Gambrel & Co, Our Neighborhood Butcher
One thing I miss about living in NYC is the butcher I visited on my walk home. Instead of a big grocery store with rows of random stuff, I could stop and talk with my butcher about my dinner plans and how he could help me with the proper cuts of meat.
Imagine how excited I was when Redwood City acquired our own butcher located on Main Street near the corner of Broadway. I hesitated at first because Main Street is not on my walk home from work, but I assure you it is worth the trip to visit Gambrel & Co, our neighborhood butcher.
Ben, the butcher will greet you with a smile as big as his shop. This hole in the wall brings you back to a simpler time, though I assure you, Ben is not simple. He has a degree in Botany, is a classically trained chef, has worked in Italy, Spain, Vermont, San Francisco, and leads a community garden project in Oakland where he collects fresh herbs for his sausages. He is an over achiever and we are lucky to have him.
On any day of the week (except Mondays), Ben will offer you the finest pastured meats from Stemple Creek Ranch or Marin Sun Farms. He's a firm steward of healthy animals, local farms, and livestock on green pastures. For those of you that haven't converted to grass fed yet, he has something special as well. A Montana based, pastured livestock, that are finished on non GMO grains in addition to grass to help bring you that rich marbled taste.
Still practicing as a fabulous chef, Ben stops by his commisary kitchen in San Francisco to cook up some weekly specialties. I can personally recommend the rabbit stew, beef bolognese, and his latest duck with cherries and dandelion greens. Whatever he whips up on any given week, you know it will be tasty and healthy.
Ben brings the Italian foodscape to us with the best of cheeses, pasta's, and daily fresh bread by a local baker. His specialties are sausages and they fly off the shelf, so don't wait till Friday. Look for his special sausage, the crépinettes or his unique Chicken Porchetta, a deboned chicken stuffed with sausage and fresh herbs. My absolute favorite is the head cheese which I smother in the Chow Brother's sour kraut for lunch.
I visit Gambrel & Co weekly and my kids beg for me to wait and take them after school. They love to choose their dinner, and see if Ben has any special animal parts in the back. I think it's important for them to understand and respect where their food comes from. Then they proudly carry their white paper packages like Ben just gave them a gift.
Real food sourced from real people is a gift and so is having your own butcher.
I beg you to support this very cool, local business. Even though I may have to share my stock of sausages, it's more important for us as a community to support this kind of endeavor. Keep the small shops with owners that sell healthy quality products open and thriving.
Let's build a healthy community together.
For those of you that don't live in Redwood City, let us hear if your community has a very cool butcher we can visit when we visit your town. For example, in Santa Cruz, I never miss a chance to visit El Salchichero, another awesome neighborhood butcher making their own special jerkey's and dried sausages.
Please share your community secret below? And remember when you visit the Bay Area, go see our Ben, the butcher at Gambrel & Co, you won't be disappointed!
Gambrel & Co. 810 Main Street, Redwood City, Ca 94063, 650-260-2622
The better looking photos on the page were taken by Todd Parsons Photography