Tag Archives: deals

Grass Roots

GIVEAWAY ALERT!!! Read on to get all the details!

Grass Roots represents a nice, new and refreshing take on custom delivery meat boxes. They’re a farmers cooperative – meaning they’re a group of small, local, family-run farms who have pooled their products together in a sort of “virtual farmers market,” so to speak, where they sell their proteins. I know, I know… My more avid and beef-educated readers are pounding their fists into their desks in protest, shouting “but Johnny, you told us already that 97% of the 619,000 beef farms in this country are small, family owned operations with an average of 50 head of cattle!” True!

But here’s how Grass Roots is different: They’ve set themselves up as a very niche virtual farmers market, catering to the increasing market demand for grass-fed beef, pastured chicken and turkey, and forested pork. I only tried their beef (with the exception of the jowl bacon and deli ham), so I’ll speak directly to that for a moment.

While all beef is technically “grass-fed” (which can be a confusing turn of phrase), all of Grass Roots’ beef is 100% grass-FINISHED as well. That means no grains are in their diet. They also state on their website that their beef is GMO free, which would make sense, since no grass contains GMO that I know of. Grass Roots cattle are also never given antibiotics or growth hormones. One interesting thing I noticed is that when you order their ground beef, it is sourced from a single animal.

So Grass Roots contacted me and asked if I’d feature their products in exchange for a $100 credit to make my own box. I accepted! Here’s what I ordered:

Everything arrived vacuum sealed and frozen, packed in a really nice box that even contained a tote bag and some dry ice.

Here’s everything nicely labeled for you:

My order went over the $100 credit by about $12 or so, but I figured it was worth it to try everything that looked interesting to me. The first thing I cooked was their jowl bacon.

I loved it. It had a nice texture and a great flavor. Naturally, it went well with a cheeseburger.

But I did preserve the jowl fat for a later date, and even used some to fry up the onions for the top of the burger.

Waste nothing!

I threw the jowl bacon on some hot dogs too. Amazing. I split griddled them in some of that jowl fat first, as you might’ve imagined.

“Garnished with jowl bacon.”

I used some of that jowl fat to cook up a pair of their steaks too – a strip and a rib eye. I have to say, I was really impressed with the quality. If healthy, grass-finished lean beef is what you’re after, then this is definitely the place to get it.

I simply seasoned with salt and pepper, and seared these babies off in a pan with fresh garlic and rosemary.

Since the beef is lean and grass-finished, it cooks faster than usual, and you can go safely under, to somewhere between rare and medium rare.

I ate this with some wasabi, and it was perfect. I’m really looking forward to trying their sirloin, roasts, ribs, skirt and shanks. It’ll give me good reason to use my new Instant Pot.

Okay so the GIVEAWAY! Well, the giveaway is over now, but you can use code NEWYOU50 to get $50 off your first box!!!

And feel free to jump out to my Instagram post, like the photo, tag a friend in the comments, and follow both me and @GrassRootsCoop on Instagram!

BUTCHER SHOP SALE: PIEDMONTESE STRIPS!

Dear Beloved Meat Freaks:

I’m really excited about these steaks!

Piedmontese is a breed of cattle that is originally from northwest Italy. Their short, double muscle fiber structure makes for incredibly tender steaks even without tons of marbled fat.

I recommend that you don’t go past medium rare on these: leaner meats have less fat, which means they can dry out if you cook them too much.

They’re currently very affordable, as they’re still sort of a hidden gem in the meat business.

I’ve got them priced at 20% off: 10 lbs is just $159.99 (regularly $199.99)!!!  That’s 10 glorious one pound steaks to fill your grill this weekend. Get on it!

ORDER YOURS HERE!

I cooked one up at home yesterday and these babies are incredibly tender and delicious. They’re lean, juicy, and packed with a really nice but mild flavor. For the one pounders, you just need some salt, pepper and garlic powder for the seasoning. Then sear in a hot pan with butter for about three and a half minutes per side. Let rest, and then slice.

