You can buy meat just about anywhere today.
Target has options despite the fact that there isn’t a butcher anywhere in sight – picking up that business model after smaller grocery stores that contact the packaging and time the deliveries to cater to a customer base without any sort of in-house service.
If you really wanted it bad enough, you can get sushi at Walgreens.
But there’s just something about walking up a glass counter, pointing a slice of beef, and telling the man that cut itself that not only do you approve of his work, but that you want to share that with your family and friends.
“I’ll take six of those, and three of those, and a roast.”
It feels right. It feels like America.
Welcome to Fagundes Meats and Catering, where they’ve been serving up their own distinct brand of Americana – albeit with a Portuguese twist – for decades.
Under the helm of owner Frank Teixiera, who grew up inside of the shop tending to customers while the elder butchers cut meat for their regulars – the old-fashioned counter has become one of the last freestanding butcher shops in the area.
And they’ve diversified to ensure that they’re around for the next generation to enjoy the quality cuts and the customer service that puts them above nearly all of their competitors.
Today, you can walk into Fagundes and buy the same seasonings that they use to prepare the chicken, tri-tip and ribs that they serve up on the weekends – which have a steady stream of customers flowing through to get some of the best barbecue in town from the people who how to make it best.
The popularity of the weekend cookouts was so intense that Teixeira actually changed the business model to provide tri-tip sandwiches and sausages during the week at the request of his customers – turning what was a weekend destination for many people into an actual weekday lunch spot.
On top of that, their services really, truly are out of the old school, which remains unchanged.
Every year around the time of the San Joaquin County Fair – or the event that sprung up to replace it for agricultural students who raise animals – the walk-in inside of Fagundes is full of animals that were purchased and slaughtered. Hunting season is another busy one for sportsmen who get their game processed at the facility.
And where else can you get actual bones for your dogs instead of the fake chew toys you find at most pet stores?
But what draws the repeat business is the meat – the thick-cut steaks and the stuffed chicken breasts and the pre-seasoned tri-tip roasts that just need to be dropped on the grill and cooked up for the masses.
Homemade sausages are also a popular choice for customers, and homemade potato salad, Portuguese beans, and tri-tip chili are hot items for people looking to accent their entrees or their sandwiches.
Fagundes Meats and Catering is located at 142 Jason Street, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information visit www.fagundescatering.com or call 209.239.4184.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544