An obscenely wide selections of pristine cuts of meat? Check. Jolly butchers enthusiastically advising you on the best marinades, seasonings and cooking techniques? But of course. Enough old-world charm to rival a Norman Rockwell painting? And then some. The untimely demise of your entire grocery budget? It is decidedly so.
There's little argument amongst Chicago's meat-feverish inhabitants: If you're looking for the best cut of anything that's ever oinked, mooed or clucked on this earth, you'll find it at Paulina's Meat Market. This carnivorous haven has been a Lakeview mainstay since 1949óback when the area was heavily populated with German transplants. Paulina's early dedication to providing the best cuts in the European tradition alongside impeccable personal service grew the tiny market into the meat mecca it is today.
A labor of love for one dozen butchers and four sausage-makers, the seemingly infinite selection harbors a little something for every taste. Except vegetarians, who would do well to stay out of the building entirely; the heavenly musk of smoked meat lingering in the air could smack the carnivore back into anyone. Prices run on the steep side, but the quality more than makes up for this little setback. A full range of marinades and seasonings accounts for the "Market" part of the moniker, and perusing these sundries is the perfect way to kill time while waiting for your number to be called. Whether it's cut-to-order bacon, that special occasion steak or a Thanksgiving turkey, Paulina's makes sure you're only a number away from the freshest fare the animal world has to offer.
Centerstage Reviewer: K. Tighe