I moved to my neighborhood about five months ago, and since then have visited Avedano's, my neighborhood butcher, six or seven times. I'm more impressed each time I go, with both the prepared foods and the meat on sale.
When I first visited back in December or January, it seemed like they only had a few cuts of meat on sale and the packaged goods section wasn't fully realized. One of the clerks was pretty curt, which almost sealed for the deal for me, but I decided to return about two or three months back.
Now the place really seems like it's up and running: the story is quite small, so the packaged goods section is also small, but carefully edited with some really nice (and mostly local) options, like Blue Chair Fruit Company, Poco Dolce, Kika's Treats, local eggs, house-made marinara and bolognese, and a few types of local produce (today they had nice looking baby artichokes, for instance).
Of the prepared foods, I loved the pork stew (A+++), really liked the pork tacos, and liked the fried chicken OK (but I'm a total snob about fried chicken and not easy to impress). Both of the sandwiches I've had have been excellent--today I tried the tuna panini with chopped olives and pea tendrils. The quality of ingredients and interesting combinations are on par with Bi-Rite (which is about 5 times bigger than Avedano's), but I'd say that Avedano's sandwiches taste better.
The meats have been uniformly great, and (unlike Drewes on Church) they are real butchers who can prepare the meat for you rather than just wrapping and selling it. I saw a guy breaking down what looked like a quarter of a pig last week.
Last week I bought a beautiful hunk of Kobe and grilled it at home; my friend said it was the best beef she'd ever tasted, and I can say for sure it's not due to my minimal cooking skills.
If you checked it out when they first opened and it wasn't what you expected, I'd suggest a follow-up visit at this point. When I first visited I wouldn't have guessed that I'd become a regular, but I really like the place and feel lucky to have it within walking distance of my shack.
235 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110