Twin Cities: Best Place for Kitchen Supplies?
- AnneInMpls Feb 16, 2006 05:47 PM
Are there any good kitchen stores in the Twin Cities?
I've been buying a lot of ingredients lately (my favorite stores: United Noodles and Caspian Bistro's deli) and now I need to do something with them. But I haven't bought any kitchen stuff for years.
I want to go where I can get the best selection and and decent prices. But selection is paramount. (I need things like a pizza stone, a hand blender, a good kitchen scale, a juice squeezer, an oven-safe thermometer, and magnetic knife bars.)
One caveat: I can't go to the Megamall. (It's a personal vow - never been, never will.) Any suggestions for non-MOA kitchen shopping?
Kitchen Window, in Calhoun Square. Great selection, knowledgeable staff.
There's a new kitchen store in Nordeast. It's on Hennepin, at the corner with 4th Ave (I think). I haven't been in there, but it looks promising.
Bed, Bath, & Beyond (many locations) has a good selection. Prices will probably be lower than at the independent stores, but you won't get really knowledgeable help if you have a lot of questions. Still, if you know what you want, and you can tell which items are quality, BB&B is a good shopping choice.
Check out a restaurant supply store. Many of them sell to the public, alot of the stuff you're talking about can be found for a lot less money than the specialty stores. (Some may be less showy, but they're made to withstand a very tough environment.)
I go to Hockenbergs, because it is close to work, but there are others around as well. Check the Yellow Pages. I know for a fact they have pizza stones (and really cheap pizza peels), scales, juicers, scales, thermometers, and knife bars. I've seen gigantic hand blenders there too, I'm not sure if they have a "consumer sized" one - but you could get one of those pretty cheap at Target.
For things like knives, cutting boards, measuring spoons, baking pans, cast iron, etc., etc., I love going to Hockenbergs (URL posted below), a restaurant-supply company in an industrial park off of Hwy. 280 in Minneapolis. It's a warehouse, so there's no ambience, but the prices are great and it is a blast to browse around. They have everything from cookware and dishes to industrial mixers and stainless-steel prep tables. It's open to the public and definitely a place every chowhound should know about.
Is there an echo in here? :-)
Seriously... Hockenberg's is awesome, although I always end up buying too much stuff.
Actual thoughts that have gone through my head there:
"The baking sheets are so great, and if I buy 3 more, I can get all the cookies ready without having to worry about letting them cool between batches, besides, they're less than $5 each..."
"You know, It always seems like the tongs are dirty when I want to use them. They're only $1.50, I'll just buy some more..."
"I love having that dredger of cajun seasonings always ready for use. I should buy a few more dredgers, for the next spice mixes I come up with. They're less than a dollar..."
I've been eyeing their Forschner knives for a while, they're next....
Hee hee! Great minds, and all that. I HAVE actually loaded up on baking sheets there, for that very reason. Also have the cheap tongs, and a Forschner boning knife, and some glass dessert plates, and a cast-iron skillet, and and and AND! I've stopped shopping there regularly, because my kitchen storage space is maxed out. I'm going to have to move to a new place to accommodate my Hockenbergs habit.
I should have noted that those thoughts did result in those purchases - for those reasons. I have a pile of the half sheets and quarter sheets. (The quartersheets actually get the most usage - did you know that they're they're the exact side you need to broil a bunch of asparagus.)
I just picked my first square Cambro container (and lid). I have this sinking feeling that over the coming months every cabinet in my kitchen will become full of them.
By the way, they're open until 5PM M-F and either noon or 1PM on Saturdays.
I'll add another "me too" on Hockenbergs. I've bought a few things there and get a major cooking-geek buzz from just walking the aisles.
One important note: you're not going to find fabulous prices on high-end All-Clad pans here - they probably don't even carry them. A restauranteur doesn't need one fancy-schmancy saute pan - she needs 25 reasonably-priced, servicable saute pans to use, beat up and throw away. The appliances may also be more expensive because they're pro equipment and built to survive the aforementioned beatings.
Anne, your list is perfect for Hockenbergs. By all means, give them a visit. Do call about their hours; remember their main clientele is busy evenings and weekends. ;)
can't speak to Hockenbergs, never been. Though I plan to fix that in a hurry.
I will third and fourth ( what the hell, and fifth) Kitchen Window. It is the kind of joint where much of the help uses the stuff, and can tell you why they like one item over another. They have even gone so far as to say 'don't be silly, what you have will do perfectly well, you do not need to buy this item', which is my pinnacle of retail service.
Good assortment of cooking chocolates, too.
Cook's of Crocus Hill is much closer to me, here in Saint Paul. I go to Kitchen Window if for no other reason than superior service, in my experience. Kitchen Window is much larger and has a wider selection, as well as knowing what they are selling.
In the grip of whimsy, I ducked into Let's Cook!, the place in NE mentioned elsewhere in this thread. They have a tres chic kitchen that takes up about a third of the place. They are aptly named, as they are much better set up for cooking than for selling you tools to do your own cooking. I kept looking for the rest of the store. Though I did spot pizza stones, the overall selection is probably better at Target. A nice young woman showed me the chocolate selection, which consisted of two bars of Michel Cuizel. Not two kinds. Two bars.
Maybe I would condense it to say that Cook's is more for foodies, KW for 'hounds. Just my opinion, though.
Vita Breve, go to Kitchen Window. And I hear you about MOA. Sadly, it is the only Nordstrom's for a ways.
Thanks everyone else, for alerting me to Hockenbergs.