On quiet Jones Street in the heart of the West Village lies meat heaven. Or, more accurately, butcher heaven. You know that song, “These are a few of my favorite things” from the Sound of Music? In the song a young girl sings about her favorite things, including “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,”…adorable, but a little too saccharine for my taste. Shortly thereafter, though, she sings that she loves “brown paper packages tied up with string” as a favorite thing. When I hear that particular line I think, “maybe I can relate to this girl” because she is clearly singing about a perfectly wrapped piece of meat from an authentic butcher. It is so hard to come by these days! Florence Meat Market is an unassuming, sawdust on the floor, ode to the great butchers of the past. The butchers that work here are true artisans and nearly everything is cut-to-order. I once ordered a lamb shank and when the butcher asked how big I wanted it I told him I needed enough to serve 4 people. He left and returned with a skinned lamb, it’s legs sticking straight out, and asked me to show him where to cut it. That, my friends, is awesome. Another time I ordered a sirloin roast and watched the butcher take at least twenty minutes to cut the roast and then pound out a thin layer of fat to surround the roast so it would baste perfectly in its’ own fat in the oven. Whether you are ordering bacon sliced as thick as you’d like or splurging on a couple of their Newport steaks, you can’t go wrong. The icing on the meat cake? The prices are incredibly reasonable, the staff is so friendly, and the quality of the meat cannot be beat.