If I could dream up the most perfect, amazing grocery store, I'm pretty sure it would come out looking exactly like The Meat House. Walking into this store puts me in a good mood, no matter how the rest of my day has been (ask JMC... sure, its kind of weird that I love a grocery store this much). If you have never been to The Meat House, you need to find the one closest to you and go there as soon as possible. If there is no Meat House near you, I am deeply and terribly sorry.
JMC and I both grew up in Charlotte (our parents live 3 minutes from each other), and the first time I ventured into food heaven was at the Blakeney location of the Meat House with my mom. Between the free samples and the OTT (over-the-top) selections of salsas, cheeses, breads and craft beers, I was hooked for good.
Luckily, when we got back to Chapel Hill, JMC and I saw that they were opening a location right near our favorite Mexican restaurant, Cinco de Mayo!
The Meat House is "your neighborhood butcher," except its a chain. Only its not your average, mediocre chain store. They carry the freshest meats that are soaked in marinades that will make your mouth water the minute you walk in the door. They don't just carry meat, either. You can basically do all of your grocery shopping there. They sell spices, breads, locally-grown produce, cheeses, salsas, dips, and a great selection of craft beer. They really try to cater their selection to the community they are in. For instance, they carry Maple View Farm's milk and ice cream at the Chapel Hill location, which is a dairy farm in nearby Hillsborough.
So anyway, where else but our favorite place ever would we stumble across only the most legendary man in UNC history? We met Dean Smith.
Now if you know anything about college basketball AT ALL, you should know who Dean Smith is. He is amazing and is easily in the top 5 people I would want to meet EVER. And, he told JMC I was pretty :).
Anyway, here are some suggestions on things to buy from there:
Steak Tips in just about any marinade (Meat House marinade is probably the best, but others are delicious too!)
GARLIC BREAD. I put this in all caps because it's THAT good.
At least try their balsamic/olive oil on bread. They have samples and it is literally the best balsamic I've ever had.
So, in summation, The Meat House is the best place ever.