Although Friday night (Pharcyde at the Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom) was a epic success if left me with a very nasty Saturday Morning hangover. Somewhere in a haze of Advil and coffee Caity 0′ managed to talk me into running some errands with her. Thus finds me at Target wandering around the isles. It was here that I had the sudden desire to cook us some steaks and post up in front of the TV.
A quick google map search for butchers revealed a store I had never been to directly, on my route home. Marczyk Fine Foods is located at 770 E 17th Ave. (they have a separate location at 5100 E Colfax). A quick browsing of their website left me eager to arrive and check out my new discovery.
Upon pulling up to the market I was happy to find ample parking. As soon as I stepped in the door of Marczyk I knew that I had found a great new spot. Directly in front of the door is a raised butcher counter. Including pork, beef, poultry and lamb, the selections on display soon had me salivating. Beautiful steaks sat out in the cooler sporting labels. Although the dry aged steaks continued to catch my eye I did eventually settle on some fantastic looking NY Strips. THe thought of bistecca fiorentina raged in my head and upon acquiring my steaks I quickly hurried off to explore the rest of Marczyk and find my other ingredients. Off the the right of the butcher counter I found produce and dairy. A small but bountiful produce section provided me with fresh baby arugula and lemons. On a side note, the lemon selection was particularly special. They offered several different varieties of fresh lemons including Meyer (one of my all time favorites). After the produce section I moved off across the store in search of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Bistecca Fiorentina is a classic central Italian preparation of beef and a good EVOO is essential. As I wandered into the dry goods section I was delighted to discover a window looking into a butchery room, complete with a large butcher block table and severe large primal cuts of beef hanging on hooks around the walls. In house butchery, particularly when done in sight of guests, is one of those special things that is unfortunately rare to find these days. At the back of dry goods I found a door leading into an adjacent and affiliated liquor store. While I wasn’t purchasing and liquor I simply couldn’t help myself from looking around. I great little store I found the shelves full of great representatives from all categories, Leapolds Gin, Tin Cup Bourbon, Etc. After picking up a bottle of EVOO from dry goods and two great looking loaves of bread from the bakery area (ciabatta, and baguette) I headed to the register. Here like all stores of this quality is the painful part. While I found the prices completely reasonable for the products I was buying, quality does cost money. 1.5 lb of NY Strip Steak, 1 lemon, arugula, 750 ml of spanish EVOO and 2 loaves bread sold for $57. Not horrible but not inexpensive by either.
Bistecca Fiorentina is probably my favorite way of eating steak (a close second being Cote De Boeuf Bearnaise). Its name means steak in the style of Florence. Florence or Firenze is, in my humble opinion, the greatest city in the world. I have had more fun in Firenzne than should legally be allowed, but thats a story for a different time. Many people are familiar with Florence’s propensity for fine leather. Part of the reason for this is that Florence has long been a major hub for beef in Italy and giving a plentiful amount of inexpensive hide the people of this region became incredible leather workers. Bistecca Fiorentina therefore is a simple representation of good meat served in a rustic fashion. This incredible dish is simply just a steak grilled seasoned with sea salt, black pepper and EVOO, served with a lemon wedge. When made with good ingredients it is absolutely amazing.