The Secret 'Meat Room' at a Vegan Restaurant

Last week we got the rare chance to laugh at the news, when the NY Times published a review of Eleven Madison Park.

Owner Daniel Humm recently announced that the restaurant would reopen with an all Vegan menu after a pandemic hiatus. 

Well, the time has come, and the results are …. underwhelming

The review is honestly hilarious (evidently the vegetables work so hard imitating meat that "you almost feel sorry for them."), but one comment in particular caught our eyes:

It turns out that they do serve meat after all!

If you splurge for the private dining room, you can order beef tenderloin.

So while the owner pats himself on the back with one hand, for serving ‘sustainable' plant-based cuisine (that's problematic for dozens of other reasons), he's literally using the other hand to serve the most unsustainable cut imaginable.

But the point isn't to just dump on poor Chef Humm, although he deserves it for a spectacular unforced error (seriously, he could have made a sausage. We wanted to highlight this issue because it goes way beyond him. 

The problem is that the Tenderloin barely makes up 2% of the meat on an animal.

Having Tenderloins (or Ribeyes and Strips) CONSTANTLY available, creates an enormous logistical problem. Those cuts come alongside  hundreds of pounds of other meat, which restaurants aren't clamoring to feature.

So those other cuts have to be dealt with:

  • Further processed by grinding, smoking, 
  • Stored for seasonal use (have you ever noticed the sudden abundance of brisket before St. Patricks Day?)
  • Or just exported to locations where they are more desirable (while prime cuts are imported in their place).

That conundrum, called carcass balancing, is why we decided to sell most of our beef in packages and bundles this year. Selling beef in the ratio nature made it, allows us to focus on raising more cattle and managing them and our land to a higher standard. It results in better beef and a healthier ecosystem.

Whether you fill your freezer with a quarter beef or try a 10 pound variety pack, you are supporting our efforts to build a sustainable business, and we appreciate you.