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Twin Cities: Best Place for Kitchen Supplies?

a
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?

Thanks,
Anne

  1. t
    ticrta Dec 20, 2010 07:51 PM

    A place I like is Sur La Table in Edina off of 50th and France.
    www.surlatable.com

    1. s
      ShinyCake Dec 17, 2010 05:45 PM

      Just wanted to second Marshalls and Home Goods. That's where I go when I want to buy pots, pans, and utensils. I also love Hockenbergs and AM part of the distasteful hippie clientele at the Wedge. :)

      1. m
        misterodell Dec 16, 2010 07:52 PM

        amazon.com Limitless selection, great prices, for the most part free delivery, Hell, you can even shop naked if it turns you on.

        I find great buys at Home Goods and Marshals from time to time. And don't forget thrift stores. I picked up a complete set of Lagulole flatware for 8 at a Salvation Army for $6.00 and a 12 inch All-Clad sautee pan for $3.99 within the last couple of weeks.

        1. h
          HSDadCooks2 Dec 16, 2010 01:08 PM

          After calling all of the co-ops, the natural food stores, and the specialty shops, I did find that a co-op in Burnsville had the SAF yeast, a different brand of vital wheat gluten, and a very (very) small 'dough enhancer.' No one had the quality agave I was looking for, and these are the ingredients Bosch recommends for American cooks, so I know I am not searching for extremely rare items. After this experience, and remembering why I don't like the Wedge (can you say weird sales staff, and a very hippie-esque clientele?) I am ordering online the things I need for future bread making. But at least I have the yeast, and can make ONE or two batches of home-ground/made bread. Reporting out.

          3 Replies
          1. re: HSDadCooks2
            k
            KTFoley Dec 16, 2010 02:27 PM

            "No one had the quality agave I was looking for, and these are the ingredients Bosch recommends for American cooks, so I know I am not searching for extremely rare items."

            When it comes to the specific brands to which the Bosch materials are steering their customers, that doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

            1. The Xagave website has a store locator: TWO locations within 100 miles of the 55401 zip code carry Xagave, and one of those is Kitchen Window.
            - On the other hand, every co-op carries agave nectar from a different brand.

            2. Costco carries SAF yeast -- and did you know that Red Star and SAF are owned by the parent company?
            - On the other hand, every co-op also carries fresh yeast in the refrigerated bulk section and jarred Red Star or an equivalent in the baking section.

            3. The Kitchen Resource website redirects to a L'Equp webiste, which also has a store locator. Of the five locations within 100 miles of the 55401 zip code, TWO carry the consumables that would include your dough enhancer. One is in Mora; the other is in Apple Valley.

            4. The Vital Wheat Gluten product on the Bosch website has the same logo as the dough enhancer, so the best bet for that is Mora and Apple Valley.
            - On the other hand, that ingredient is also available from these brands that are available in the co-ops too: Bob's Red Mill, Hodgson Mill, Arrowhead Mills.

            So, no sympathy here. Two other perspectives instead:
            - First, the specific brand name products on the Bosch website are offered so that you'll buy them from the Bosch distributors; some part of that exclusivity is directed towards securing ongoing income from the consumables rather than because those really are the best. That IS the latest trendy kitschy glitz.

            - Great homemade bread comes from yeast, flour, water, salt. Vital wheat gluten and dough enhancer are extraneous, except perhaps to gluten-free bread. If that's the case, here's a hat tip for the unintentional humor of a rant about finding gluten-free items in a town built on milling flour. Instead contact the gluten free bakeries about the possibility of buying an ingredient from them.

            -----
            Kitchen Window
            3001 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

            1. re: KTFoley
              k
              KTFoley Dec 16, 2010 08:10 PM

              Oh geez, I do apologize for being so silly!! Please let me retract the reference to vital wheat gluten in the last paragraph of the previous post -- obviously wheat gluten has no place in gluten-free bread. (DUH!)

              I have no idea what part it plays in a bread recipe, nor why it would be needed except that the gadget-makers are pushing it.

