I’ve been meaning to write about Thurn’s ever since Rosie turned me on to them. It’s an old-fashioned (and I mean OLD fashioned – no cash registers, they add everything by hand on butcher paper, they don’t take credit cards kind of old-fashioned) meat shop in a part of town (South Columbus) that most people don’t ever go to unless they have to. It’s family run, only open for sales 3 days a week (the other four are for smoking and preparing the products for the week), and the meat is prepared and sold right there on premises. It’s been around for 118 years, originally in the old Central Market on 4th Street downtown, according to the newspaper article on the wall. If a place lasts that long, they’ve got to be doing something right. If you’re a hunter, they also do deer processing, and they participate in a program that process venison to donate to homeless shelters.
Thurn’s is the real thing, folks. You know that as soon as you open the door and the sweet, sweet smell of smoked meat smacks you in the face. If you go a weekend, prepare to wait in line. This place is definitely NOT a well kept secret, given the scores of older folks who wait patiently for their turn at the counter with Scott or Al. And considering it’s only open from 7 to 1 on Saturday, you better get there early if you want to make sure the item you’re seeking doesn’t run out. Once it’s gone for the week, it’s gone. They have a huge selection of different brats, bacons, sausages, and other smoked meat items:
What draws me there, more than anything else, is the schinken – which is a smoked German ham reminiscent of really good proscuitto in texture and taste, except a little smokier. I love it sliced paper thin, and plan on having some tonight on a plate with some canteloupe, strawberries, and cheese.
A pound of their baked ham is always a must for sandwiches – that is, if it manages to make it home without us scarfing most of it on the way.
My husband loves their German bologna, and gets it in a 1+ lb. chunk that he eats a few slices at a time. It’s also very good fried like a pork roll, I hear. Most of their bologna is a much coarser texture than you find in your typical deli.
We decided to get a few of their Cincinnati Brats, which are fully cooked, and which they advised us to fry in a saute pan with some butter – these will be wonderful tomorrow for lunch with some fried onions and mashed potatoes.
Another one of my husband’s favorites are their beef and cheese sticks and their landjaeger, which he likes to snack on.
We usually get our Schaller and Weber double-smoked bacon at Carfagna’s, but saw on this trip that Thurn’s offers their own double-smoked bacon, so we got a one pound hunk of it to try. We’ll let you know how it is.
Expect to see these items pop up in some dishes in the next couple of weeks.
If you’d like to go: Thurn’s Specialty Meats, 530 Greenlawn Ave., Columbus 614.443.1449