Why do steaks always taste better in restaurants than they do at home? The answer–besides 1,500-degree broilers–is in the beef itself. While you might be used to stopping over at Ralph’s for a porterhouse, restaurants get their supply from specialty butchers that are able to source the finest beef from the best ranches. So, as Clara Peller so eloquently asked in those iconic 1984 Wendy’s commercials, where’s the beef? It’s in Vernon, about 6 miles southeast of Downtown, where Premier Meats operates a 70,000-square-foot facility that houses the largest dry-aging space in the nation.
For years, you had to be a big commercial account to buy from Premier, but the company is offering a major present to Angelenos just in time for 2015: home delivery. That means you can now buy the same steaks that you find at Bestia, Boa, STK, The Bazaar, and more. Premier is also selling lamb, pork, chicken, seafood, buffalo, and venison if beef isn’t your thing.
The ordering process is like shopping on Amazon: hop on the website and fill up your cart. Pick your meat, select the quantity, and choose your shipping date. Delivery takes between 48 to 72 hours from the time of your order, although we encountered a glitch in the website that makes it appear that you can get your meat in mere hours. The process is fast–but not that fast.
To test out the service, we opted for Premier’s signature dry-aged bone-in ribeyes. The steaks arrived in individual vacuum-sealed bags inside an ice pack-laden styrofoam box. From the moment the bags were opened, the distinctly funky smell of dry-aged beef emerged. That’s what 28 days of (literal) hanging around can do for a steak.
Price-wise, Premier’s really competitive. The ribeyes we ordered were $31/pound (sold as a 14-ounce chop). Compare that to specialty butchers like Belcampo, A Cut Above, McCall’s, and even Bristol Farms, where comparable products range $30/pound to $36/pound and you can see how valuable this service can be–especially considering that free delivery to California comes with orders over $75. So you’re basically skipping a trip to the butcher shop and getting the same level of quality.
Great steaks from one of LA’s top purveyors delivered directly to you? It’s a Christmas miracle. You’ll never have to ask “where’s the beef?” again because you know it’s sitting in Vernon waiting to be cut fresh-to-order and sent on a road trip directly to your doorstep.