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Better With Age

Gepperth's is 103--and still the best source for holiday meats

When serious, carnivorous cooks want game, stocks, rendered fats--and some old-school butcher-shop charm--they go to Gepperth's.

This cozy Lincoln Park market turned 103 this year. Anything and everything you could want for a celebratory (and meaty) meal is in their cold cases; if not, they'll gladly source it for you.

Call ahead to preorder rabbit, quail, squab, pheasant or Hudson Valley foie gras. A venison saddle is arriving this week, fresh geese and capon are on their way, and there will be ample pork chops, prime ribs and crown roasts of lamb (all American) for holiday roasting.

Offal can be ordered by request, as can turducken and brisket. Owner Otto Demke will gladly cook them for you--or anything else in the store, for that matter.

The freezer cases are stocked with rendered fats (bacon, goose, duck, veal, lamb and lard), a slew of stocks and homemade sauces, and soups made by Demke's wife, Dianna (just look for the label "The Butcher's Wife"). Keep a container of her corned beef hash in the freezer and serve it with a poached egg and duck-fat-fried potatoes for an ideal winter brunch.

Bring any cooking questions to Otto and Diana; they have years of experience dishing out culinary advice, and they do it old-style (i.e., at no extra charge).

Gepperth's Market, 1964 N. Halsted (at Armitage); 773-549-3883 or gepperths.com

Gepperth's Market 1964 N. Halsted Chicago IL 60614 773-549-3883

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