West Palm Beach, FL

Looking For Authentic Japanese A5 Wagyu? Find It At Palm Beach Meats in West Palm Beach

Best of South Florida

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Palm Beach Meats, a specialty meat and artisan food purveyor headed for West Palm Beach, will be the latest foodie destination to hit the city's growing Dixie Corridor restaurant row.

In the coming weeks, Palm Beach Meats will open a storefront location at 4812 South Dixie Highway. The 1,200-square-foot space will offer guests a place to buy Japanese and Australian wagyu and other high-end proteins alongside a curated selection of locally- and globally-sourced artisan food and products.

Palm Beach Meats will be more than a fancy butcher shop, its founders promise. According to local business partners and owners Eric San Pedro and Tony Sacchetillo — alongside chef/manager Emerson Frisbie — the novelty will be the experiences you'll find in addition to both product and service.

"Our goal is to offer customers a variety of ways to experience our selection of high-end meats and products from pop-ups and tasting to dinners — even our own prepared food," says San Pedro, who translated his passion for sourcing top-quality, authentic Japanese meats for the best price into a business. "This space allows us to do more than simply sell meat."

Thanks to an in-house kitchen and large outdoor event space, Palm Beach Meats will be more than a specialty market. The inspiration behind Palm Beach Meats was born from San Pedro's desire to find the best quality, authentic meat at the best price. He thought, "Why not help others do the same?"

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Born amidst the pandemic, Palm Beach Meats currently operates via a weekly ordering service via its Facebook page and Instagram feed, offering an easy way for South Florida food lovers to source rare or hard-to-find cuts of Japanese graded Wagyu. That includes everything from ground beef and Denver steaks to strip, rib-eye, and picanha.

More recently locals have also been making regular treks to the Swank Specialty Produce weekly farmers' market to snag deals — and a taste of Frisbie's $5 wagyu sliders.

When the brick-and-mortar opens, customers can find those same sliders on a weekend-only chalkboard menu. Here, the store's 16-seat indoor seating area will be available for walk-up, fast-casual service with dishes that highlight the duo's exclusive meat selections. Offerings will present themselves with easy take-out or eat-in dishes from handhelds like sliders and Philly-inspired cheesesteaks to meatballs and Wagyu "flights" for tasting.

Priced anywhere from $5 to $50 depending on the meat and cut, the goal is to offer guests a way to experience pricey cuts of wagyu or other meats in a casual, relaxed environment — and for an affordable price.

Moving forward, the trio plan to host numerous events from seated pairing dinners and exclusive omakase tasting menus to Sunday barbecues and pop-ups hosted by the local chefs or artisans featured in the store. Think collaborations with Kaminari Ramen for bowls of Wagyu ramen or a 15-course seated dinner that highlights the best of local products similar to their sold-out chocolate-themed dinner featuring Delray Beach's 5150 Chocolate.

Still not sure what all the fuss is about Wagyu? San Pedro hopes to change that by making Palm Beach Meats a place to learn as well as taste.

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"Wagyu Face is the look you get when that A5 Japanese Wagyu hits your tongue for the first time." —Emerson Frisbie.

For now, he explains that — simply put — Wagyu means Japanese cow. When you see Wagyu on a menu, only true Japanese Wagyu (versus Australian or American options) will be given an A4 or A5 rating, with A5 representing the most premium level of Wagyu.

Outside of Japan, the largest population of Wagyu cattle is in Australia. However, you’re most likely not getting that ultra-fatty A5 experience only pure Japanese beef will give you.

Keep in mind: Wagyu isn’t an umbrella term for all Japanese cattle. Rather, the word refers only to a special breed of Japanese cow, many that display unique qualities to the prefecture or area where they're raised. One thing they all have in common however are the special genetic qualities of the breed (ie these cows produce fat on the inside of the muscle rather than on top). The result is an intensely rich, fat-marbled cut of beef that offers an umami flavor profile that will quite literally dissolve on your tongue.

Although you won't see true Japanese Wagyu on many menus in South Florida without the hefty price tag to go along with it, you will be able to try your hand at making your own with help from Palm Beach Meats, explains San Pedro. From the private chef to the Wagyu newbie, every customer will receive the same service and support from how to choose, prepare, and cook your meat — even recipes that do well for various cuts.

"Our goal is to build a community of like-minded people who share our passion for high-quality food. We don't just want to grow customers. We want to create connoisseurs," says San Pedro. "And we aren't just selling meat. We're selling the experience."

Palm Beach Meats. 4812 South Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach; 561-303-7595; palmbeachmeats.com.

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