With winter’s grasp finally releasing the Island, and the soon-to-bloom spring talk of what’s new — I decided it was time to quickly visit another iconic Island place that I have yet to try. Shiretown Meats.
I drive by Shiretown Meats all the time and am always curious about the food one would find in that little butcher/deli shop, that’s open year-round.
First, may I say that I love the fact that there’s parking in the back, though I bet it’s a bit crazy during the summer.
Walking into the shop, I immediately like the mom & pop feel of the place. You know, they know what they’re doing, and with a slogan like “Always Pleased to Meet You, Always Meat to Please You,” it’s got to be good.
Owner and founder Dave Vaughan was behind the counter to greet me. He was smiling and easy to talk to immediately. He has owned Shiretown Meats for decades and still loves his work.
Customers came in, happy to see him, catching up a bit. A little story here, a little joke here, a recommendation for a sandwich there. It was great to be a part of the interaction.
With Dave in the front taking orders, and chatting it up with the customers, you’ll find his son, Daniel, in the back making the food.
It truly is a family run business and will be for years to come. You can’t help but get lost in the moment and feel like you’re a part of it.
I expected things to take longer for some reason, but nope, these guys have a system and it works. People quickly got their sandwiches, a drink, and for some, a bag of chips.
There were so many sandwiches to choose from, I didn’t know what in the world to get. So, I asked Dave what I should get. He was quick to tell me to get the steak tips sub with cheese and mushrooms. Why not, that’s what I got.
Wrapped in paper, I took the sandwich, which was nice and warm, and headed to my car to bring it home. Sadly, it didn’t make it that far. I took a peek at it, smelled it, and then basically inhaled it.
The steak was marinated, and so tender, and melted in your mouth. Add the mushrooms and the ooey-gooey cheese, and you had a seriously good sandwich. which costs about $9. Why ever did it take me so long to eat here?
Dan says that the Italian is probably the most popular. It was the first sandwich they ever mad,e and as he says, they didn’t invent it but they perfected it.
Now I know that I need to go back again and again, and work my way through the sandwich menu, starting with the Italian, and maybe detour for a daily special here and there.
It really was good and so fresh. The roll was even outstanding. It was so good, I tried to scrape all the cheese off the wrapping — that good.
OK, so the sandwich selection is amazing and there’s breakfast sandwiches too but there’s a lot more to Shiretown Meats. You can get everything you need to make a seriously delicious meal here.
There are so many amazing meat choice, the steaks, the chicken, the different sausages. Wow! How does one choose? Also, the prices are pretty good. I thought it would be super expensive, but it’s not. It’s really affordable.
When it’s grill time (hopefully next week), I want to come get a couple of the pinwheel steaks which are steaks with a line of pecorino cheese, parsley and garlic through it, then shaped like a pinwheel.
I also have to try their signature lemon herb chicken which people won’t stop trying to get the recipe for (but Dave will never give it up).
I feel like this place is a must for BBQ-ing this Spring. I want the snow to melt now and get my husband grilling again (less cooking for me which is an added bonus).
There’s also prepared foods like stuffed mushrooms and salads. All of these things are made at Shiretown Meats. Well, pretty much everything is made in-house and with a little love. And what isn’t made there is high quality stuff. They only serve the best.
When Dave was a kid, he was a butcher. He worked cut chicken in packing houses around Boston. Though he went to school for a bit to study accounting and business law, he knew his future laid in his hands, literally.
In the early 1960’s, Dave was working for A & P on the mainland. They brought him here in 1966 to open the meat department at the A & P in Edgartown. He worked in the Edgartown and Vineyard Haven A & P. He shuttled back and forth between the two for a summer.
When the season was over, Dave said find a job for me here, I’m not leaving, and he didn’t. They did find a job for him, but soon after, he left A & P and started his own butcher shop. That shop is now celebrating its 34 year in business.
Dave knows meat and is darn good at his job. For him, fresh, good meat is not a trend he’s riding. It’s been his way of life. He’s had grass fed beef burgers for a long time.
I have to tell you that Dave likes to ski during his February break, one of his favorite things to do. This guy is something else I tell you. He’s a pretty awesome Island guy.
Dave and Dan are an amazing father and son team who bring you some of the freshest, most amazing meats and sandwiches you’ll ever have. Shiretown Meats is one of the best kept secrets on Martha’s Vineyard.
The prices are good and the food is even better. One more place to add to my favorites!
I learned some interesting facts about Shiretown. Dave will butcher for people. All winter long he cuts venison, chicken, pigs, etc., for customers. This is a good thing, since he’s a pro and knows what he is doing.
You can get your knives sharpened there for $3 a knife. This is a good Island service to know.
Shiretown Meats is your destination for all St. Patrick’s Day food items — Irish sausage, Black Pudding, Bristol Gravy, corned beef, rashers and more! Get your St. Patrick’s Day feast all at one location.
Also, there will be additional outdoor seating coming this Spring, so you can enjoy your sandwich in the sunshine!
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