We often get the request from our readers to talk about what places we use to aid us in our paleo journey. So today, in honor of our Meet-Up event there, we’re back to our “dining in DC” series to cover our favorite butcher shop, The Organic Butcher of McLean!
The Organic Butcher of McLean
Why is it special?
The Organic Butcher of McLean is, bar none, is the best place to get organic, pastured, grass-fed, sustainably-raised meats, eggs, seafood and dairy. The staff will remember your name because that’s what kind of shop this is. They’re very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. When we say “knowledgeable” we want to emphasize here. Half of what we learned in Beyond Bacon came from Don and his team. When we couldn’t get our brisket right, it was Don’s shop that set us straight for the right cut and cooking temps. There is nothing better than knowing that the top quality cut of meat you’re investing in will come out perfectly – and this shop has always ensured that for us!
They carry only the highest quality product. From sustainably and humainely raised local meats to seasonal, local, organic produce – you’ll be able to find almost anything you’re looking for. With a wide selection of pantry items as well, even wine and hard cider – it can be your one stop shop on the way home from work or that fancy dinner you’re planning.
And, most importantly, they cater to people using a paleo template. They know what paleo is – and whenever possible, their foods are gluten free. They even have special packages specifically for paleo people!
When we were looking for a place to get high quality meat in our area, we ended up finding this small shop just north of the commercial center of Tyson’s Corner. Not only was their products great and exactly what we were looking for, but they were continually able to accommodate last minute requests we made when making recipes for our books. This was especially crucial when making offal recipes for Beyond Bacon. The owner of the store, Don Roden, even ended up butchering a hog head so that we could make real, head cheese for Beyond Bacon. There’s even a picture of him doing it in the book.
Every food sold at The Organic Butcher is organic, grass-fed, wild caught or sustainably raised. Everything. This includes many local farms as sources as well. So you’ll walk in and see lamb from a pasture farm in Virginia and dairy from a farm in Pennsylvania and beef from a different farm in Virginia. There’s also game meat as well, including antelope, wild boar, venison and bison. And you can also get wild caught seafood as well. And it’s all delicious, top quality stuff. Not only that, but almost all of their prepared food is gluten-free as well, including all their sausages, soups, marinades, and meatloaf.
Even if you’re not close by it’s worth a trip once a month. Simply call ahead and ask them to have in stock what it is you’ll want, bring a cooler, and make a day of it! We’ve sometimes needed some weird things in really short notice due to recipe testing, hosting parties, etc. and every time Don and the awesome team at the butcher shop are able to get it in stock for us. This is especially amazing in the winter time when many of our local farms are no longer selling items direct to consumers due to low stock.
What We Order
While the butcher shop is known for it’s high quality meat and seafood, they carry a variety of items well beyond a typical butcher. The owner himself is Paleo, so you’ll find nearly all of your favorite paleo-friendly brands in this adorable shop! Some include:
- Polyface Farms pastured eggs & pork
- Paleo meatloaf mix
- Gluten-free meatballs and crab cakes
- Organic, seasonal, local produce
- Grass-fed leg of lamb
- Bone broth
- Soup from 100 Bowls of Soup
- Pastured lard
- Pastured duck
- Raw milk cheese
- Sausages, including pork, wild game, and lamb
- Tons of local, grass-fed beef & ox-tail
- Amish grass-fed butter and cheese
- Trickling Springs
- Paleo bacon, with only salt as the ingredient
- Game meats (venison, elk, antelope, bison)
- Primal Kitchen collagen bars & mayo
- Humanely raised veal, lamb, seafood and more
- Organ meats
- Large variety of bones
- Bulletproof coffee
- Grain-free cereal and granolas
- Sir Kensington’s condiments
- Jeni’s Grassfed Ice Cream
- and SO much more!
If you want a great place to get pastured meats, eggs, and lots of other great good, The Organic Butcher of McLean is the place for you! p.s. if you go, tell them we sent you and they may honor the Meet-up discount for your first purchase!