              1. re: KTFoley
                s
                soupkitten Dec 16, 2010 09:56 PM

                it's handy for making seitan, other mock meats, and also for high density baked goods, i'd imagine. i like being able to get it in large or small quantity, as i need it, at the co-op, any co-op. love your rundown above. if the poster above does any great quantity of baking, a co-op membership would probably pay off, since they will often order specialty flours etc in bulk for individuals at a discount, or 25# sacks of whole grains for the handy bread mill, or whatever. mostly local and organic as a matter of course, unlike a cub store. if the poster doesn't want to commit to a membership, he can still shop a co-op for bulk items pretty cheaply.

                don't like the wedge? hey you're not alone on that (though i do like it). the new seward co-op on franklin ave, the 2 mississippi markets in st paul, and the lakewinds store are big and pretty with large selection and have nice & helpful staff in my experience. good luck finding all your baking needs.

          2. h
            HSDadCooks2 Dec 16, 2010 05:44 AM

            (My first post, so go easy on me.)

            This info is great and all, but where does one go to get SPECIFIC supplies to make FOOD? I can get King Arthur Flour, Gen'l Mills Flour, and Red Star yeast at any store from Cub on up, but I just got a Nutrimill Grain Grinder and a Bosch Universal Plus for Christmas, and I am starting to make my own bread, cookies, rolls - from scratch (well, from mill!). And so I started looking for: (specifically) SAF yeast, Kitchen Resource Dough Enhancer, Xagave organic sweetener, Vital Wheat gluten.... you know, the STUFF all our gadgets are supposed to be helping us make as food... like bread? And... short of ordering these edible/foodstuff items online from some cottage industries way out of state, I am at a loss that NO grocery/upscale 'cooking' store seems to carry this sort of foundational foodstuff here in the "Grain Capitol" of the Midwest. Have we been 'twinkie-d' to death here in MSP, too, to only want white processed flour and questionable ingredients, and then, having settled for inferior food, have to settle for the latest trendy kitschy glitz at W-S, or Crocus (and pay top dollar as well) to make up for the difference? I mean, I like toys as well as the next person, but a whisk is a whisk. It's to whip eggs, not to be be 'chic-er than the Johnsons'.. at least, not in our house. And so, when I can't even find the 'stuff' to make our 'daily bread', I think, what the....? Or are these things just not listed at the online sites of the various 'cooking stores'? I really, really wanna make Christmas cookies and breads, BEFORE Xmas, not after. Anyone have any helpful suggestions where to get these items in the immediate geographical area?
            - Homeschool Dad who cooks, too!

            4 Replies
            1. re: HSDadCooks2
              John E. Dec 16, 2010 07:23 AM

              Have you tried the food coops, organic stores, et al?

              1. re: HSDadCooks2
                s
                shoo bee doo Dec 16, 2010 07:39 AM

                I would check out the coops. They have some things you talk about. Each coop has unique items, so I would phone them and ask. The Linden Hills coop just reopened and I saw a lot of products I hadn't seen before.

                After Christmas, I would consider checking out Traditional Foods Minnesota. They recently had their embargo lifted and are going to be stocking their warehouse again. If you become involved, you could have some influence on which products they order. There are many like-minded members. One of the members grinds her own grains and makes the most delectible shortbread.

                1. re: HSDadCooks2
                  Foureyes137 Dec 16, 2010 10:32 AM

                  I'll pile it on: Almost all (or at least half) of the ingredients you list are available in most coops around the Twin Cities. Certainly SAF Yeast, Agave sweetener and dough enhancer.

                  1. re: Foureyes137
                    g
                    getgot211 Dec 16, 2010 12:58 PM

                    yup, I get SAF at the Wedge, and agave is everywhere.

                2. drew13000 Jun 21, 2010 10:48 AM

                  How about T.J. Maxx? The one on 494 has a huge array of utensils, gadgets, mixing bowls, Pyrex, etc. as well as cookware. You won't find high-end cookware (other than the occasional All Clad or Le Creuset defective) but if you're just looking for some basics, you can likely find it there. And it's also a few doors down from a Bed Bath & Beyond, which could cover you for anything you can't find at TJM. Sign up for BBB mailing list and they'll send you frequent 20% off coupons.

