Hottinger Family Meats in Chino A haven for meat lovers – Daily Newsletter
Hottinger’s Meats in Chino offers many cuts of meat. (Photo by Doreen Cohen)
The Hottinger family’s meat is a treasure trove for the carnivores of the Inland Empire – and perhaps even for the whole of Southland.
The fine art of butchery has virtually disappeared in the past two decades, and it’s encouraging to see that since 1948, Hottinger’s has remained constant, offering an amazing range of fresh and frozen meats. The wealth of knowledge of these butchers is also something to be admired. (Ask and you will receive an answer to the following: What part of the beef was this cut from? And how do you cook it?)
Henry Hottinger came to the United States from Switzerland in 1926. In 1942, he and his wife started a butcher business in their home, and in 1948 they moved it to Chino where it remains to this day. The operation is currently still family run by their son Ben Hottinger.
A limited lunch menu is available, and is primarily takeout, including sub sandwiches with assorted meats and cheeses. There is one table outside that seats four people. The $4.99 lunch special is a great deal: a sandwich on a 6-inch French roll, chips, a 4-ounce salad, and a drink. They also serve tri-tip sandwiches with various pickles, but they tend to disappear quickly, as well as carne asada and pollo asada dishes.
In their fresh cold case, they offer a number of different marinated carne asadas, Spencer’s steaks (rib-eyes), and ribs (baby back, spare parts and country style), to name a few of the selections. The tri tip is served with several pickles including wine, garlic, mesquite, Cajun and Santa Maria flavors.
On our last visit, we purchased Santa Maria spiced candy and took it home to smoke. One butcher said it would take about three hours at 220 degrees. We pulled it out in exactly three hours and it was the best piece of Santa Maria barbecue I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating – and that includes Jocko’s in Nipomo and The Hitching Post in Buellton. It was surprisingly thin for a treble end and executed quite average in the thicker section. We ate it on an onion roll with caramelized onions. We also slathered it with Hottinger’s Spicy Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce which we combined with Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory Sauce and Brown Sugar, resulting in an amazing smoky, spicy-sweet flavor with a lingering finish.
Even Hottinger’s frozen products are good. There are a large number of sausages, some of which are made by first-class producers such as Silva, as well as Hottinger’s own range of hand-made small sausages, high-quality sausages that are frozen on the day they are made, ensuring freshness when thawed.
Hottinger’s Texas Hot Links is extremely hot. They also carry lukinka, a Basque sausage containing two different types of pepper, salt, and garlic; uncooked and unsmoked language; South African ring sausages called Boerewors which are primarily pork with some beef, seasoned with coriander; chicken and pork sausages; Swedish potato sausage; French garlic Saucisse de Toulouse; Chorizo chicken and pork. and a range of Portuguese sausages from Silva including morcilla (blood sausage). Each package contains four or five links and costs about $5 to $6 on average.
Ah, but there are so many. You can buy ground beef or patties from Australia as well as wagyu beef patties and mince, the American version of Kobe beef. Game selections include quail, bison patties, ground beef, elk patties, and ground beef (excellent for making a low-fat Bolognese sauce). You can stock up on steaks, too, including (10) 8-ounce T-bones for about $50 and (10) 8-ounce filet mignons for $79.50.
There’s also a bargain box in the freezer section where you can get a full set of St. Louis ribs for just $9.69. If something you want is out of stock, they will do everything they can to get it from the pulled pork to the rack of prime rib.
If you’re planning a party for a group of religious carnivores, budget packages that save money are the perfect solution. Ranging from $50 to $210, you can get anywhere from 5 pounds to 61 pounds of meat. The package of marinated products is especially great value. For $78.38, you’ll get 2.5 pounds of grilled tri-tip, 3 pounds of carne asada, 3 pounds of pollo asado, 3 pounds of marinated chicken breast, 2 pounds of burco asado, 2.5 pounds of St. Louis ribs, and 4 pounds of chickpeas . Beef back rib. That’s a total of 20 pounds of meat for under $80.
David Cohen is a freelance dining critic for Inland Empire and associate food editor for Inland Empire magazine. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @dcfoodfiles.