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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wild Game Meat in PDX

Region: Portland, SW Washington

Surprisingly, while hunting big game is more common in both Oregon and Washington state (compared to my original stomping grounds, California), retail game meat / butcher shops are not easy to find. By common, I mean to suggest that one in every ten co-workers you come across knows at least one or more people who avidly hunts for the kitchen freezer and/or dinner table.

I'm talking meaty items for carnivores like wild pheasant, duck, goose, rabbit, elk, deer, and the not-so-wild-farm-raised lamb and buffalo. For any retail butcher shop to offer wild game meat, the meat has to be processed so that it meets USDA regulations. This adds some cost to the cuts but it's a lot better than slaying and hacking up an animal yourself in its native territory. Nearly all the standalone butcher shops I've come across in this region are family owned and operated. Buying direct from a butcher shop also gives you access to regionally-raised meats. It brings a whole new facet to buying local.

Game or specialty meats are those that you just can't run to a Fred Meyers to pick up from the deli case or butcher's counter. You can always find free range/naturally-raised ducks, turkeys, buffalo and lamb meat from Whole Foods or New Seasons.

I visited Chuck's Produce for the first time. If you haven't seen their weekly ad, it probably means you haven't been reading The Columbian. But, at least the specials are listed on their website now. Their meat aisle and butcher counter had an interesting assortment of unusual meats such as ground emu and frog legs. The store leans more towards locally farmed and raised meats, produce, and dairy.

These places are ones that I know of, have been recommended to me by other PDX foodies, or have visited on occassion:

[ SW Washington ]

Top Choice Meats
http://topchoicemeatmarket.com/
12313 Ne 4th Plain Rd
Vancouver, WA 98682
(360)896-8865
Meats: Beef, Pork, Sausages, Chicken, Buffalo, Elk, Free Range Turkey (seasonal)



Chuck's Produce
http://chucksproduce.com/
13215 Southeast Mill Plain Boulevard
Vancouver, WA 98684
(360) 597-2700
Meats: Beef/Pork/Chicken, Emu, Frog, Pheasant, Buffalo, Duck, Squab, Game hens, etc

[ Portland ]

Nicky USA
http://www.nickyusa.com
223 SE 3rd Avenue
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 234-4263

Meats: comprehensive (click for list)
Retail to the public: Yes, but call ahead or order online

SP Provisions
http://www.spprovisions.com
2331 NW 23rd Avenue
Portland, OR 97210
(503) 234-0579
Meats: Beef, Lamb, Veal, Pork, Poultry (Chicken, Turkey, specialty), Seafood, Sausages
Game Meats: venison, rabbit, quail, duck, elk, buffalo, wild boar, pheasant, ...
Retail to the public: Yes, but call ahead one week in advance for availability


Ordinary butcher shops until someone informs me otherwise:

Butcher Boys 
4710 E Fourth Plain Blvd
Vancouver, WA 98661-4646
(360) 693-6241


Gartner's Country Meat Market
http://www.gartnersmeats.com7450 N.E. Killingsworth
Portland, OR. 97218
(503) 252-7801

Meats: Beef, Pork, Chicken, Turkey, Cornish Game Hens, Sausages
Specialty services: custom cutting and game processing


Other resources:
Eat Wild - Washington, Oregon
Reister Farms (Washougal, WA) - lamb meat; usually at Vancouver Farmers Market


[Updated: 2011-09-08]

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