A fixture at the Ferry Building's Farmers Markets, Ryan Farr's 4505 Meats has been serving up a variety of meaty morsels to take home or to nosh for lunch every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Their famous melt-in-your-mouth cloud-like chicharrones and oft "Best of" list-topping burger are now go-to staples for both tourists and regulars alike. But what if it's not a market day or a late afternoon and you have a craving for something from 4505? Enter the new 4505 Meats Butcher Shop in the Mission, their first storefront location.
Currently open Wednesday to Sunday, the shop offers up various raw cuts of beef, pork, chicken, and duck meats, as well as ready-to-cook meatballs, sausages, and smoked meats. Having access to an amazing array of quality meats is a boon for residents in the area, but personally, the best part of the shop is that now I have access to Ryan's unique prepared foods five days a week.
During market visits, I've been known to put a Frankaroni (a deep fried patty made of macaroni, cheese, and chopped hot dog) on anything I order from the 4505 Meats stall. Put a bird on it? More like put a Frankaroni on it. Maybe even two. Unfortunately, there is no Frankaroni at the butcher shop. However, there is a sausage menu. The food kind of sausage, not the Folsom Street Fair kind of sausage. For $5, you can get a naked bacon studded hot dog, Magnolia chicken beer sausage, or a cheddar brat nestled between a soft Acme bun. Toss in another $2 and you can add-on housemade kraut, mustard, and onions. If you want to play with the big boys, for an $8 total you can upgrade to the "The Butcher,"The Zilla," "The Hog" or "The Cole."
The Butcher adds on slices of headcheese, jalapeno, smoked ham, and chimichurri sauce. The Zilla, one of their regular market offerings, is topped with Namu kimchee, scallions, money sauce, and chicharrones. The Hog is drenched in white bean chili, smoked ham, and Carolina BBQ sauce. Lastly, there's The Cole, my personal favorite whenever I stop by the shop.
The Cole was named after one of Ryan's kitchen staffers that created the chorizo con queso sauce that generously covers your sausage of choice. This cheese sauce is, in a word, amazing. If this sauce were available by the jar, I would likely purchase it two at a time, just so I could illegally eat one jar with a giant spoon on the BART ride home. Like a runaway train that's never going back, The Cole doesn't stop there, because a heap of Fritos are piled on top with pickled red onion and scallions which adds a nice crunchy texture and an acid bite to counter the rich cheese sauce. The whole ordeal is dusted with some of 4505's spice rub, adding another layer of flavor and a little heat. Personally, I think The Cole is best made with either the hot dog or brat, as the chicken sausage does not seem to have the gusto to stand up to the intense toppings.
This would be an ideal hangover meal, that is if I was capable of getting hangovers. Sure, you can eat it any time you like, but the rich, warm, salty, and crunchy combination makes it so much better suited for an afternoon meal following a night of heavy drinking. Not feeling so good after an evening of seemingly endless shots of bourbon, Fernet, and green Chartreuse? Forgo the pizza and grab yourself a Cole! Feeling bloated from too much PBR and Tecate? Get the poison out by chomping down on a Cole! Feeling under the weather because of a cold or flu? Do a shot of NyQuil after eating up a Cole! An added bonus is it's quickly prepared and can be eaten on-the-run, so you don't have to kill too much time on your way to your day drinking adventures.
Also, if you're lucky, you might have the chance to order a new uber-secret menu item at the shop: Chicharrones nachos. Feel like punishing your arteries, but rewarding your stomach and taste buds? Imagine taking those famous puffy 4505 chicharrones and treating them like nacho chips by drizzling them and a spatter of Fritos in lemon aioli, chimichurri, and chorizo con queso sauce. If The Cole doesn't cure what ails you, this will.