Shop Savvy and Throw a Grade A Holiday BBQ!

By: Toni Cunningham | May 1, 2013
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Everyone knows Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. And summer means one thing, people: grilling. Forget about using the stovetop and don’t even think about turning on the oven. It’s all about burgers, hot dogs, steaks and whatever else you can place over charcoal from here on out.

If the Memorial Day barbecue is being held at your house this year, don’t stress. It’s easy to just run up to your nearest superstore and purchase a frozen pack of steaks, but it won’t leave your guests thinking you’re the Next Food Network Star, either. My general rule is this: if you can purchase an Xbox, a washing machine or office supplies somewhere, do not purchase your steaks there.

Then where the heck do I purchase my meat for barbecuing, you ask? I’m glad you inquired. If you want a quality burger, please head to one of the following exquisite markets in Metro Detroit:

Papa Joe’s Gourmet Market & Catering, with locations in Rochester and Birmingham, is known for having one of the best meat markets in the Metro Detroit area. They carry products from the Aidells Sausage Company, which produces over 25 varieties of sausage made from the best cuts available. If you’re looking for something more unique than the usual burgers and brats fare, they have great lamb and veal options. A third location will be opening in Detroit soon!

Whether you're going out on a fishing trip, discovering new hiking spots, or heading out for a weekend of camping, the Trailblazer is an ideal companion for your active lifestyle.

Hiller’s Market, with several Metro Detroit locations, promises all hand-selected cuts, and they offer all-natural and organic choices if that’s of importance to you. In addition to quality choices like Japanese hand-rubbed Wagyu and Kobe beef, certified Piedmontese beef and USDA choice beef, they have a few more… interesting selections. Grilled alligator, ostrich or bison, anyone!?

Holiday Market, with locations in Royal Oak and Canton, started as a butcher shop, and is still a full-service butcher shop to this day. If you can’t tell the difference between a barbecue tong and a whisk, the friendly workers behind the meat counter are there to assist you. They make 90 different varieties of sausage and 17 burger patties from scratch every day, so you have plenty of choices. Also, if you’re no Betty Crocker when it comes to dessert, I highly suggest picking up a fresh bakery item (or several), as Holiday Market makes fantastic baked goods.

Piquette Market, 13503 W. McNichols, Detroit, has been serving fresh-cut meat daily for the past 50 years. Ribs, sausage, bacon and ground beef are all readily available—as are pig’s feet, if you’re feeling adventurous. (Hi, I will never be that daring). If you’re cooking for a crowd, consider the May Holiday Bundle, which comes with enough food for approximately three neighborhoods, including New York Strip steaks, chicken drumsticks, chicken breasts, rib brisket, corn on the cob, chicken nuggets, pork back ribs and more. All for the low, low price of $49.99.

Boff’s Market, 11015 E. 10 Mile Rd., Warren, is known for its “world famous kabobs,” which are a tasty, quick item to grill for a crowd. If you like your burger topped with pork, try Boff’s new double smoked bacon. Instead of the usual hot dog or brat, why not mix things up a bit? The market has been making its own Polish and Italian sausage for over 35 years. Try the Chicken, Spinach, Feta and Wine sausage for a little something different.

Cattleman’s Meats Co., 11400 Telegraph Rd., Taylor, has several bundles to save you cash when cooking for a group. Cattleman’s Tailgate Meat Bundle includes strip steaks, hamburger, pork chops, chicken breasts, chicken legs, spare ribs, sausage and the kitchen sink for $89.90. If you’re only in charge of appetizers, the deli also offers 12 different party trays. They include everything from the typical deli bite platter to Assorted Cheese Chubs, a Seafood Platter and Mini Croissant Sandwich Platter.

Whether you’re an expert griller or you’re just learning how to hold a barbecue utensil, your dishes will turn out better if you start with fresh, high quality meat. This may be just one person’s opinion, but everything will also taste light years better if you grill using charcoal, not gas. You don’t want your bison burgers to taste like propane, now do you?