Butchers and Delis
Jamie Stachowski of Stachowski's Market
Average amount of “porkstrami”—pastrami-spiced pork—that the three Red Apron Butcher shops sell each week for their most popular sandwich
225 Seventh St., SE; 202-547-0542
This fixture inside Capitol Hill’s Eastern Market has an impressive array of steaks and chops behind the counter. Best known for grass-fed Black Angus beef—porterhouses, hangers, pot roasts—the shop also offers four kinds of pork ribs and 34 varieties of sausage, which range from D’Artagnan game links (including decadent and delicious duck with Armagnac) to house-made chicken sausage with habaneros and tequila. One counter away from the butcher stand is Canales Deli, which focuses on charcuterie and sandwiches.
6712 Old Dominion Dr., McLean; 703-790-8300
With its topiaries, jaunty striped awning, and elegant French doors, this store looks more like a stylish boutique than a butcher shop. Among the mostly local and organic meats, look for a wide range of game—quail to elk to venison—along with English back bacon, house-made beef jerky, bison steaks, and custom ground beef (you can determine the fat content). Also available: whole sides of beef, around 300 to 400 pounds and butchered into chops and other cuts. It sounds daunting, but at $3.99 to $4.99 a pound it’s a deal—especially when friends go in on it with you.
8298 Glass Alley, Fairfax; 703-676-3550
Part artisanal butcher, part trendy cafe with a spiffy wine-and-beer roster, this sprawling shop in the Mosaic district (sister stores are at DC’s Union Market and in Penn Quarter) is an ode to all things meaty. Chef/butcher Nathan Anda is curator of the house-made charcuterie, fashioned from humanely raised animals. We love the classic marbled rib eye and the secreto, a Spanish pork cut similar to a skirt steak. The rotisserie chicken and novelties like ’nduja, a spreadable pork sausage, are also worthy of attention.
277 S. Washington St., Alexandria; 703-683-3247
The butcher case at Cathal Armstrong’s Old Town emporium—which also includes a bakery, wine bar, and gourmet shop—overflows with eye candy for the meat lover. House-made confits, pâtés, and charcuterie (cotechino and the all-beef rindswurst, for example) share space with oven-ready porchetta, pork shoulder, flatiron veal and beef steaks, and organic poultry. Innards and offal are plentiful, as is organic game such as antelope and squab. And there’s duck fat plus an array of stocks to fill your larder.
6310-B Springfield Plaza, Springfield; 703-245-0111
This old-school butcher offers a nice selection of meats and poultry at reasonable prices in a glass case that seems to go on forever. Steaks are hand-cut and sausages made in-house; there are oven-ready items, too. Beyond the familiar steaks and poultry, the shop gets kudos for its extensive lamb lineup, including five kinds of chops plus items such as veal bones for stock, whole ducks, and buffalo. And for those who’ve always hankered for that Southern specialty “turducken” (chicken stuffed inside duck inside turkey), this is the place.
1425 28th St., NW; 202-506-3125
Jamie Stachowski was one of the early adopters of house-made charcuterie, and the breadth of offerings at his snug Georgetown deli/butcher shop is testimony to his passion. Draws include kielbasa, duck pâté en croute, rabbit pâté, and various boudins. The roster of meats is heavy on beef: coulotte roasts, hanger steaks, and a prime-rib dinner to go are among the highlights. And though digs are small, people come from miles away to lunch on the four-meat Italian grinder, Italian sausage with onions and peppers, and liverwurst on rye.
5111 Georgia Ave., NW; 202-726-0102
As its name suggests, this small butcher is devoted to all things pork. House-made charcuterie is a mainstay, and the owners go beyond the usual suspects with such offerings as smoked trotters; saucisson sec; landja, a spicy German link; and African biltong, a kind of jerky. Pâtés, pork rinds, and duck confit deserve applause, too. Can’t wait to get home? There are sandwiches to eat there—we go for the pulled pork on a cheddar-jalapeño bun.
8226 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring; 301-585-5800
Whole-animal butchery and free-grazing heritage breeds are the hallmarks of this hip market/restaurant. Look for house-made terrines and sausages along with unusual cuts like ox brisket and pig tails. Dry aging is a given, and both beef and pork (Red Wattle and Tamworth are among the breeds) get the treatment. The store isn’t for the faint-hearted: There’s a good chance a whole suckling pig will be staring up at you from the meat case.
4855 Massachusetts Ave., NW; 3201 New Mexico Ave., NW, 202-363-5698
Wagshal’s has been a DC institution since 1925. With the opening of a gleaming new shop/restaurant on New Mexico Avenue, the store is expanding its offerings. Wagshal’s has long been known for its USDA Prime beef and Euro-style sausages. Ever on trend, both stores are now selling Ibérico de Bellota loin chops and other products from the famed Spanish pigs. The new location has an indoor/outdoor cafe as well as stylish glass cases filled with meats and prepared foods, plus a gelato bar. And yes, the terrific brisket sandwich has made the trip, too.— Cynthia Hacinli