The Last Butcher in Little Italy

April 2, 2010

In the spirit of Good Friday, I went out to get some lamb and caught word that there was one last butcher left in Little Italy so I headed his way.  Full disclosure, I have an odd fascination with butchers. The book, Heat, is a great read if you're into this sort of thing too.   It's about a guy who worked for Mario Batali then ended up in Italy learning how to become a butcher. It's clearly a dying art and yet, I don't want to live in a world where there are no butchers or cobblers or tailors etc.  You get the picture. Now back to Little Italy.

Moe Albanese was born on the same street in which he holds the title of Last Butcher.  There is actually a documentary about him and having had the pleasure of meeting him, I bet it's a hoot.  Nestled across the street from hipster chic Cafe Havana and trendy Tory Burch, the shop seems out of place and clearly a relic from another era.  The shop was being guarded by Moe's brother who waited outside while he delivered meat to Cafe Gitane, literally taking a bag of meat across the street. (Now, that is what I call curb service.)  Walking towards the door, I noticed instantly that there was a whole animal, dead, in his window. Now, I am no stranger to Canal Street and have seen more than my far share of dead ducks etc in the windows of restaurants but as I walked closer, this was a whole dead skinned lamb.  It was both shocking and yet, displayed in such a caring way.  And that wasn't the only one.  Inside, he had two whole baby lambs in the same manner, bagged ready to be carried home.  It is Easter, after all.  And what is Easter without lamb.  So here are some pictures.

Now, if that doesn't get a double take then I don't know what does. 

And a close up...

ok, the teeth are a bit much and it's way too much like our family dog.... but.... if I eat lamb, I need to deal with it.

The tools of the trade. 

Moe's "hook" is the "got'cha" steaks. Apparently, if you buy one of his steaks, he's "got you" for life. 
Well done... Well done... 

Happy Easter!

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Henley on the Horn said...

Oh MY.

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