Day two of our glorious, college-nerd-style Spring Break (the kind where you don't go to Padre or Cozumel or anywhere like that but instead stay home to cuddle the books you've been waiting to read for six months) was a fun-filled day.
- Slept in.
- Took a long nap.
- Went to bed early. (Are we seeing a trend here?)
- Cleaned the desktop on my computer.
- Ate a bacon burger from a local butcher shop.
If you've never had meat from anywhere other than aisle 5AA of your nearest mega-grocery chain, then you've never really tasted what meat can be like.
Something I catch my parents and my grandparents saying about food in general is that it doesn't seem quite as tasty as they remember it being when they were kids. My answer to that is, as long as you get your food from a store with square footage measuring anything close to a mile, it's not.
When they come to my house for dinner on Saturday nights, after my Saturday morning runs to the farmers' market, and they get a slice of tomato or the plate of squash fritters passes their way, they say something along the lines of, "This tomato tastes like the ones my dad used to grow in our backyard," or, "This squash reminds me of the ones we'd find at country stands when I was a kid."
Food has come a long way, baby. I don't mean that food has made great strides in the past 30 or 40 years. I mean that, literally, the majority of our food comes from a long way away, and that includes our meat. Our beef, pork and chicken aren't carefully selected and processed up the block by a small butcher shop anymore. It's mass-produced, mass-processed and shipped from hundreds of miles away, just like most else that's edible that we buy these days.
Anyone who argues that this change in set up doesn't affect how our food tastes probably lost his taste buds in a freak childhood accident. He's jealous that the rest of us can still enjoy our sense of taste. He wishes we suffered as he does, in a world of grey flavors.
So, he invented supermarket meat counters.
At least, that's how I imagined it went down. Now that I've put it on the Internet, it's true. Because we all know that everything we read on the Internet is as solid as those chocolate bunnies on the end caps at Walgreens.
Earlier this week I got to experience what meat can be like when it's selected, processed and sold locally.
My sweet stepdad likes to bring me things. Food, especially. This time my prize was a pound of BJ's bacon burger from MidTown Meats, at 7924 E. 21st Street (at 21st and Memorial).
The meat was a blend of high-fat beef - perfect for burgers - and bacon. The end result was a cheeseburger with that bacon-cheeseburger taste, without having to cook the bacon separately.
I didn't have to add a thing at all to the meat. Not even salt. I mean, look at the fat in these patties. That's all the flavor your need, right there.
And now for the Husband Taste Test.
Mmm. The mayo-lip seal of approval.
I think he's gonna go in for another bite.
Needless to say, I never saw that burger again. A memorial:
Tulsa Loop has a list of local meat markets. It's good enough to get you started, to help you find a meat market near you.
Once you find one, go there and order a thing or two for dinner this weekend. What you'll notice is personal service (which, in my opinion, is almost always better than no service at all, which is what you get at the local supermarket), a friendly face and maybe even a hand-cut hunk of meaty goodness.
I'll warn you, make no plans after dinner. You'll be too busy basking in the glory of what you almost forgot meat could be: Tasty.