Kobe Beef at Ted's Butcherblock
334 East Bay St. Downtown.
Real Kobe beef is usually relegated to lore. Tales abound of the Japanese pampering their Wagyu breed of cattle with sake and massages, but an actual taste of this delicacy is hard to come by. Until recently there was a ban on importing the authentic Japanese Kobe due to concerns over mad-cow disease, and even since the let-up on such regulations, the high price keeps it out of most markets. Ted Dombrowski, owner of Ted's Butcherblock, does not let such obstacles deter his quest for the ultimate beef, and he periodically orders a genuine Kobe strip loin for his shop. The meat comes with a certificate of authenticity that tells where it was born, when it was processed, and what grade the beef received. The grade depends on degrees of marbling, the color of the meat, and the color of the fat, and Dombrowski only buys the highest grade. He sells it for about $150 per pound but estimates that eight ounces is enough for two people due to its intense richness. Expect a sign-up sheet at Ted's around April for the next shipment, and be rest assured the expensive treat will not disappoint. This is beef that literally melts on your tongue.