When Ryan Farr decided to open a brick-and-mortar butcher shop, things moved pretty damn quickly.
"We got the lease and opened in just two weeks," he says of the brand-new home of 4505 Meats on Mission Street. "I was going to do a pop-up but once we starting looking into everything, I realized it made the most sense to do a shop."
Chalk it up to 4505's incredible popularity around San Francisco, perhaps. In addition to their presence at a number of farmers markets (including the Ferry Building, Mission Community, Divisadero, and Montclair Village), Farr and his team of expert meat mongers have been spreading the carnivorous love at events like Outside Lands (we loved their offerings this year and last), and with their drool-worthy meat CSA (their holiday turducken has become near-legend).
But it's not just a love of animal parts that has hungry San Franciscans lining up religiously for 4505's sausages, burgers, and chicharrones. They've become known for serious quality and creativity when it comes to meat since opening in 2009.
The shop, which opened just before Christmas, is a testament to the continual care and attention Farr brings to his products. Luscious cuts of beef and pork sit alongside cured slabs of bacon, ham hock, and fat back. Shoppers sample tongue pastrami while examining towering terrines. Housemade spice blends (chili, harissa) are stacked on the counter, next to a sign for armagnac gravy. Freezer cases feature duck chili along with rendered duck fat; there are tubs of dog food destined for some seriously lucky pups.
Farr is generous with the cooking advice, too. Galley's of his book, Whole Beast Butchery, paper the walls, and plastic wrapped cuts feature preparation instructions (sear, roast, or braise).
But one can't discount the sausages, here. In addition to a jaw-dropping selection of uncooked offerings (turkey apple Campari sausage?!), the shop is offering three of hot sausages per day (when we visited: the bacon-studded hot dog, cheddar brat, and Magnolia chicken beer sausage), all available straight up on an Acme roll, or as the base for one of five special combos (from $7-$8). You may see the now-famous Zilla ($8), a Ferry Building staple featuring Namu kimchee, $$ sauce, and chicarrones, or be temped by one of Farr's new creations.
Still to come? A corner counter, some outdoor tables, and some more hot foods. Farr mentions the appearance of smoked meats, like brisket.
Overall, Farr is looking forward to becoming a presence in the neighborhood.
"A lot of people who live around here don't know us yet," he says. "But they're getting to know us, and it's great."
Check out some of the tasty meat offerings, and sausages! at 4505 Meats in the slideshow above.
About the author: Lauren Sloss is a bicoastal food-lover who is based in San Francisco. Some of her favorite things include The Black Keys, goat gouda, and guacamole. You can follow her on Twitter @laurensloss.