Custodio's Meats and Eats
Custodio's Meats is yest another sign that Roncevalles is rapidly changing, as many of the older generation of predominately Polish businesses have made way for a new generation of hopeful upstarts.
You'd be hard pressed to recognize it as the old Mrs.Huizenga space, transformed by 100 year old grey washed barn board and exposed brick on the walls, a stream of chandeliers and pot lights shining down over on the display fridges. Change, they say, is inevitable, and this is one I can get behind. Locally owned and operated, committed to the community, and offering a fine product, Custodio's Meats and Eats has plenty to compliment.
Enter the long space and after being greeted by a friendly cashier, dust up your feet with the toss of sawdust on the floor, a nice old-world touch. Walk all the way back and you'll usually hear the whine of a high-powered blade hard at work, as butchers break out the local sourced meats into choice cuts.
The display cases to the back and right house these fresh selections, while the stand-up and open fridges to your left have an assortment of vacuum-packed, portioned, fresh or prepped food, stocks, soups and sauces.
One of great things I noticed about Custodio's was the unusual selection. Often a butcher shop can get you sweetbreads if you ask ahead of time, but rarely do you see them actually on display. Offal was front and centre at Custodio's, a welcome sight for a city that counts amongst its cookbook writers the one that penned "Odd Bits."
Every fridge or display case had at least one surprising treat -- vac-packed fresh porcini mushrooms or whole Muscovy ducks in the stand-up fridge, lamb, chicken or beef demi glazes ($6.99), or a tray of whole roast squash ($12.99 lb) and whole roast chicken ready for home ($14.99 lb).
A wide variety of soups, including Parsnip and Truffle ($12.99), English style Lamb Shepherd's Pie ($18.99) or Braised Steak and Mushroom pie ($19.99) are ready to go. Custodio's is paying heed to the desire for comforting, luxurious food while respecting the busy lifestyles of the neighbourhood folk.
These family style dinners take the worry out of what's for supper. Plus you can pick up some fresh bread, butter, bacon and eggs and call it breakfast too. Despite competition in the neighbourhood, I think Custodio's Meats and Eats is going to fit right in with the new face of Roncesvalles, as they ingratiate themselves to the locals with their fine cuts and hard work.
Photos by Jesse Milns