Category Archives: food shopping

Whole Foods Lakewood Apple Wood Smoked Bacon

I’m going to go on record and say that the best bacon I’ve purchased in the Dallas area is the Apple Wood Smoked Bacon at Whole Foods in Lakewood.  It’s thick.  It’s delicious.  They told Hubbard that they smoke it in-house.  It tastes like it.  Closest thing to curing your own that I’ve come across.  And I LOVE it!

Central Market Purchase of the Week

Besides the $9 a pound fresh Gulf shrimp I grabbed up, I like this living basil.  Questions:  Will it last long?  Will I be able to plant it outside when it’s for sure warm enough?  Will I just eat it all instead?!

Central Market’s Artisan Mini Loaves

Another great idea from Central Market.  The CM located on Lover’s is surrounded by apartments and very close to SMU.  That means small groups of people.  Roomates, lovers, married couples, singles, throw in a few dogs and cats and you’ve got the basic idea.  Hubbard and I don’t live around the CM.  But, we are a two person group.  We fall into the married couples catagory.  And as much as I love good bread, we have a very hard time finishing a full loaf of bread from CM before it goes south.  Not being chock full of preservatives, CM loaves don’t have a long shelf life.  These mini-loaves are perfect!  I think you have six or seven choices on what type of bread you want.  Mine is Roasted Garlic Cheese Bread.  Good stuff.

Shots of Artizone Products

So, here’s what it looks like when you get your groceries…

There are little frozen cold packs in with the perishables.  They’re re-usable, too.

Fish and ginger miso sauce from Rex’s Seafood.  Cupcakes from LaDuni.  Grilling sauce from Flavor’s from Afar.  Let’s do a little close up of those cupcakes.  (Which are fabulously delicious, by the way!)

Beautiful mushrooms and salad greens from FM1410, Tom Spicer’s place.  Banana peppers from Larken Farms.  Scardello’s cheese and charcuterie. 

 Steaks from Hirsch Meats.  Steaks are for dinner today.  Looking good!

Here’s my first recipe with an Artizone product…

1888 Dirtiest Martini Dip with Bleu Cheese
1 12-oz whipped cream cheese
1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
pinch cayenne
3/4-1 cup 1888 Dirtiest Martini Mix
1 1/2 cup chopped olives
3/4 lb blue cheese crumbles
2 tablespoons softened butter

Mix ingredient together and refrigerate.  (got the recipe at Central Market)

Or don’t refrigerate for an hour!  I didn’t and it was delicious.  I basically cut the recipe in half.  Very tasty!  Next, I’m going to make myself a Bloody Mary and splash in a bit of the 1888.  Can’t wait for that.  That’ll hold me over while Hub fires up the grill.

One more thing.  Their customer service is more than outstanding!  You can put a little note on your order if you have a question someone will call you right away.  I got a follow-up call to be sure I was satisfied.  Their people are well spoken and intelligent.  They make you feel like they actually care about your satisfaction.  I can’t recommend these people enough.  And no, I’m not getting any breaks or discounts because I’ve written about Artizone.  This is totally my choice.

Happy 4th of July everyone!!!

Jimmy’s is Hoppin’!

Have you been to Jimmy’s on a Saturday afternoon recently?  When we pulled up, it looked like they were hosting a wedding reception or something.  Cars and people everywhere.  Luckily, we swooped in and found a parking spot right by the side door.  There were cars all up and down the street.  Hub had called ahead.  So, we had our Cuban sandwiches in just a few minutes.  We grabbed a couple of beers and sat at the bar overlooking the street.

Jimmy’s may have been filled with beautiful people this Saturday afternoon, but Bryan & Fitzhugh is still Bryan & Fitzhugh.  As we sat there munching our fabulous sandwiches and drinking Spaten from the bottle, we watched a lunatic punching a metal telephone pole with his fist.  Interesting.  Would have been a little less amusing if I had been sitting at one of the tables outside the restaurant.  Even a lunatic knows when he’s out-numbered.  He moved along quickly.

