Stock in Trade
Stock In Trade is the new butchery and food shop on the Danforth , and a nice addition to the burgeoning Greenwood area. The grey and orange paint make the storefront pop, and give the inside a kind of quirky appearance, like a '70s computer room turned into a meat display. Standup tables at the front are available for sandwich eating (more on that in a second) while food products line wall shelves and a display case grows at the back.
The overall space is compact, as is the selection, but each food item and cut of meat is chosen and presented with care. Inside the display case, you'll find pork, chicken, beef, rabbit and some lamb.
Farmers and distributors you may be familiar with, like King Capon, are here at Stock in Trade (chicken wings are $3.99/lb). Some meats have already been treated, like the Tamworth pork ribs with Memphis rub, but you can also buy dry fixings for home meat preparation too.
They make their own rubs ($3.75), like BBQ, Memphis BBQ and Chicken, and brine mix, plus lovely olive oil and bags of fresh bread crumbs for dredging. Duck eggs are $8 per dozen, while free run chicken eggs $6 per dozen. House made hot sauces and marinades are also available - just ask at the counter.
The real feature, however, is the sandwich selection. The pulled buttermilk chicken with pesto ranch, house slaw and pickled cucumber was a beautiful, sloppy construction that, once tasted, disappeared quickly. Also worth trying: the house porchetta sandwich, with roasted garlic aioli, arugula and pickled cucumber.
The one curious misstep - and I call it curious because it came highly recommended by the guy at the counter - was the roast beef neck sandwich. It came with marrow caramelized onions, arugula and ramp oil. I applaud the attempt to highlight this unusual cut, but aside from the greasy effect created by the marrow onions and ramp oil, the main problem was the meat itself.
Beef neck is a flavourful but sinewy cut, benefitting from long, slow cooking in order to break down all that connective tissue, otherwise it is near impossible to chew through. A long braise and a shred instead of thick slices would have made a world of difference; in this case, I choked on the first four bites, gave up and threw it out.
There's lots to love about Stock in Trade - the staff is friendly, the products are fine and the meat is lovingly presented - but the beef neck is not one of them.
Photos by Jesse Milns.