christmas crown roast of pork, and hook you up with a quart of milk on your way home from work? If you live in Lowry Hill that dream is about a mere three or four weeks from coming to life. World, we are mere days from the dawn of Lowry Hill Meats!
Here are the details. Eric Sather—opening chef de cuisine at Bar La Grassa under Isaac Becker and five-year employee at Clancey’s, Minneapolis’ heretofore leading butcher shop—and his wife Tiffany have longed for many years to open a sort of chef’s butcher shop, which would be a site for both fancy artisanal hams and whole local hogs. They met Jonny Hunter and Mel Trudeau from Madison, Wisconsin’s Underground Food Collective—Hunter has been long-listed for a James Beard Award for their restaurant Forequarter—and it turned out those two had been looking for a Minneapolis outpost to sell their humanely raised, small farm sourced meats and charcuterie. A partnership was hatched and it’s nearly time for the public to walk through the doors (which are right between Burch Steak and Bradstreet Craftshouse on Hennepin in Lowry Hill). What will we find through those doors?
“We’re calling it a full-service meat shop,” Eric Sather explained to me. “If you come in, you’ll see things in the case—meat, cheese, sausage, the regular things. But if you’re wondering: Can I get a Frenched leg of lamb? You bet! Could I get some really thick porterhouses? We’ll cut them to order. Say you come in with a recipe, we can help you figure out what ingredients you need, what cuts, and how many pounds you might need for the amount of people you want to serve.” So, that’s the full-service. Everything in those meat cases will be from small nearby farms.
But that’s not all. Lowry Hill Meats will also be open through lunch and dinner, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. weekends, and will have 12 seats, an espresso machine serving Dogwood coffee, and a full line of sandwiches both cold and hot. Think Red Table Meats ham (Red Table products will be on offer in addition to Underground Collective ones) and Hope Creamery butter on a Rustica baguette, as well as a Croque Monsieur and occasional specials like a porketta sandwich. There will be refrigerator cases holding Castle Rock milk and cream, local eggs, and a dozen local cheeses. Once they get up and running, Sather tells me they hope to invite in other chefs and community members to collaborate on food ideas. Perhaps Fulton beer folks would like to come in and collaborate on a Fulton bratwurst?
“The goal is to have a full service meat shop that you want to come hang out at,” explained Sather. “If you want to build a picnic, or put together a meat and cheese platter, we can do that. We might have a burger night once in a while, maybe a fresh beef heart frank one time, definitely paté and terrines. Selfishly, it’s basically everything I like to eat and have around. That’s what the store will be based on. After that, I’m hoping it will grow because of relationships with farmers, and then relationships with customers, people coming in and saying: 'It would be really cool if you had this or that.'”
Got an idea for something really cool Lowry Hill Meats should have? Don’t say Thanksgiving turkeys because they’ve already got that covered—they’ll be from Ferndale, and you can order yours as soon as they open. If you have any other big ideas, post them in the comments! I’ll put in my plea for a turkey sandwich worthy of this great turkey-producing state. Will I get it? We will find out within the month.
1934 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls., 612-872-6328, lowryhillmeats.com