“Whole Foods meats at Wal-Mart prices,” says Anita Verdun, the butcher at Verdun’s Meat Market in Raceland, LA. A second-generation meatcutter, Anita knows her meat; her father Boozy Verdun founded the family business on the banks of Bayou Lafourche.
The prices are unbelievable: two good-sized pieces of flank steak, a skirt steak, and four pounds of delicious beef-garlic sausage cost just $24 (can you tell that my Big Green Egg is crying out for meat, more meat!). Don’t go for the prices, go for the service. When I asked about skirt steak, the meat locker turned up empty. No problem: the lady butcher hauled out another side of beef, and within a couple of minutes, a freshly cut skirt steak appeared before me.
Verdun’s sells retail to the public, and the shop conducts custom slaughter and butchering (cattle and hogs). Anita knows lots of other things besides meat–she was even a contestant on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”, shortly before Hurricane Katrina. She says that acute state fright prevented her from progressing past the $8,000 question (she got it wrong, with all of her lifelines still intact).
If you like your meat shrink-wrapped and very far from its animal nature, then perhaps Verdun’s isn’t the place for you. Much of the cutting happens in full view of the customers….a 240-pound (dead, dressed) hog lost its head as customers watched with interest. The little business is a hive of activity, functioning as an information center for all things meat-related. The walls are covered bulletin-board style with notices, advertisements, clippings: meat rabbits for sale, barbecue pit catering, cattle for sale, cattle missing….
Hurry on over before May 2: Verdun’s will be closed from May 3-20, but Anita promises big sales for May 1 & 2.