What You See Is What You Get At Peter’s Meat Market
We live in interesting times. Governments and institutions promise to be more open and transparent. The cataract of information available to us overloads us in constant cycles we can’t seem to evade. But here in the Bronx, there are bastions of reliability and honest-to-goodness reality where, as the comedian Flip Wilson used to say, “What you see is what you get!”
One such redoubt of old-fashioned, yet thoroughly modern, certitude is Peter’s Meat Market located inside the historic Arthur Avenue Market. Walk inside the market on any day and you will see the butchers plying their trade out in the open for all to see. Peter Servidio and his nephew and partner, Michael Rella, have been doing business this way for nearly fifty years. Peter bought the shop in 1970 after returning from active duty with the United States Army. Mike joined him in full partnership in 1976 after graduating with a marketing degree from Lehman College.
Alongside the cuts of beef and sausage as well as the rabbit and capozelle (lambs head) favored in traditional Italian recipes, Peter’s also offers prepared foods such as chicken rollatini for the modern, on-the-go customer. “It’s not like the old days when mothers came in daily and prepared seven-course meals every night. People don’t have the time to do that anymore,” Mike says. “We now sell grass-fed, humanely butchered veal as well as free-range chicken. Our customer base has changed, but not our devotion to quality. If it’s not good enough to feed our children, we would never sell it to you.”
No longer reliant on the immediate area for their customer base, Peter’s Meat Market services a client base that covers the tristate area. On a busy Saturday, you will see Mike and his crew exercising their knife skills as they custom trim and slice meat for their customers. Their number-one seller, chicken cutlets, come direct from the chicken breast, split and boned as you watch. Every customer, whether old or new, is treated as a welcomed friend. Mike tells me he knows “95% of my customers by name” and building relationships with them is something he values highly.
If you’re looking for meatballs to add to your pasta sauce, but don’t have the time to make them yourself or if you’re planning a slow-cooked rabbit stew for a traditional, Sunday family meal, Peter and Mike at Peter’s Meat Market are prepared to cater to your needs. And if you’re uncertain, you can pick up Peter’s book, 'From Bari to the Bronx,' prominently displayed on the counter for some excellent ideas.
“We’ve been strictly word-of-mouth all these years,” Mike says. Seeing the beautifully displayed meats and watching the butchers work is sensory overload enough, no need for embellishment. “You know what you’re getting,” says Mike. That’s a comforting reality these days.
2344 Arthur Avenue (Inside the Arthur Avenue Retail Market)
Monday - Saturday 7:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.