Despite how many people were packed into this place, we were able to order our sausage and meatballs and check out relatively quickly.  We got the mild Italian and tried a new one; parsley and cheese.  I’ll let you know what we think of the second choice once we try it.  Hubbard asked Mike about the crowd as he rang up our deli purchase along with some cherry Bordeaux ice cream.  He said, “12 to 3″.  Evidently it’s a madhouse between noon and 3:00 on Saturdays.  So, now you know, folks.  If we want to have some personal space at Jimmy’s on Saturday, get there early or after 3:00.  If you want to see and be seen, hopefully you can nab a good parking spot.

No More Coupons from Central Market

Do you believe it?!  They’re going to stop mailing us coupons.  Instead, you’ll get the sale flyer.  I do agree that they’ve been running some much more serious specials and freebies with a purchase.  These could potentially save you much more than the coupons.  But, I don’t know.  I just kind of liked getting them.  Oh well.  I’m sure I’ll adjust!

Bacon Menu at Central Market

Last weekend I was looking for the applewood-smoked bacon at Central Market and was pleasantly surprised to find the once lonely bacon surrounded by interesting sounding bacons of all shapes and sizes.  This immediately threw me into a tailspin.  Lordy, I was intending to throw my apple bacon into a brisket braising liquid.  What a waste.  I need to buy Oscar Meyer for that.  I should eat the apple stuff straight, like we always do.  Only this time, I need to buy some kind of interesting bacon, too.  And it’s a $1.00 off per pound.  And I can get a free t-shirt! 

I decided on my traditional and much loved apple smoked.  My second choice was one called Ten Garlic Clove bacon.  Whoa.  There are actually garlic cloves imbedded in the bacon slices.  I gotta have that.  There were tons of others.  But, I didn’t have the time to stand there and examine the name and shape of each one.  What I needed was a little menu I could take with me or study before I got the man engaged in waiting on me.  So, where’s that?  I couldn’t tell you the name of one other bacon type, though there were about 12 or more.  I think a sampling party might be in order.  Different bacon appetizers?  Wouldn’t that be a tasty little heart attack of an evening?

I took my dollar off coupon.  But, you know, who needs another white t-shirt?  I’m 46 years old for crying out loud.  It did have a picture of a piece of bacon on the shirt.  I resisted.  I’ll leave the bacon t-shirt for the younger, more t-shirt oriented crowd. 

That bacon was damn good, though.

I Just Thought I Was Excited

You have got to see that new Whole Foods store. 

I started shopping at Whole Foods way back when the store on Greenville was called Blue Bonnet.  It didn’t take long for Whole Foods to step in and take over.  I thought it was the neatest store back then… we’re talking early 80′s.  I had never been to a store that big with all natural products.  I had never even heard of ginseng or ugli fruit before then.  I loved exploring the aisles.  Eventually, I stopped going there, though.  The store seemed so cramped.  Two people could barely pass each other on an aisle if they were both pushing carts.  Once Central Market opened I didn’t even really think of Whole Foods anymore. 

This new store, though…  it’s completely different.  It’s beautiful!  It’s not at all cramped.  And it’s as green as it can be.  The store is winning award after award for it’s environmentally sound practices, freezer cases, solar lighting, etc.  It seems like every area of the store is about twice as big as the Greenville store.  There were some really good deals that our tour guide, Cookie, pointed out along the way.  Flash frozen fish and chicken products were super values.  They have a little BBQ section where they will sell smoked meats and sandwiches.  They will also smoke anything in the store for you.  There is a pizza oven with real flames leaping up.  Pizzas will be on sale for the month of March for $11.99.  Again, deal.  The baked goods section is much bigger.  They have a whole case of frozen gluten-free baked goods available.  There’s a sandwich bar.  Tons of  “gourmet to go” items.  I think there will be 8 different soups available in the seafood section.  At 7:30 the coffee bar opens, so you can grab something on the way to work.  There’s a long dining area that runs most of the length of the front of the store and outside seating, too.  I’ve heard they were going to have a water fixture outside.  But, I didn’t see that.  They have a concierge service that will do your shopping for you.  It’s really an amazing store.  I just wish it was open today!

