Plan your attack in advance. Click on image for full size graphic.
Eataly Floor Plan
Plan your attack in advance. Click on image for full size graphic.
Eataly Floor Plan
Geez, I just get finished with my “deli roast beef” smackdown, and I run into Certified Angus Brand on sale, which I previously had skipped over. Certified is a brand that was created by a group of Angus ranchers in the late 70s, who wanted to produce a higher quality product, held to higher standards.
This is a good one, deserving to be in the top 5, if not top 3; clearly “whole muscle” meat, and by the taste and texture, lacking the dreaded “injected solution.”
I like it. I’ll be back. Here’s where to find Certified Angus Brand products, at stores and restaurants.
Certfied Angus Brand Deli Corned Beef
Well, I don’t need an official designation to celebrate hot dogs, I love them and they are a part of my regular “diet.”
I’m especially fond of natural casing dogs, unfortunately, most of America isn’t, NC’s make up less than five percent of the hot dogs sold in the country.
Especially an all beef dog, with minimal additives and preservatives, that’s the ticket.
Today I’m having Boar’s Head weenies, a company that started in the early 1900s in Brooklyn, and is now a national manufacturer and distributor of real size, sell sausages, deli meat, cheese, and condiments.
The Boar’s Head dog ingredient list is short: beef, water, paprika, salts, flavorings in a sheep casing. Perfect.
Around here, they are about $7.50 a pound, or a buck a dog, and that seems to be the price point for most quality NC dogs.
Boar’s Head I can depend on and purchase almost anywhere in the country. When I’m in the Midwest, I like one from a brand called “Old Wisconsin,” and of course, the legendary Chicago manufacturer, Vienna Beef.
Have a dog or ten to celebrate the month and grillin’ season! Boar’s Head are manufactured in their plant at Jarratt, VA, USDA establishment number M12612, pictured below. Jarratt is on I-95, about 40 miles south of Richmond.
Boars Head Hot Dogs Review
I’ve been on a mission over the past couple years to find deli meat brands I can “call my own.” That is, that I can purchase and enjoy every time without concern for taste or texture. I’ve looked at a lot of them, and when I say deli “roast beef,” I include any kind of meat that started from a beef round.
So here’s the rundown on my favorites:
Second place – Dietz and Watson
You’re gonna pay double for the top two as opposed to the bottom three. But for my taste, they are well worth the coin.
Deli Counter Roast Beef Smackdown
My final installment in checking out the beef products in the deli counter at Wal Mart. Most stores that I have been into seem to carry four brands of beef products; their house brand, “Prima Della,” (review) Sara Lee, Hormel, (review) and “Charley’s Pride.”
The latter three are not very well represented, the house brand takes up 60-70% of the counter offerings for deli meats.
My goal here was to simply see if any of these products, generally selling for half the price of many deli meats elsewhere, were worth putting on my regular shopping / consumption list. I did not bother with Sara Lee, as my past experience with the label was enough to know I wouldn’t be happy with the product.
Today I picked up Charley’s Pride Oven Roasted Roast Beef, at $6.99 pound. (My preferred brands, such as Carnegie or Vienna Beef, are usually $13- $14 per pound.
Charley’s Pride was started in 1969, and is domiciled in two smallish production facilities in Vernon, CA, about 20 miles SE of downtown Los Angeles.
Their website boasts that they sell “premium roast beef, corned beef, pastrami and other fine deli items that are exceptionally flavorful, tender and juicy.” Charley’s Pride sells their beef products in 4 or 8 pound chubs, and there is no way to tell what particular version of beef Wal Mart is offering, as the deli man takes a saran-wrapped chunk out of the deli counter for slicing. Whole chubs are on display in the counter.
While the roast gives the visual appearance of being a whole muscle cut, I’m disappointed to see in the ingredients on Pride’s website, that, depending on which type of roast beef Wal Mart buys, the cut may include an injection of >a 10%, 15%, 20% solution, or isolated soy protein added. While it has become nearly standard in the industry to have brine injections (to soften the muscle and add weight) or the infamous “isolated soy protein” (a protein and flavor booster), to me, these additives absolutely ruin the tactile pleasure of chewing beef.
