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Village Meat and Wine
5025 So. Eastern Ave.
736-7575

Christmas is all about reminiscing, gifts and good food. It's also about family, and the sustenance we derive from focusing our attention on all of these for one day a year. Although Thanksgiving may be the most American and secular of holidays, there's no denying that Christmas is where it's at for giving and getting good things to eat. With these things in mind, I went shopping for food gifts the other day and wound up binge buying at our best gourmet food store.

The shop is Village Meat and Wine, and for twenty-five years, it has set the local standard for prime meats, free range poultry, game, fresh sausages and imported cheese. It was opened in nineteen seventy-seven by Glenn and Emily Hare, who sold it four years ago to Jim and Chemaine Jensen. I'm happy to report that this small unassuming storefront on Eastern Avenue hasn't lost a step, and is still the only butcher shop I know of, where USDA prime beef is sold to the public. With a recent expansion, it now boasts a dazzling array of food from around the world. And with Christmas just around the corner, I can't think of a better place to pick up something edible for the gourmet you love. Whether it's truffle butter from France, Butt rub from Santa Rosa, or Devon custard from England, the products here will fascinate anyone who loves good food.

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And if you're still suffering from a turkey and ham hangover, and want to do the whole Charles Dickens thing, you might consider cooking your own goose from here. Just be sure a save all that rendered goose fat...it makes the best fried potatoes on earth. Or for a more exotic twist on Christmas Day, how about a bison porterhouse or roasted rack of elk? As for me, I'm stuffing my kid's stockings with some ostrich and kangaroo jerky and watching their eyes glow as they tear into these tasty morsels. Not exactly Martha Stewart, but if you're looking for something delicious and different for your foodie friends, look no farther than this local treasure of fine food.

This is John Curtas wishing you and yours a masticatingly Merry Christmas.

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