Richard's Country Meat Market voted Best Meat Market in NWA

A cut above the rest Fresh meat, seafood, produce

Posted: October 20, 2013 at 6 a.m.

Walking into Richard's Country Meat Market in Fayetteville is reminiscent of stepping back in time, where quaint neighborhood markets instilled a sense of community and hand-picked quality. Unlike the specialized small markets of the past, however, Richard's offers expansive services, from butcher to baker, thus placing them in the ranks of modern-day grocery stores.

The combination of old-fashioned service with modern-day convenience has earned Richard's the top honor in the 2013 NWA Media's Best of the Best readership poll as Best Meat Market.

Known predominately for its fresh cuts of meat and seafood, Richard's has a wide selection of assorted goods – from densely-packed shelves of marinades, condiments and pastas to fresh-baked breads, sides and desserts.

Perhaps the most surprising service that this small, locally owned and operated market offers is the extensive list of ready-to-heat-and-eat dishes.

A cooler by the produce section offers salsa, cheese dip, spinach artichoke dip, pasta sauce, barbecue sauce, green beans, broccoli casserole, stuffed poblano peppers, enchiladas, breakfast casserole and much more.

Tailgating bundles, specialty meats, take-and-bake pizzas and freezer bundles also can be ordered.

The offerings don't top off there, especially during the holiday season. Richard's offers cooked dinners from Thanksgiving dinner to New Year's Eve prime rib.

Richard's sold nearly 200 cooked Thanksgiving dinners last year, and to handle that volume, pre-ordering is a prerequisite.

“We start taking Thanksgiving orders the first day of November. We'll start taking Christmas orders the first of December,” said owner Richard McGinnis.

A choice of roasted, smoked or fried turkey is partnered with an army of sides and serves 6-8 people for $70-80. The turkeys don't have artificial additives and weigh 12-14 pounds before cooking. The included sides are two quarts each of cornbread stuffing and mashed potatoes; one quart each of mashed sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, buttered corn and gravy; plus eight dinner rolls and one pumpkin pie.

“We don't really want to substitute, but they can add any side that they want to, or we also sell just a turkey,” McGinnis said.

Individual cooked turkeys cost $40-50, and there is a long list of sides that can be added to the cooked dinner as separate purchases or with a cooked bird.

Fresh turkeys are delivered the week before Thanksgiving and should be pre-ordered to guarantee availability.

Richard's is not open on Thanksgiving, therefore orders must be picked up by the day before. All orders come with reheating instructions, and the side dishes are packaged in microwaveable containers.

By the time Thanksgiving is over, McGinnis and his son, Chris, will be cranking it back up for Christmas.

“At Christmas time, we'll cook more prime ribs and beef tenderloins,” McGinnis said.

The pork crown roast is another popular selection.

“We take about a 10-12 pound pork loin, 'French' the rib section, bend it around and tie it together. It looks like a crown.”

These orders aren't reserved for holidays, however, and can be ordered at anytime, he said.

Additionally, Richard's can prepare bulk items for anything served in the store and can handle special requests.

“Some people will have us make up a big batch of chili to enjoy while the kids are trick-or-treating or for a Halloween party,” McGinnis said.

They also can make soups, gumbo, chowder, even beans and cornbread.

Richard's also has a deli that serves lunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday. Offerings include sandwiches, wraps, salads and soup.

In addition to the menu board, customers can ask about the daily specials.

More information is available by calling (479) 443-000 or online at richardscountrymeatmarket.com.

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