Brasserie 8.5

Brasserie 8.5 is part of the Patina group of restaurants. If you’re loyal to them, they’re loyal to you. What I mean by that is simply this: go to one of their restaurants, and at the end of the meal they provide you with a contact and comment card. When you supply them with an email address and date of birth, they send you a free $50 credit for your birthday, which can be used within two months of the date. My wife and I have been to many of their establishments, and we haven’t been disappointed yet. The $50 credit makes it all a bit sweeter too.

So we came here with the $50 credit this time because it was within two months of my wife’s birthday. But, to be honest, we’ve been meaning to come here for quite some time. This joint offers an amazing happy hour deal with $5 quality draft beers, $1 oysters, and a bunch of other fairly priced items. In addition to that, they have a regular $29 three-course price fix lunch, a regular $39 three-course price fix dinner, no corkage fees on Sundays and Mondays, and on Sundays they have an awesome $32 bottomless mimosa brunch buffet that takes over the whole lounge area. Amazing, and you are truly dining in elegance with impeccable service at this massive midtown restaurant. The bar area is really nice, too, and the cocktail menu has some very nice concoctions.

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So let’s get down to business. My wife did the price fix menu. Her appetizer was octopus with bean puree. The octopus was soft and tender, but it had a bit of skin slime going on. Perhaps a quick char on the grill would have knocked that back a bit before plating it on the bean puree.

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Her entree was branzino with kale and calamari. These were nicely cooked and the skin was crisp. However the fish taste was a bit stronger than we are usually accustomed to for branzino. Not bad in any way, just a bit more powerful than expected.

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Her dessert was a pear tart with vanilla ice cream. This was a beautiful dish, and the tart was perfectly executed.

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I started with this nice cylinder of tuna tartare. The tuna was fresh and the cucumbers were crisp. The dressing was minimal so as to allow the simplicity and quality of the tuna stand on its own.

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My entree was, as you might have expected, their dry-aged cote de boeuf, which was topped with sauteed mushrooms.

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This nice bone-in rib eye was cooked to perfection on the inside. An even medium rare through and through.

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I’m giving it 8/10 for flavor. I’d say it came in at about 20oz., if I had to guess. While the meat was perfectly cooked, there was a lot of bleed out due to the fact that the outside did not have a great deal of sear or char to it. That char tends to lock in all of the meat juices, that way, when you let it rest after cooking, none of the juices pour out of the meat. I wondered if it was cooked sous vide style… but the fact that the mushrooms were plated on top of the steak didn’t help much either, as that heat and moisture would work to remove any trace of searing that was done during the cooking process.

On the side I had an order of fries and sauteed spinach. The spinach was a bit watery, but it had a good buttery-garlic flavor.

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The fries were perfectly crisp, though a little light on the seasoning.

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I skipped dessert and shared some of my wife’s tart. All in, this was a pretty good meal. And we did well with that $50 birthday credit. Check out the William:

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BRASSERIE 8.5
9 W 57th St
New York, NY 10019

I Noodles

This relatively new ramen joint just offered up a Groupon deal that included two bowls of ramen for $19.

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We tried the tonkotsu (pork) and beef bowls. Both were a little bit weak in terms of broth strength, and the noodles themselves were a bit too soft/overcooked. The beef bowl came with straight alkali noodles, two slices of beef short rib, bamboo shoots, corn, cabbage, green onions and bean sprouts.

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The broth had more of a Chinese soup flavor as opposed to the characteristic Japanese flavors you might normally associate with ramen. The meat was tender, but I think the use of cabbage watered down the broth too much and took away from what was meant to be a more full, thick and murky stock.

The better of the two was the tonkotsu, mainly because it came with seasoned boiled egg, which was the best part about both bowls of ramen here.

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The pork meat was better too, and this came with mushrooms as well as the bamboo shoots, corn and green onion. The noodles in this were wavy egg style.

They offer a good happy hour with $3 beer and $5 wine, which is cool, but outside of using a Groupon I am not sure this place is ultimately worth your while. At full price I would have been annoyed at the quality, but since it was only $19 for two bowls it didn’t hurt as much. Caveat Emptor.

INOODLES
150 W 36th St
New York, NY 10018