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Chef Sam Marvin’s Fresh Take On The Old-School Butcher Shop

There was a time in recent history where you could find a friendly, neighborhood butcher shop on Main Street in every city. It was a classic staple of American life. Identified as one of the 25 Things Vanishing in America by Daily Finance, for the most part the butcher shop of old is a distant memory evoking images of a jovial butcher in a crisp paper hat who could easily eyeball the weight of a steak and shoot the breeze as well as give cooking and preparation advice.
Acclaimed chef and restaurateur Sam Marvin fondly recalls those days and aims to reintroduce the neighborhood butcher shop with a modern twist with the debut of Echo & Rig Butcher and Steakhouse, recently opened in Tivoli Village in Las Vegas. We spoke with Sam Marvin (creator of the much-celebrated Los Angeles restaurant Bottega Louie) to understand his visionary concept that is changing the urban social dining experience.
Q:  How is Echo & Rig Butcher and Steakhouse different from a traditional steakhouse?
Sam:  Echo & Rig is a new forward thinking butcher shop and steakhouse concept that is part of a global grassroots movement that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. We have an old fashioned butcher mentality and are using old-school techniques. By combining both a convenient butcher shop and a non-traditional steakhouse, the restaurant portion can then become one of the butcher shop’s best customers while providing the community with a new option for fresh, quality meats.  It is truly the best of all worlds. You can come in and enjoy a great meal in the restaurant and pick up meats to prepare at home for the next night.
Q:  Why did you think the time was right to bring back the Butcher?
Sam:  People want to find value and quality in every dollar they spend. The butcher shop of late was one where the butcher knew your name and you knew his. Butchering is a lost craft and skill, and one that was highly respected.  We celebrate that thought process. We are here to educate and inspire people about their meat selections so they know about it before they prepare and cook it. Our knowledgeable butchers can provide the best advice and suggestions as to cooking methods and techniques.
Q:  What kinds of meats do you offer at the Butcher Shop?
Sam:  We provide top tier meat with the highest quality of protein, vitamins, iron and folic and fatty acids that we obtain from a network of farmers and ranchers who raise animals humanely.  They never use any antibiotics or hormones, and the grass the animals eat is never treated with pesticides or herbicides.  The variety on any given day is impressive and includes; pork shoulder, chops, tenderloin, belly; whole free-range chicken, filets, thighs, homemade sausages including breakfast, fennel and calabrese, lamb, prime rib, burgers, tri-tip, spencer, tenderloin and porterhouse steaks, ribs, lamb and the popular Tomahawk or “The Flintstone” steak. Of course, we can also provide on any special requests.
Q:  What is it about the meat that makes it of superior quality?
Sam:  We believe it is very important in how the animal is raised, what the animal is fed, and how the animal is slaughtered, butchered and cooked.  We are leading a movement away from chemically treated foods to a healthier, higher quality, better value way of eating both in the restaurant, as well as in your home. Meat shouldn’t have a barcode on it.
Q:  What does it mean when you say “Nose to Tail?”
Sam: It means that we utilize every piece of the animal from the nose to the tail – nothing goes to waste or is disrespected since the animal gave its life to provide us with food.  In butcher-speak, it means we use everything but the “oink” or “moo.” The technology available enables a tremendous amount of efficiency in getting to all different cuts and pieces of meat, like never before. This approach allows us to provide our customers a more diversified selection and variety of options. It also allows us to educate our guests about lesser-known cuts and best cooking techniques to enhance flavor.
Q:  What is the relationship between the butcher and the customer at Echo & Rig?
Sam:  The Las Vegas market is missing the butcher concept with little options outside of grocery stores that are not at all similar to the butcher shops of late. No efforts are made to make a connection with the customers and find out their likes and dislikes.  Our skillful and classically-trained butcher associates are on hand as “personal shoppers” to guide you to the right choices or answer any questions you may have about our products.  We also will be introducing some special workshops and programming at the butcher shop. Aimed at a variety of skill levels, Echo & Rig will offer everything from How to Carve a Turkey classes to Butcher for a Day opportunities.
Q:  What role does the Butcher Bar play?
Sam:  Located near the butcher shop is a Butcher Bar that serves a variety of fresh sandwiches and butcher selections and specials. It’s perfect for a quick $3 house made hot dog, smoked pork sandwich, house made sausage platter or steak tartare.
Echo & Rig Butcher and Steakhouse is located in Tivoli Village at 440 S. Rampart Blvd., in Las Vegas. There are a number of drive-up parking spaces conveniently available for Echo & Rig Butcher Shop customers. 
 
For more information, visit www.echoandrig.com or call 702-489-3525.
Echo & Rig Butcher and Steakhouse
440 S. Rampart Blvd Las Vegas, NV 89145

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