Local meat master shares summer barbecuing tips.

By Natasha Bourlin

When his parents opened South Lake Tahoe’s Overland Meat and Seafood Company in 1987, current owner Brian Cohen never imagined he’d be taking over the business 18 years later. As most tend to do, his parents wanted to retire and Cohen saw an entrepreneurial opportunity.

Come 2005, Cohen left his job at a grocery store to carry on the butchering legacy. He kept the business afloat despite extraordinarily hard times including tragic fires and recessions. He turned it into a thriving go-to spot for Tahoe residents seeking quality meats, seafoods and more.

Overland Meat & Seafood Co.
Overland Meat & Seafood Co.

“We specialize in filling a void that grocery stores here have left and offering items not found anywhere else,” Cohen says. “Offering the best quality and fresh items is what we strive for. You get what you pay for. You can buy cheaper products, but you can’t buy better.”

Meeting customer demands for quality over quantity is a daily duty for Cohen and his team. The full-service meat market carries a consistent selection of meats with no hormones, antibiotics or animal by-products, plus fresh seafood, organic, free-range poultry and many other complementary products.

For the past 11 years, they’ve overnighted fresh fish from Hawaii, bringing a weekly dose of the Pacific Ocean to Tahoe. Now, nearly every Friday when the seafood is sold, lines of fish-fancying customers eagerly await the aquatic Hawaiian harvest. They also offer fresh wild cod on Tuesdays and Fridays, plus popular, housemade poke bowls.

Overland Meat & Seafood Co.
Overland Meat & Seafood Co.

Get grilling

With barbecue season in full swing, take some tips from a meat master. Cohen says it’s crucial to let steaks warm up to room temperature before cooking, so place them on the counter for one-to-two hours before they hit the grill.

One of the most important guidelines for any grill chef is to only flip your meat, poultry or fish once. Every time you flip it, juices are expelled. Then, test the temperature with a meat thermometer, but never cut into it to check if it’s done —you’ll just let all those precious juices out. Instead, let it rest after taking it off the grill for about 20 minutes to let the juices set up within the meat properly, creating mouthwatering results.

As for spices, a high-grade piece of meat should be tasted in its full glory, so he recommends only a sprinkling of salt and pepper prior to cooking. Should you want a bit more flavor, Overland Meat and Seafood Company is stocked with tried and true seasonings that work well with the items they sell. Find out more at overlandmeatco.com.

Did you know that Overland Meats & Seafood was designated as an essential business during the COVID-19 initial shutdown? In order to support the community, they initiated Free Meat Mondays where they donated thousands of pounds of ground beef. What an amazing way to give back to Reno/Tahoe! High five!

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