Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Day Trip to @redapronbutcher in DC (Pork Diaries)
With work deadlines upon me, we decided not to head out to the Hawksbill Cabin last weekend. We did carve out some time for a little urban adventure Saturday, however, and went into town to visit the Red Apron Butcher at Union Market in DC. Mary and I were introduced to chef Nathan Anda’s work there when we enjoyed a butchering demonstration and charcuterie tasting at a Living Social event last month.
We had a great visit to the butcher – we chose the Porkstrami and Italian Beef sandwiches. I saw a couple of folks having the meatball sandwich that looked like a winner too. And of course, there was the display case with the sausages and other delicacies.
What I didn’t expect was how much attention was given to the beers on tap at the Red Apron – there were at least 8 to choose from. I took the Avery IPA, which was tasty – and I saw a number of folks getting something that was poured in a pint style glass. I didn’t get a chance to ask about it, but they were enjoying it as much as I did mine!
The butcher shop is located in the Union Market – a restored market in DC up in the area of Galludet University. Traditionally there had been a farmers market in this location, and the building that houses the current establishment dates to 1931. In 1962, the city banned outdoor sales of meat and other farm products, which killed off the operation – but lately, these kinds of establishments have been making a comeback all over the country.
Union Market in particular reminded me not only of nearby Eastern Market on Capitol Hill, but also of the Flower Market area in San Francisco, and the “Rynok” Market I visited in 1995 in Kiev. While we were in the vicinity, we also visited a warehouse store and picked up some supplies I can use for next year’s hog butchering – some knives and a couple of food grade plastic storage trays. Those are things we always run short of in the heat of the moment.
All in all, a good day trip to DC. Make a point of getting out to check in at the Red Apron Butcher and Union Market.