Since opening in Flagstaff, Arizona during the summer of 2014, Proper Meats and Provisions on the south side of downtown is the only butcher/deli in the state that serves 100 percent of farm raised meats from Arizona.
Many people in Flagstaff understand the importance of eating from within our local food shed. (Don't know what a food shed is? Click here!) This resurgence in eating locally grown food is due to the fact that more and more people are coming to understand the true cost of cheap food. Not only in the economic sense, but also in the cost to our environment and health.
Proper Meats was started as the first step in helping to create the necessary infrastructure to bring more locally raised meat into communities across the state.
Upon entering the venue, I was greeted by the pleasant wafting odor of cooked meats. In looking around, I found there to be a very minimalistic approach to the interior. Not a lot of flair to be said about the shop in terms of design, but that’s what’s so great. Delis were never meant to be aesthetically pleasing. They are meant as a place for you to get fresh meat to fill your stomach and refrigerator.
Upon looking at the menu I saw the sandwiches range in price anywhere from $9 to $13 and it includes a side of freshly cooked kettle chips. There are also a variety of sodas and or local beer that can be added on at an additional cost.
When I asked what the most popular sandwich was on the menu, I was told the Philly Cheesesteak. I pondered this decision for a few awkward silences as I peered into the glass treasure chest of meats to the right of me. While the recommended sandwich sounded pleasant, I decided to go with one of my favorites, the classic Vietnamese Bahn Mi sandwich.
Upon receiving my order, which came in a timely manner, I was pleasantly surprised to see how big the sandwich was. There is nothing worse than paying top dollar for a meal and going home hungry. The Hoagie Roll I was given was filled with heaping amounts of Pork Shoulder Confit (think carnitas), Cucumber, Carrot, Cilantro, and Chili Aioli. To say the least, I was not disappointed upon completion; the sandwich was savory throughout and left me dreading every bite, because I knew the last one was soon to draw near.
Executive chef David Smith developed a menu that could utilize and showcase the same local meats served in the shop. The meats in the shop range from beef, pork, poultry, lamb (seasonally), rabbit (as available), and goat (also as available). This all can be bought by the pound, as well as on
a sandwich if that is what’s preferred.
Paul Moir, co-owner of Proper Meats, Brix and Criollo Latin Kitchen in Flagstaff is a trendsetter in terms creating this butcher shop. Not only does it serve 100 percent of meat that was raised in Arizona, the shop practices whole-animal butchery on-site, breaking down entire carcasses and making it all, from nose to tail, available to customers in some capacity.
The business also tries to be as self-sustainable as it can be. By providing locally farmed, sustainable, and organic foods purchased from local partners, staying local is obviously a key component to the business’ success. All the glass and paper waste from the building is recycled, as well as having all the compost fed into local compositing operations. Staying green is something that this company values, and through their actions it can be seen that they are looking to not only serve the community good food, but help it grow as well.
If you ever happen to find yourself in Flagstaff, Arizona on the Southside of the railroad tracks, give Proper Meats and Provisions a try. The meats are a class above any chain restaurant in terms of freshness and locality. You will surely be pleased.
Proper Meats and Provisions is located at 110 S San Francisco St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 and is open from 10am - 7pm everyday of the week.