Meat Your Maker: Inside Industry City’s Ends Meat

All photos by Jane Bruce

Previously comprising derelict buildings mottled with boarded-up or smashed-in windows, Industry City has lately become Brooklyn’s most prominent hub for food artisans, serving as commissary for homegrown brands like Colson Patisserie, Blue Marble ice cream, and Liddabit Sweets. And considering they make up a mere fraction of the manufacturers, artists, and innovators hard at work in the six million-square foot complex (which also includes a rooftop training center for the Brooklyn Nets), it only stood to reason they should have a kick-ass cafeteria—leading to the recent development of a 12 vendor-strong food hall.

Also open to the public, most of the retail spaces include small, attached production facilities, meaning you can watch “couture” cakes getting decorated at the Fashion Chef, whoopie pies being baked at One Girl, or pots of mango chutney simmering away at Steve & Andy’s Organics. And then there’s the whole-animal salumeria called Ends Meat, which—strung with dried sopressata and bresaola and heavily perfumed with bacon—definitely stands out amongst the coffee bars and sugar shops, especially since its long wooden tables are used to break down hormone-free chickens, Black Angus steers, and pasture-raised Berkshire pigs, as opposed to rolling out batches of butter cookies.

Founded by self-taught butcher John Ratliff—a former restaurant chef, who learned the ins and outs of smoking, curing, and slicing in his tiny Greenpoint apartment—the eight-month-old shop doesn’t let a scrap of its humanely and sustainably raised product go to waste; pork collar becomes coppa, cheek and jowl are transformed to guanciale, fat is rendered down, heads are simmered into stock, and odds and ends are funneled into fennel or red pepper flake-studded sausages. And while it’s all available by the pound, Ends Meat primarily serves as Industry City’s most popular lunch spot, selling thickly stacked sandwiches like roasted beef neck, chicken caesar, muffuletta, and pigstrami, paired with beef soup pearled with couscous, brussels sprouts tossed in pancetta vinaigrette, and—in lieu of potato chips—fried pork nuggets flavored with pickled mustard seeds and crunchy, honeycombed curls of spicy, citrusy chicharrones.

But believe it or not, Ends Meat’s veggie game is just as strong; using produce obtained from a network of family farms, Ends Meat’s flesh-free options include quinoa salad with romanesco, crispy bean fritters with anchovy-mustard vinaigrette, chickpea soup with falafel crispies, and an assortment of roasted cauliflower, broccoli, and marinated red cabbage, stuffed inside of locally-sourced bread. It seems the salumeria is as vigilant about appealing to its entire potential client base, as it is about making use of every last tidbit of meat.

254 36th Street, Industry City in Sunset Park
endsmeatnyc.com

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