Really good beef, from Vintage Natural
. Back during the early days of Mad Cow discussion/news/hysteria in the media I wrote to Vintage Natural asking about their cow's feed, and they told me no animal-based foods, ever. So there's that.
But the proof is in the pud.
When we're after steaks we usually just go by what looks best in the case, but we sometimes can be swayed by what's on sale, depending. Rib roast, forget about it -- most gorgeous fat cap swathed around, all nice and tied up, ready to go.
For years I ground my own ground beef, often with ETM's Vintage Natural chuck roasts, but after trying theirs I don't have to do that anymore.
(Eliminating pioneer-woman tasks, where I am able to buy something of as good quality as I could make it myself, is a good thing.)
I am not thrilled with the seafood I see in the case, have never bought any, but I try not to hold that against them.
They have Shelton Poultry products. However, it pisses me off that I cannot buy a fresh Shelton duck whenever I want, in fact, the guy won't even order one because he says he has to order a whole case and even I can't use a whole case.
(I think this is not quite true; I think Shelton would be glad to put a single or a couple ducks on the truck and leave them off at ETM, but the guy doesn't know it or doesn't want to do it and sometimes I tire of educating people in their jobs.)
Very very good pork -- don't know its provenance, but to cook a pork chop w/o having brined it to suggest some moisture, and have it be juicy and tender and delicious, welll, that's worth the price of admission, right there. And excellent American lamb... really the best lamb I think a regular person has available to her. So so good. And you'll pay for it, esp. the racks, but the leg, which is superlatively better than other lamb legs, ain't so cher
as all that. Adamantly worth it, at any rate.
However, with its faults, and we all have faults, don't we, ETM is indispensable.
Also: Rusty's chips, and good sandwiches, made with freshly sliced meats and cheese rather than stuff that's been sitting out pre-sliced for God knows how long. And Alta Dena Milk, the touchstone.