The muscle is broken down (I imagine to create a standardized product, primarily), and you might as well (in my mind) be chewing one of those “lunch meats” that come in the packets at 2 or 3 for a dollar. You know, the ones where the only thing that varies is the label and color of the “meat.” Buddig is a good example of that. (Previous review).
Charley’s Pride offers a couple of upscale lines, which I’d like to try; they feature cuts made from American Kobe Beef and Kurobuta Ham. The product descriptions on the website don’t include any additives.
The end result of my decidedly unscientific study of the Wal Mart deli counter is that I will keep going to traditional delis and better groceries and paying 2x the cost of Wal Mart’s deli selections if I want a product that consistently satisfies me for appearance, flavor, and texture.
Afterthought: I found this product acceptable for use as filling for a “French Dip” style sandwich. The hot “au jus” takes it to the tolerable level.
Charleys Pride Roast Beef Review
I’ve been trying out a lot of deli meats, lately, mostly pastrami and corned beef. I’m a fairly big snob / choosy about what I buy, eschewing the more inexpensive brands, which tend to be what I refer to commonly as “chopped, pressed, and form,” meat and other additives reconstituted to resemble roasts. I much prefer companies that use whole muscle meats for their deli offerings, like NY’s Carnegie and Chicago’s Vienna Beef.
Today I picked up a pound of Hormel Roast Beef ($6.99 a pound, Wal Mart), and upon investigation of the packaging, and noting the USDA establishment number (15835), I find this product is produced and packaged for Hormel by a company called Dan’s Prize, in Long Prairie, MN. Dan’s Prize was started in the 80s; Long Prairie is in the middle of the state, about 3.5 hours NW of Hormel headquarters in Austin, Minnesota.
The taste and texture of the meat is acceptable, and my only red flag is the printing on the front of the package “contains isolated soybean proteins.” Upon further investigation, this is a powder used to emulate flavor in food products, and are a highly concentrated form of protein. They were developed nearly 80 years ago for industrial purposes, mainly as (wait for it) adhesives for paper coatings. Yum.
If you choose to shop the deli counter at most Wal Marts, your brand selection is pretty narrow. Most of the product is Prima Della (Wal Mart’s house brand) (also made by a variety of contract manufacturers), at the store I stopped at today, in addition to the one Hormel product, there were about half a dozen Sara Lee deli meats.
They don’t stock any of the premium national brands at the service deli, however you may find some pre-packaged items elsewhere in the store.
Would I buy the Hormel beef again? Well, most likely, it’s a fair price, and as I said, the taste and texture are palatable. And who can’t use a little more paper coasting adhesive in their diet? Pix of Dan’s Prize factory below.
Hormel Deli Roast Beef Review
I have been on a mission lately on corned beef and pastrami, haven’t I? Last week, it was WalMart’s house brand, and I’ve previously covered Dietz & Watson, Vienna Beef, and others. This week, it’s up to sausage town Milwaukee, to cover one of their iconic brands, Klement’s, which was on sale at one of my local groceries for $6.99 a pound, almost half the price of national brands.
Klement’s is full of rich flavor and has a fairly nice texture/chewability.
Ingredients and nutrition are not found on the Klement’s site, unfortunately.
The product is showing a little of that iridescent one occasionally sees on sliced meat, which naturally occurs when the iron in meat comes in contact with a knife or slicer resulting in a slight oxidation. The sharper the knife or slicer, the more brilliant the colors.
Klement’s can go on my ‘regular’ list, especially when it’s at this price point. Chicago’s Vienna Beef remains my number one choice, preferred for its texture.
I’m working up to trying to make corned beef and pastrami at home; any suggestions would surely be appreciated. If you have a craving and want to order quality corned beef or other meat products, just click over to our Amazon shop.
Klements Corned Beef Review
Today I picked up a pound of “Prima Della,” ($9.99) which is the Wal Mart deli counter’s in-house brand.