We got a nice little re-usable goodie bag.  Mine had a jar of sundried tomato and olive bruschetta topping, a travel coffee carafe, some tomato basil soup, a little bottle of grapefruit scented shampoo, a big bar of dark chocolate and a box of sourdough crackers.  I love free stuff.  Oh, and I forgot to mention, the beer and wine section is seriously big for a grocery store.  A long aisle of beers.  That alone could keep me busy for a few months!

Let me know what you think when you visit.

Not Shopping

I just read a big egullet post about not shopping every week.  The idea was that if you spend $100 a week on groceries, you can save that much by just eating what’s in your freezer, pantry, etc. and skipping every other week’s grocery run.  I’m not so sure I think that’s a great idea. 

I agree that it’s better to avoid having to throw out food that spoiled because you’ve purchased too much and can’t use it.  I agree that if you freeze things and never use them that you might as well just be throwing things away.    But, I see no value in depleting the larder when you still have money to buy.  So, you only shop every other week? Will you really buy only $100 worth of groceries every two weeks?  Or will it turn into $200?  If you follow this plan for six months, I’m guessing you won’t have a full freezer anymore or anything to fall back on if hard times really do come down.

I think the key is to not waste food.  I almost can’t believe that it’s me saying that.  I can’t tell you how much rotten produce I’ve thrown out over the years.  But, recently I’ve started to be more careful.  I really do want to spend less.  Given endless resources, I could easily spend $200 a week on food.  Line up the $16 a pound scallops and $21 a pound beef tenderloin for me, please.  Do I want those $4.75 a pound skinny French green beans?  Hell, yes.  Unfortunately, these are lean times and I realize I can do without that kind of thing every week.  What I am trying to do now is use primarily what I have and replace the essentials as I go. 

I sit down on Saturday morning and make a grocery list.  Since I’m trying to rotate the stock in my freezer, I focus on creating dishes that use the meats that have been in the freezer the longest.  I try to find recipes that include the produce that I still have from last week’s run to Central Market.  I like to make a big pot of stew or soup that I can take to work for lunches.  I find that by not eating out at lunch every day that I’m saving about $200 a month on that alone. 

I don’t think I’ll participate in the egullet experiment.  I want to go shopping every weekend.  I’ll just spend a little less.   I already use what I have in my freezer and pantry.  And if I don’t use it, it’ll keep.  I may be a little depressed about these depression-like times.  But, I’m not going to let it stop me from enjoying myself and grocery shopping is one of my favorite things to do.

Jimmy’s Food Store’s Website

Jimmy’s finally has a website and it’s just great!  Do check it out.  There’s a little overview of the merchandise they carry.  Of course, they couldn’t list everything.  There’s so much more to see.  They tell about the history of Jimmy’s and post some fun pictures.  They even have a menu with photos of the terrific sandwhiches they sell.  Don’t be fooled by the Cuban.  It’s tastier than it looks in the picture. 

Be sure and subscribe to the newsletter because that’s how I found out that they’re taking orders for burrata right now.  Also, stracchino and robiola can be ordered.  The deadline to order is Thursday the 22nd and the cheese will arrive the week of the 26th.  The burrata only has a shelf life of about 5 days, so be prepared to eat it right away.  You’ll want to eat it in the car, it’s so good.  But, wait until you get home and drizzle a little olive oil and freshly ground black pepper over it.  It’s amazing stuff.  If you’ve never had it, it’s basically a ball of fresh mozzarella with shreds of mozzarella mixed with cream inside.  Very mild cheese.  Great with some speck, proscuitto or bresaola, some olives, crusty bread or crackers… their porchetta is really good, too.  If you want to order, send an email to paul@jimmysfoodstore.com

And remember, Jimmy’s doesn’t go out of their way to charge you as much as they possibly can.  I always find that they charge much less per pound than Central Market.  Plus, it’s just a fun little shop.  Go.  You’ll like it.