So, I’m not a vegetarian. And of course, I have nothing against those that are. As a matter of fact, my sister is a pescatarian and I often share meals with her that do not have meat. But with the start of summer break upon us, nothing feels more fitting to me than grilling out. Relaxing on a porch on a summer evening, playing in the yard or pool, or simply having friends and family over and talking about anything other than school or work, all while something mouthwateringly good cooks on the grill. As I’ve gotten older, though, the bargain sale hot dogs and burgers from the mega market that I enjoyed as a child just don’t cut it anymore, which eventually led me to Kingsley Meats. Since discovering it, I feel like I’m “adulting” with the best of them and have upped my barbecuing game to match the high-quality products you’ll find there.
Located on Taylorsville Road next to Bowman Field in an unassuming white building with several meat smokers out front, Kingsley Meats is one of the last independent butcher shops in Louisville. I personally love the fact that I can go less than 3 minutes from my house to get some of the freshest and best food available locally instead of dealing with all the hassles of going to a mega market.
Alongside the great food you’ll find a staff that is both friendly and very knowledgeable. I’ve gone in many times and asked the butcher behind the counter what they would suggest and have always been satisfied with the results. I personally don’t eat pork, but on a long weekend my partner and I planned to grill out with friends and pork chops, along with chicken, were on the menu. I didn’t have a clue what to get and when I asked for pork chops at the counter and was met with the question “which ones,” I had no clue there were multiple options! The butcher was great, though: asking me questions like how much I wanted to spend, how many people I was feeding, and how we were cooking them. He even went over the advantages and disadvantages of deboning them before cooking versus afterwards. He helped me make an informed decision about what to get and what to do with it and as a result everyone at the barbecue enjoyed the meal.
As someone who lives on a tight budget, and usually is only cooking for one throughout the week, I love the fact that I don’t pay for anything I don’t use. The butchers are more than willing to weigh out exact amounts, debone, clean, skin, or trim any cut of meat that you want to purchase. For me this is a huge time saver as well as a budget saver, as I don’t end up paying for anything I don’t want to eat or can’t use in the first place. They’ll also grind up any meat you want fresh. Sure, they have some already ground up that they can grab for you, but I once went in looking for a truly decadent burger and the butcher was happy to grind up a steak that I had chosen. He also suggested some seasonings, and oh my word it was one of the best burgers I had ever had in my entire life! If the butcher suggests anything to you, I’d strongly advise listening to them; they really know what they are talking about.
Although my experiences have just been in the retail store with the butchers, they also offer many other services and items. They have fresh seafood, they can order any special meats or cuts of meat for you, and there’s a hot bar where you can stop in and assemble your own hot lunch (choosing your meat and sides such as potato or macaroni salads that are also made in house). Not to mention bottled sodas, spices, marinades, and even cookies from local bakeries. Finally, they offer catering services, which I have heard only good things about. How cool would it be to have a pig roast or buffet at your next family reunion? Or maybe your wedding reception? I can only imagine if what I purchase in the retail shop is as amazing as it is, the catering they provide can only be exceptional.
So, if you happen to find yourself in my neighborhood, be sure to go and check out Kingsley Meats. I know that I don’t regret going to see them, and I don’t think anyone at your summer barbecues will regret your visit either.