Red and White on University Drive at the intersection w/ Chapel Hill Street is a great butcher. I'd seen the place a million times and it looked a little sketchy from the outside so I never went in. I heard from a couple of people that this is the place in town to buy meat. Someone also told me that a well-know Durham restauranteur highly recommends the place.
Red and White is a no-frills kind of place. Daily specials are written on butcher paper and taped to the front door and windows. There are large fridge and freezer cases lining the walls. The butcher's counter is along the back wall. They seem to have an assortment of seasonsal veggies too.
I ordered up two small sirloin steaks and a pound of jumbo lump crab meat. The crab meat came in a large can. I am skeptical of any kind of meat or fish that comes in a can. However, this was delicious! The butcher advised me that it is OK to freeze it. On defrosting, put the crab meat in cheesecloth over a sieve and squeeze out excess water. I fixed some of the crab with a salad of mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, tomato and avocado. The rest I've frozen.
The steak was delicious. It was beautifully marbled, firm, and not artificially colored. It smelled so good that I could have eaten it tartare. I appreciated that the butcher cut two small ones for me. Last night I sprinkled one with Cajun seasoning and seared it on both sides in hot olive oil. The exterior was browned and spicy while the inside was a tender, medium rare. I might try the other steak au poivre later in the week.
Definitely go to Red and White. Do not be intimidated, just go.