About a month ago I went to my newly acquired local butcher and began to build a repoire. They've been around in this one spot since 1986, with the original store (much farther away) having been open since 1924. I've only been smoking for about 7 months and started with a flashy new "super butcher" shop back in the winter. Well I've made the switch to this tried and true location and could not be happier.
After becoming friendly with the staff and making several purchases I inquired about some new cutlery as I am operating on inherited, old, junk. My butcher informed me that his best friend of 30 years is the man in charge of all their steel. I told him I just need some solid new kitchen pieces. I don't need/want Shun, but I don't want throw-aways either. I want workhorse stuff like a Chefs, a boning and a carver. Gave him some beer from the brewery I work at and he told me to wait for a phone call. He would "take care of me."
Later that week I headed in to be surprised by this score:
He presented me with (left to right): Roast beef slicer, butcher, bread, fillet, boning, Chef's and paring knives. All shaving-sharp. For a whopping grand total of $50. I'll be picking up my honing steel later in the week. These are exactly what I need. They all could split a tick's pubes and the handles are a little worn with character... TOTALLY my style. I just wish they were all hunter orange! That's a bad ass handle color, personally. Anyway -- I'm sure most everyone on here is friendly with their local butcher... but if not, and you have access to one -- do yourself a favor. You may think you're getting what you need from the bulk stores, but you're not. You pay a little more but you get it back in respect, face-to-face interaction and experiences like these, which cannot be bought or sold.
Support local, small business!!