Marin Sun Farm's butcher shop and restaurant (Point Reyes)

Marin Sun Farm’s butcher shop and restaurant is a great stop if you’re spending time around Point Reyes or Tomales Bay. They have jerky and dried meats to take along on a hike, and a restaurant menu for a lunch or early dinner (check their hours).

I split a beef and a lamb burger this past weekend. The burgers had cheeses from their respective animals (gruyere and manchego) and used housemade “bacon” to good effect. Bacon is often used to cover up low-quality meat with smokiness, salt, and crunch. The bacon on their beef burger was lightly smoked. The thick raft of pork was browned, but not crisp, and reinforced that I was eating animal flesh. The pork didn’t overpower the beef below, which was juicy and not packed too densely. On the lamb burger, the lamb bacon was cooked firm, but not crisp, and helped emphasize the flavors of the ground lamb below it. Next time, I’ll try their goat burger, which is topped with chevre, mushrooms, and caramelized onions.

The side salad was good and not overdressed, and the onion rings were delicious (nice crunch. you can’t taste the lard they cook them in).

The refrigerator section contains many of the things you expect a butcher to have, stocks and meats, and is also a gold mine of Double Eight Buffalo milk gelato. This stuff is difficult to find outside of Marin. I spotted Candy Cap Mushroom (my favorite), Chocolate, Fior di Latte, Hazelnut, and Coffee flavors. Perry’s in Inverness Park, a good spot to pick up sandwiches and assemble a gourmet picnic, has Double 8 as well, but a more limited selection.