Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Joe's Butcher Shop and Fish Market

"I remember! You said 'We'll see,'" said Joe Lazzara, owner of Joe's Butcher Shop and Meat Market. He obviously reads me which is both flattering and frightening with the memory this guy's got. But now that I've seen it, I can confidently say that after 14 months in business I sure hope Joe's Butcher Shop and Fish Market in Carmel is here to stay.

Having met the team -- from his lovely wife Kathy (maker of the famous chicken salad) to his real-deal butcher Fritz -- I can say I'm impressed. Aged beef cut in house, gorgeous marbled steaks, beautiful, fresh pork, and some of the best fresh chicken I've ever seen. They even make their own beef jerky -- rich with cloves. (And *so* good.)

Located right in the middle of the newly renovated downtown Carmel (and down the street from Deb Berman's popular Bazbeaux Pizza), Joe's seems to be finding its niche. Joe and Fritz say some people come in every day while others pop in with a recipe in hand, working on a special dish or meal. They've become experts at tracking down hard to find meat cuts of fresh fish.

And speaking of fish, they've got it. Using the same suppliers that work with some of the best restaurants in town, Joe has fresh fish in every day -- and can get anything else you need if you call ahead. "None of this would be possible without the Internet," says Joe who's pretty tied to his phone and email for the owner of a butcher shop. Overnights, instant ordering, and suppliers with efficient distribution systems are why we can eat such great meat and seafood every day. On the other hand, he buys local and fresh as well. His Amish chickens come from northern Indiana.

A former telecomm executive, Lazzara spent months researching meat and the business before opening his shop -- and from what we can tell, it's paid off. He's personally visited most if not all of his suppliers and can tell you exactly where the meat came from and how it was raised. So if you're looking for fresh meat and fish options on the north side, you can't overlook Joe's.


Kelly said...

I mentioned this with a comment on The Hungry Hoosier awhile back, but Fritz is an old friend of the family. His grocery store and incredible meat counter were staples of my youth (my first boyfriend worked behind the counter too!), and my family would go out of our way to purchase all our meat from Fritz.

In short: he's a great guy and really knows what he's doing. His expertise is unmatched, and I really should get over there to say hello one of these days. Thanks for the reminder!

Tom B. said...

Well, I just took the recommendation from here regarding Joe's Buthcher Shop and Fish Market. I ordered the Shimp for my upcoming Christmas Party from Joe.

I'll let you know how they come out.