April 14th, 2008 Categories: Del Ray
ON THE AVENUE
PEOPLE and PLACES on DEL RAY’S MT. VERNON AVENUE
Let’s Meat on the Avenue, at 2403 Mt. Vernon Avenue, opened its doors on Saturday morning, April 12, at 8:00am. The first customer walked through the door at 8:02am and the butcher case was empty by 12:02pm! Steve Gatward, Del Ray resident, shop owner, and butcher extraordinaire was both apologetic and ecstatic.
Apologetic that his inventory was not up to full capacity but ecstatic with the reaction from the community. I dropped by the shop about 10:30am and as I asked questions and snapped pictures, I kept hearing the same comment over and over – “We’re so glad you are here.” Deterred neither by the line or by the dwindling items in the meat case, local residents are singing the praises of this latest addition to the walkability quotient in Del Ray.
Steve comes to us by way of England and Australia. Born in Colchester, the oldest recorded town in England, Steve was apprenticed to a local butcher at an early age. Colchester also claims to have Britain’s oldest recorded market and the striped apron seen on the Let’s Meat on the Avenue sign and in these pictures is the traditional apron of Colchester butchers.
Drawn to Del Ray’s penchant for “European-style” specialty shops, Steve will feature local, pasture fed lamb, pork, and beef. Poultry is hormone free and the sausages are from local Amish farms. There is a small selection of dry goods – salts, rubs, mustards, relishes etc. – and a premier steak sauce from the world famous Peter Luger’s Steak House in New York.
A specialty of the house for dog loving Alexandrians – smoked marrow bones with a smoke developed exclusively for our four footed friends.
Favorite moment? Someone asked about free range turkeys for Thanksgiving. Steve said sure and then asked “When is Thanksgiving?
For the moment Steve is working to tap into the appetites and rhythms of the neighborhood. He will be closed on Monday’s but then open on Tuesday’s from 11 – 6; Wednesday – Friday, 11 – 7, Saturday from 8-7 and on Sunday from 11-3. If you have a special request, want to find out what’s on hand or check the hours, the store number is 703.836.6328.
I left with a package of the Amish country sausage and we tucked into them last night for dinner – absolutely delicious! Personally, I look forward to getting my produce on Saturday morning at the Farmer’s Market and then walking across the street to pick out something to put on the grill. This opens up all sorts of possibilities . . . .
Thanks for stopping by,