Please note: As of May 31, 2010 Enzo's Meat and Poultry is closed. The new butcher shop at RockRidge Market Hall is called Marin Sun Farms Butcher Shop.
Enzo's Meat & Poultry
what a butcher shop it is!
Hall in Rockridge is buzzing but not frenetic. Moods and
attitudes are light. Perhaps there's a hint of smugness
wafting through the air. Why not? It's like a personal treasure
chest overflowing with food, flowers and winetucked
away in Oakland. It looks and feels like a real community
place: clean and pleasant but not so shiny as to attract
too much unwanted attention. True, it's not exactly a secret.
It's within steps of the Rockridge BART station and a short
hop across the water from San Francisco. People in The City
know it's there but today, at least, Market Hall belongs
to its nearby residents.
our way to the acclaimed Enzo's Meat & Poultry, we stop
in the Pasta Shop's cheese section to sample Humboldt Fog,
and prunes in Armangac. At their expansive food counter,
we admire sparkling salads, sandwiches and sweets. We want
everythingshepherd's pie, bbq chicken, lasagnas, casseroles
and polenta. Did we forget to mention the fresh pasta? There
are so many varieties, they deserve their own story.
distractions are many. After ogling happy, fresh flowers
at Bloomie's and glistening seafood at Rockridge Fish we
have yet to reach Enzo's. Market Hall Produce is jammed
with fruits and vegetables
and shoppers, so we opt
for mochas at Peaberry's.
the break, we reach itjust beyond the stacks of wine
and Champagne at Paul Marcus Wines we stumble into Enzo's
space. And what a butcher shop this is! It's not the fancy
place we were expectinguntil our eyes glaze over at
the cases filled with Rocky Range and Petaluma chickens,
neat rows of Saag's bockwurst, and sausages from Montibella
and Aidell's. There are endless cuts of beef, lamb, pork
and veal. One enthusiastic shopper senses our awe and stops
to exclaim, "This place is great!" Another swears
by the grass-fed Western Grasslands beef. "It's amazing,"
she says. Soon, we're besieged by recommendations for personal
favorites, and praise for Enzo's. Many have been shopping
here since it opened in 1988.
the counter a butcher is stacking five pounds of duck legs
on the scalethe buyer is worried they won't be ready
for tonight's dinner. She is quickly assured there's plenty
of time and learns the best way to cook them. Someone else
is buying Australian racks of lamb. She leaves with a neat
package and roasting instructions. Today's big seller? Filets
are no worries of mad cow from either side of the counter.
Not even a bristle if you mention the topic. One of the
white boards overhead says that, for a limited time, Enzo's
will cut to order prime ribs, New York strips and rib eyes
from American Kobe Wagyu beef. Another sign extols the virtues
of Western Grasslands beef.
a lot of activity and so much to see. The freezer case is
packed with geese and ostrich, quail and petit poupets.
They share space with sweetbreads, guinea fowl and racks
of venison. We turn around to see chickens roasting.
we're ready to move to Rockridge, close to Enzo's and their
ready-to-roast stuffed pork loin with apricots, mushrooms
and cranberries. Or flank steak filled with roasted red
peppers, feta cheese, spinach and herbs. The chicken cordon
bleu looks superb. We'll be back. Just looking is not enough.
For more information visit www.rockridgemarkethall.com