                  1. John E. Jun 20, 2010 10:05 AM

                    At the risk of violating your personal vow, Ikea, not the MOA, has a good selection on the products you mentioned. Other than the local stores already mentioned, Superior Products, a restaurant supply store in Roseville, also has a lot of stuff and is more reasonably priced than say, Cook's of Crocus Hill (much as I like them).

                    http://www.superprod.com/text/html/st...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: John E.
                      m
                      maauwi Jun 21, 2010 07:54 AM

                      Agree with those choices - IKEA has some great prices on cooking utensils, glassware and china as well as pots and pans - decent not great quality on the pot and pans. But one can't beat a probe thermometer for 7 or 8 bucks.
                      Superior in Roseville has a smaller selection but good prices and commercial grade items. I bought a 14 inch sauté pan for under $ 40 there and have been using it for over a year with great results.
                      There used to be a fairly large restaurant supply store near Lake and Hiawatha but I can't remember the name for the life of me........

                      1. re: maauwi
                        s
                        SmartCookie Jun 21, 2010 08:01 AM

                        I live close to Lake and Hiawatha and don't know of any restaurant supply store there. Maybe a long time ago....

                    2. m
                      middlechef Jun 19, 2010 11:06 AM

                      I have found Kohl's or Macy's to have alot of kitchen items you mention. I am looking for a place to buy chef's ingredients such as xanthum gum and truffles. Any ideas????

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: middlechef
                        Foureyes137 Jun 20, 2010 07:22 AM

                        Fresh Black Truffles (packed in rice): Broders

                        Xantham Gum: Most grocers that stock Bob's Red Mill either have this or can get it. You can also get it cheaper on Amazon or several other websites.

                      2. a
                        AnneInMpls Feb 17, 2006 07:23 PM

                        Thanks for all the tips about Hockenbergs! I haven't been there for years; I had forgotten about them. I went this afternoon and had lots of fun. I found a nice pizza stone and a magnetic knife bar, plus several things I didn't know I needed. (How could I have lived this long without any quarter-size sheet pans???)

                        I didn't get everything on my list (their cheapest electronic scale was $215), but I made a good start.

                        I've already been to Let's Cook in NE Minneapolis, and it's not the place to go for wide selection or basic tools. They carry a handful of top-of-the-line items, with prices to match. But they're the only place in Minneapolis that carries Jamie's Truffles, from a local just-getting-started chocolate maker who does lovely things with cream, liqueurs, and Belgian chocolate. I'm addicted to the Grand Marnier truffles. Not to mention the Chambord truffles. And the White Chocolate Lime truffles! (Drat, now I've drooled on my keyboard...) Check out www.jamiestruffles.com and join me moaning with delight.
                        )
                        Anyway, thanks for the info! I'm heading to Kitchen Window next.

                        Thanks,
                        Anne

                        1. a
                          ajs Feb 17, 2006 04:39 PM

                          Anne-
                          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.

                          andrew

                          1. m
                            McGeary Feb 17, 2006 10:25 AM

                            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.

                            Link: http://www.hockenbergs.com/twin_citie...

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: McGeary
                              d
                              Danny Feb 17, 2006 11:07 AM

                              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....

                              1. re: Danny
                                m
                                McGeary Feb 17, 2006 12:43 PM

                                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.

                                1. re: McGeary
                                  d
                                  Danny Feb 17, 2006 01:51 PM

                                  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.

                              2. re: McGeary
                                k
                                kcmarshall Feb 17, 2006 12:13 PM

                                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. ;)

                                Kevin

                              3. d
                                Danny Feb 17, 2006 10:23 AM

                                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.

                                Link: http://www.hockenbergs.com/

                                1. j
                                  Jordan Feb 17, 2006 09:42 AM

                                  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.

                                  Link: http://www.kitchenwindow.com

                                  1. v
                                    venus_de_mpls Feb 17, 2006 12:46 AM

                                    I really like Cooks of Crocus Hill. They are really knowledgeable and helpful.

                                    877 Grand Ave
                                    St Paul, MN 55105-3008
                                    (651) 228-1333

                                    3925 W 50th St
                                    Edina, MN 55410
                                    (612) 285-1903

                                    Not in the mall at all!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: venus_de_mpls
                                      a
                                      Alice Feb 17, 2006 07:26 AM

                                      so along the same lines as Anne, is there a place like Cooks of Crocus Hill that is not so expensive? I agree that they have a good selection, but it is so pricey!

                                      1. re: Alice
                                        p
                                        Plautus Feb 17, 2006 09:10 AM

                                        Cooks of Crocus Hill is insanely expensive, ditto Williams Sonoma. I recently bought some high quality kitchenware (e.g., an All-Clad skillet) on eBay and got a very good deal.

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