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4505 Meats Butcher Shop: Where Dreams Come True 

Wednesday, Jan 16 2013

A fixture at the Ferry Building's farmers market, 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. His famous melt-in-your-mouth cloud-like chicharrones and "Best of" list-topping burger are now staples for both tourists and regulars alike. But what you have a craving on an off day? Enter the new 4505 Meats Butcher Shop in the Mission, its first storefront.

Open Wednesday through Sunday, the shop offers various raw cuts of beef, pork, chicken, and duck, 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 the best part of the shop is that it gives us access to Ryan's unique prepared foods five days a week.

For $5, you can get a naked bacon-studded hot dog, Magnolia chicken beer sausage, or a cheddar brat nestled in a soft Acme bun. For another $2 you can add house-made sauerkraut, mustard, and onions. If you want to play with the big boys, $8 will upgrade you to the Butcher, the Zilla, the Hog, or the Cole.

The Butcher has slices of head cheese, jalapeño, and smoked ham, covered with chimichurri sauce. The Zilla, one of their regular market offerings, is topped with Namu kimchee, scallions, and chicharrones. The Hog is drenched in white bean chili, smoked ham, and Carolina BBQ sauce.

Lastly there's our favorite, the Cole, which was named after one of Ryan's kitchen staffers who 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, we would likely purchase it two at a time, just to have one to eat with a giant spoon on the BART ride home. But the Cole doesn't stop there; Fritos, pickled red onion, and scallions are heaped on top, adding 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, creating another layer of flavor and a little heat. We think the Cole is best made with either the hot dog or brat, as the chicken sausage does not have the gusto to stand up to the intense toppings.

This would be an ideal hangover meal — 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. An added bonus, it's prepared quickly and can be eaten on the run, so you don't have to take too much time out of your day-drinking adventures.

If you're lucky, you might have the chance to order a new, secret menu item at the shop: chicharrones nachos. Feel like punishing your arteries, but rewarding your stomach and taste buds? Imagine taking those puffy 4505 chicharrones and treating them like nacho chips, 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.

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