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Monday, February 4, 2013

Take it home: The Whole Ox Butcher and Deli

It may be chilly outside, but there's a meat wave in Kakaako.

Recently, The Whole Ox Butcher and Deli fulfilled the "butcher" part of its name, stocking its glass case with local beef from Makaweli Ranch on Kauai and pork from Shinsato Farm on Oahu and Malama Farm on Maui.

"When we cut a Malama Farms pig, we literally have the best pork chops in Hawaii," says Bob McGee of The Whole Ox.

Also in the case: familiar cuts like ribeye, tenderloin and skirt steak, as well as baseball steaks, a "cleaned-up sirloin," McGee says. It all comes from one side of beef, grass-fed and aged at least 21 days. The Whole Ox makes some sausages, too—bratwurst and spicy Italian made with Malama Farm pork—and meat terrines like scrapple, the Pennsylvania Dutch version of Spam, and a Shinsato pork pate wrapped in Malama Farms pancetta. It's probably the most local butcher case in Hawaii, with just a few imported salumi like prosciutto and sopressa.

It does mean, though, that you may not always get what you're looking for—it turns out grass-fed oxtail is all skin and bones, and there's only one hanger steak per cow (lucky you if you manage to snag it). But like the neighborhood butcher of yesteryear, The Whole Ox can guide you to another cut to send you on your meaty way.

Butcher counter open until 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday
The Whole Ox Butcher and Deli, 327 Keawe St., 699-6328,

Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 in Permalink

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About This Column

From five-star restaurants to hidden holes-in-the-wall, Biting Commentary will let you know what’s hot and what’s not. Find out the latest restaurant news—who’s opening, who’s closing, which chef is moving on, where the great special dinners are. Discover the best menu items, fabulous wines, stunning cocktails, hand-crafted beers. Be the first to hear about upcoming food events and festivals.

Food editor Martha Cheng graduated from Wellesley College with degrees in Computer Science and English. She's a former line cook, food truck owner, Peace Corps volunteer and Google techie. Follow her on Twitter @marthacheng.


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