For years, people have been recommending this place to me. This summer, I finally went. And now I’m kicking myself for not having gone here sooner.
As soon, as you come in, you are greeted by the smell of smoked meat. It’s sublime. If they made potpourri for men, it would smell like this place.
If it’s a busy day, you’re going to need a ticket for the counter.
Throughout the place, there are open freezers where you can get anything. And I mean anything. You can get a duck (yes, even in July), veal, veal stock, chicken livers, all sorts of pig parts, and even homemade dog food. On the perimeter of the store, they have racks where they sell various gourmet non-meat items, like really good mustards, hot sauces, barbecue sauces, good chips, great buns, a variety of pickled vegetables, and san marzano tomatoes.
But the main stage in the meat market is, of course, the meat counters. There are three basic stations: smoked meats/deli, weiners, and beef/pork.
The first time I went, we were preparing for a day of tailgating at Miller Park in Milwaukee. So we got some hamburger patties, turducken brats, sheboygan brats, and pork brats. The turducken brat, I had tasted at Sausage Fest. The pork brat was really nice – great pork flavor. And the sheboygan brat was heavy on the fennel, which with ketchup, made it all taste like a sausage pizza.
The next time I went, it was because my in-laws were coming to visit. I was planning to grill out on our roof deck for dinner. So I bought 3 pounds of ground chuck for some juicy lucys, more turducken brats, and some tomato basil brats (which were highly recommended to me during the pride parade). The juicy lucys were fantastic, and the tomato basil brats were really powerfully seasoned, as if you took a sun dried tomato, stretched it out, and filled it with a breakfast sausage and more sun-dried tomatoes. It was surprisingly tasty.
Also, I bought bacon for breakfasts for my in-laws. While they usually like to eat mostly sweet stuff for breakfast, there is usually some sort of meat available when they all get together for breakfast. For this weekend, I picked bacon. At Paulina Meat Market, the bacon comes in slabs and they slice it on request. I asked for medium slices, and the guy behind the counter sliced it up and lovingly placed it into rows so neat I almost didn’t want to eat it.
There is so much more to try at Paulina Meat Market, and since having gone there, I am a whole-hearted convert. I don’t know that I’ll go there for all of my meat every week, but I am certainly going to try.