We decided to try out the Flannery Steaks 'helluva deal' rib-eye steaks this last week. They are about $24/steak for 12oz steaks: and one doesn't know if they are the midwestern angus or the californian jersey steer. They _are_ dry aged and shipped frozen. I wanted to cook two the after receipt and keep two frozen for later. Ordering was painless on their website. Being fairly local (East Bay), there is the option for overnight shipping with golden state for $10, which is what I opted for, ordering on a wednesday afternoon. There are fedex options too, starting at $35, but for such a small order, that adds considerably to the price.
That's when the stress started. The order wasn't fulfilled until thursday (fine), so I was expecting delivery on Friday...when it hadn't arrived by 16:00, I phoned GLS to find out what's going on (after one hour!! on hold). They assured me that it would get delivered by 19:30, but it wasn't...and the website updated that they abandoned delivery. At this point, I was really rather worried about the steaks. Luckily, Saturday delivery was offered: I called up first thing on Saturday to make sure they knew that the steaks hadn't been delivered on the Friday, they said they'll make a note to make sure it's prioritized for delivery that day: which meant it was finally delivered at around 18:00 on the saturday. On arrival, the steaks had almost completely thawed, but were still cold with the multiple ice-packs: the temperature of the ice-box was 0C. I decided not to re-freeze and just cook all four of them the next day: unwrapped them, seasoned and left on a rack overnight in the fridge.
OK, now to the steaks. I cooked them 'reverse seared': which is now my go-to method. I usually finish on a skillet, but decided to briefly grill them on a hot charcoal grill on this occasion. The steaks were tender, extremely flavourful but not too gamey and importantly, the fat that hadn't been fully rendered was absolutely delicious. We all agreed they were the best home-cooked steaks we've had and on par with a high-end steakhouse. We (four of us incl. two kids) managed to polish off two and a half of the steaks at dinner and have had steak sandwiches last couple of days!
In terms of value for money: the steaks are about twice the price of non-aged beef at e.g. whole-foods and about 1.5x the price of a decent local butcher (e.g. marin sun at the Market hall in Rockridge). The taste was vastly superior to both. We are not very regular steak eaters (once every few months), so I think it's worth the occasional splurge. However, we were forced to finish what was meant to be two portions compressed into 2-3 days, which was a (delicious) pain.
To be fair, Flannery does warn of issues with delivery on their website, we were lucky that the steaks weren't spoiled: if I had ordered on a thursday, expecting friday delivery, postponed to Monday, I would have had to bin the steaks. I can't really believe the delivery issues are all directly Covid-related: I think it's just businesses are using Covid as an excuse perhaps due to staffing issues in general. One also wonders who would have had to 'eat' the costs of spoilt food if it had been delivered thawed and warmed up (i.e. unsafe)?
Value becomes marginal if one has to pay an extra $35 for fedex delivery (which might still take 2 days), or even more to guarantee overnight for such a small order. Since we live in the East bay, we may just visit the shop in future with an ice-box and order there.
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