According to the USDA plant number on the package, the pastrami is manufactured by Best Provision, LLC, out of Newark, New Jersey. According to their website, Best is a family owned and operated concern, more than six decades old, and they focus on private label manufacturing of cooked beef products. For most of their products, they offer a choice of three different grades, “Certified Angus,” “USDA choice,” and “ungraded.”
No idea which ilk of meat Wal Mart chooses for their selections.
Wal Mart deli meats are priced at 15-25% less than the ‘national brands,” and for some deli counter products, this might be OK.
While the Prima Della pastrami looks and smells like a quality product, it’s one of those prepared meat products which really falls down on texture or “chewability.” So many deli meats (and roasts, chickens, and pork roasts) today have that same texture, and it’s really started to bug me. I have no idea what happens in the manufacturing process to cause this malady, but I suspect it has to do with that phrase one often sees emblazoned on packages (“injected with a XX% solution of XXXX”), which I generally believe is used to soften (and/or flavor) meat muscle and is most like a salt-derivative product, but it’s also a way for manufacturers to add 10% or more weight to their product at little or no cost.
I don’t like it. In an effort to please the masses, food manufacturers are making products as ‘palatable’ (and tender) as possible. Hence, these products no longer taste or chew like animal flesh. Think of brine injected meats as the Fox News of the meat manufacturing world.
For my money, I’ll keep spending the extra 20% or so to get whole muscle, no additive, deli meats. While they are still being made.
Best Provisions LLC is located on Avon Avenue, right behind Millie’s Restaurant, which offers Spanish cuisine from 6 AM seven days a week, and free delivery, if you happen to be in the neighborhood.
Prima Della Pastrami Review
I call these kind of lunch meats “pressed, chopped, and formed,” but on the package, I notice it says “cooked, chopped, and pressed.” My bad. My mom was on a kick with these kind of ‘meats’ for supplying our brown bag lunches during our coming up years. Although my siblings and I were relatively healthy and active, our mother had given up the fight years before, and so our school lunches became extensions of whatever diet she was on.
One year, it was sandwiches on toast that was sliced horizontally, so the sammie used one slice of bread, not two. Another year, it was yogurt, and to this day, I can’t look at the stuff. Lots of pb and j, of course, bologna and lunch meats like those from Carl Buddig. The product always amused me, as if they weren’t different ‘colors,’ you might think they are all the same product. Taste the same, to me, anyway.
The scariest thing of all? The price has hardly changed in fifty years. These were 2 / $1 at the WalMart.
Buddig has been around since the late 1800s in distant suburb of Chicago; picture of the modern factory is below. It’s still being run by descendants of the founder.
There’s a couple ways you could use these products, diced as an ingredient, though don’t look for it to impart all that much flavor, or as a base for your kid’s sandwiches, piling on the vegetables to give it substance, crunch, and balanced nutrition.
As for me, it’s always my preference to make my own lunch meats at home, using full cuts of muscle, prep, cook and run through the slicer. Short of that, I enjoy a quality expensive corned beef, like the ones made by the Carnegie Deli in NY, or Chicago’s Vienna Beef brand.
But props to Carl Buddig for their “Old Wisconsin” line; their natural casing hot dogs and polish sausages are some of my very favorites.
Buddig Corned Beef Review
You know I’ve written a lot about “gas station chicken,” or “fry delis” as they are called in the deep south. Counters inside of gas stations, c-stores, or truck stops, these enterprises sell freshly fried chicken, and sometimes sausage, fish, shrimp, eggrolls and the like.
The Calument gas station (formerly Spur) at the food of the Blatnik Bridge in Superior, Wisconsin, is home to Franks Fast N Fresh Deli, serving plate meals and individual pieces of chicken and other goodies early til late. They also have fries, corn dogs, cheese sticks and some sides.
The chicken is reportedly some of the finest to be found in Duluth-Superior. But then, what gas station chicken isn’t?
Locals “in the know” fondly call the gas station “Chicken Spur.” It’s on Hammond and N. Fifth Street, across from the Hammond Steak House in the map below. Lest out of towners get further confused, Superior is sometimes referred to as “Soup Town.”
Franks Fast N Fresh Deli