Summer is better spent by the grill. If anyone in Miami knows a thing about grilling, it’s the 3 amigos behind Meat and Bone. The premier butcher shop features more than 300 premium-quality cuts of meat, poultry, and seafood. Since launching their online store in 2018, the group has opened a brick-and-mortar boutique meat shop with an adjacent restaurant featuring their products, Wagyu Bar and the trio is hosting pop-up dinners known as Undisclosed Miami at their neighboring art gallery. We spoke to Co-Founder, Gabriel Llaurado about the future of the online based company and their favorite meats to grill.
Why did you want to start Meat and Bone? - If you go to the front of our website you will see the phrase “Let the good times roll: Good Friends, Good Food, Good Times”. Ever since we were in high school, we have loved cooking, trying new flavors, and textures, and having different experiences with food but more than that... good food brings people together.
We are in our late 30s now and as we look back, many of the best times in our lives have been sitting around the kitchen sharing a bottle of wine with people. This is why we started Meat N' Bone, a love for people and food. Moreover, we saw a market for quality proteins that was underserved. At-home cooks lacked access to high-quality products, but more than that they had to educate themselves before buying. As a result, we built a website that is not only convenient but provides educational content about the products people are buying.
What makes Meat and Bone stand out among other butcher shops in town? - We actually work with specific programs and farms, we do not just buy from broad liners and re-sell which is what pretty much everyone else does. We spent years building relationships. Our competitive advantage is a proprietary statistical model that helps us forecast demand and manages inventory. This is why we are able to have over 350 proteins and make sure all of them are fresh. No other shop carries 25+ different Ribeyes, for example.
Meat N’ Bone focuses on sourcing from the very best domestic and international programs & farms. We educate our customers about the differences in the proteins we offer and also work on providing relevant information about the industry. Most people will learn more about beef on one visit to Meat N’ Bone (or checking out our blog) than in a lifetime of buying from the supermarket or any other competitor. Meat N’ Bone is the only place in the nation that sells more than 25 different types of Ribeye and has the most variety of wagyu in the market!
What are some tips you can provide to those who are purchasing meat for the first time? What are some important things to look for? - Ask questions, if your butcher cannot answer them. Go elsewhere. Ask about the sourcing of the meats, and what makes them different. Make sure you aren't buying from CAFO farms. Moreover, a butcher is someone that should help you learn and pick the right cuts of whatever protein you need. A butcher should not be up-selling you.
What are some of your must-have seasonings? - When meat is good.. You only need salt and perhaps a bit of pepper. That said, we have scoured America to get some of the best and rarest rubs. Our rubs are not what you will find in most places. We look for rubs that are different, not mass-produced and that are genuinely good.
Do you have any top-secret marinades you can recommend? Frankly, no. It's been a long time since I marinated a steak... You do not need marinades when cooking high-quality proteins. I do like leaving fish and seafood in lime and making ceviche or tiradito. I will also experiment with Pork Tenderloin and Pork shoulder. But that's about it...
In your experience, what are some game-changing tips you can share for grilling the most delicious tasting meat? Do not skimp on ingredients, even charcoal, and wood. You are what you eat. One of our mentors always says that when it comes to proteins you cannot cheat on price. I agree. A great cook can make a great meal without the best ingredients, but that meal would be noticeably better by using higher quality products.
If you're hosting a BBQ for a group, what are you grilling up? I'll typically start with Carpaccio or Tuna Tataki because it's so convenient. Then it will be sausages, Picanha, and perhaps a couple of Denver steaks. This is my go-to.
In your opinion, what are some of the most underestimated cuts (meat/poultry) and why? I would say a good whole chicken or spatchcock for poultry, Duck Breast is amazing as well. For beef, tri-tip, flap, and a flank. That said, the most underrated cut of them all is the Denver Steak.
Since Meat and Bone has started, what are some of your proudest achievements? Honestly, we stuck to our plan. We have made it the hard way. We didn't raise capital, we built this business from zero with start-up capital of $3,000. We do our own deliveries and work with programs that very few butchers have access to. The whole business is extremely tech-enabled. Most people have no idea how special and interesting Meat N' Bone is. That is our proudest achievement... also, when we started getting picked up by Forbes, Bloomberg, WaPo, and National Publications. That was cool. Particularly because outside of the Miami New Times, Miami press has never paid any attention to us.
Anything exciting in the works for Meat and Bone? Or anything you'd like to add? Yes, we are launching a subscription box very soon and it is very revolutionary. It should help us reach a different customer. Also, after years of research... Our seafood offering is now as special and competitive as the rest of our proteins.