Beltex Meats

Beltex Meats in Salt Lake City is a rarity along the Wasatch Front. In a world where the majority of consumers get their meats from grocery stores who focus more on their profit and loss statements than they do on the provenance of their products they sell, Beltex meats stands alone as a diamond in the rough.

Beltex is a whole animal butchery, which means they utilize every part of the animal in order to promote responsible consumption and minimize waste. The owners of Beltex saw that as residents in the area become more interested in purchasing humanely-raised, sustainable products, existing suppliers weren’t necessarily able to accommodate the demand. So Beltex stepped in to fill the gap, first at farmers’ markets, and now at their own shop. What does humanely raised mean? According to Beltex it means that their animals are pasture raised, with lots of room. Their products are never treated with antibiotics or hormones. They know each of their suppliers personally.

Beltex was founded by a chef, Philip Grubisa, which makes sense when you see that their cases not only feature meat, but also meat pies, charcuterie platters, sandwiches (Saturdays only), sauces, ready-to-cook meals, and other items not typically found in a butcher shop. Philip cut his butchery teeth while working at Spruce in the Waldorf Astoria in Park City, then moving on to open Talisker on Main with Briar Handly. Prior to opening Beltex, Philip trained at the Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat in Denver to certify in professional butchery.

I stopped by on a Saturday morning while the crew was preparing one of their surprising successes: sandwiches. Beltex offered a cuban sandwich one day, and it was so popular, they now offer a rotation of sandwiches on Saturday only. Despite their sandwich success, they limit their production to 50 sandwiches, and once they sell out, they’re out. “We’re not a sandwich shop. We’re a butcher shop that happens to sell a sandwich,” Grubisa says.

Philip has taken care to create a unique space to sell Beltex products. Their shop is located in a renovated house just across the street from Liberty Park on 9th South. Prior to the renovation, this house was a dilapidated mess, and Grubisa hired Brach Design Architecture to update the space to what you see now.

Beltex is open Monday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm.

511 East, 900 South, Salt Lake City. (801) 532-2641. beltexmeats.com

Click on the photos below to open the gallery.

Caputo’s Butcher Shop

If I had to pick just one local shop that has done more to elevate Salt Lake City’s tastes regarding food and the culture that surrounds it, I’d have to pick Caputo’s. I remember watching Tony do his cooking spot on TV when I was younger, and then be in awe when I saw him energetically working behind the deli counter between shooting his TV spots in the back of their old shop right on the corner of 3rd W and Broadway. I remember walking through their shop, admiring the gorgeous, multi-colored bottles of imported water, olive oil, and vinegar. They cared (and still do) about their food and ingredients, and they remain one of my favorite haunts in Salt Lake City.

Caputo’s has evolved over the years. What was once a tiny deli and sandwich shop is now a shop that offers an olive oil and vinegar tasting bar, a gorgeous and huge selection of fine chocolates from around the world, a wonderful deli meat counter, a wide selection of some of the world’s best cheeses, salumi, pasta, sauces, jams, beverages, cheese cave, and educational classes to help us expand our palates and knowledge.

And now they’ve taken the next step in their evolution by opening Caputo’s Butcher Shop. The shop will only sell Heritage meats–animals that have been humanely raised and pasture-fed by ranchers that understand that there’s more to it than just making money. The shop will sell Christiansen Family Farms pork, Snowy Mountain lamb, and Pleasant Creek Ranch beef. Goat and chicken will be coming soon.

Frody Volgger, formerly of Vienna Bistro, is the in-house butcher. Frody closed down his vaunted Vienna Bistro a few years ago when he was battling cancer and he realized he needed to focus on his treatment. Now, in his recovery period, he found himself curing meats and giving them away to friends and family. He said that during the last holiday season he cured over 1,000 pounds of meat for friends and family. So it was a rather fortuitous meeting between Matt and Frody that ended up with them deciding to open a butcher shop at Caputo’s.

Frody is more than happy to do special cuts or take special orders for meat. So if you’re in the need of a special cut of meat, chances are he’ll be able to do it for you. And he’ll happily share recipe ideas as well.

In addition to butchering, Frody is also preparing a special line of their preservative-free, house-cured meats. Everything from ham, chorizo, and other sausages will be featured in the butcher case. We tried a wide variety of their offerings and they are indeed tasty.

The next time you’re in Caputo’s swing around the corner, walk past the balsamic vinegars and olive oil, and check out their butcher case. Say hi to Frody. Ask him to tell you about the meat. He’ll be glad you did.

You can find more photos on Flickr

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