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Jan 1, 2007 06:31 PM

Bristol Farms Produce

Anyone else had bad experiences with Bristol Farms "fresh" produce? Specifically, the Newport Beach location.
Arugula, fennel, pears, figs (woeful), shallots, garlic (rotten), heirloom tomatoes (decomposing, accidentally stuck my finger through one), unripe roma tomatoes, even the fresh basil was wilting and growing black, despite still being attached to its own roots. The only GOOD produce I've bought is canned tomatoes. I expect less from other stores like Von's or Stater Bros., but a store that prides itself on fresh gourmet foods is doubly disappointing.

ps: salami at the deli is lame (but the best compared to shrink-wrapped prosciutto and pancetta).

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  1. the westchester bristol farms is the closest supermarket to my home.
    i had such high hopes for them.

    when i go there, i mainly stick to the cheese counter.
    they also carry some zylis kitchen gadgets (my favorite brand).

    their prepared meats, even the 'carved to order' meats, are shot through with chemicals.

    their produce, is somewhat better than vons, but not enough better to justify the high price.

    had some good cookies from their bakery dept.
    their freshly ground almond butter is good.

    1. I too shop at the Westchester location. I can't resist their sushi for a quick and healthy lunch. The variety that Bristol Farms offers in all departments is phenomenal and to keep it all running at top notch is a obviousy a huge challenge. The prices are high so of course you should expect top quality, and I've found that if I have a complaint or comment, management and staff are responsive. Customer service is part of the price, so I suggest notifying the Newport store or even better, their corporate office, of your dissatisfaction.

      1 Reply
      1. re: deek

        i've not experienced such 'responsiveness.'
        i've asked them to order a particular flavor of haagen daz many times, each time they say that they'll start stocking it, they never have.
        same story with the silk brand creamer. i was even told that several other customers had also asked for the creamer.\

        as for contacting the corporate office, i'd rather drive down the hill to gelsons.

      2. I had great salami at the Bristol Farms Newport Beach location!!!!...I'm definitely a novice when it comes to salami, but it rocks over others like Gelsons/Pavillions....Where do you find great salami in Newport area?

        I find the beef at Bristol better than anywhere in OC....includes Gelsons, Celestinos, Irvine Ranch Market etcc.. I just can't find better beef anywhere, and I've tried.

        2 Replies
        1. re: High Maintenance

          The prosciutto de parma there is definitely the best I have found in OC, although there isn' much competition! But the harder salamis I think taste all the same and there isn't much variety, especially for the price in my opinion. That could be chalked up to the USDA regulations on foreign imports like pata negra and other good things from Europe and elsewhere. I've never had the beef--but I've seen kobe beef there which is certainly impressive!

          1. re: missholmes

            Have you tried the cured meats at Lucca's in Irvine (Quail Hill)? Their deli case usually contains a wide selection of imported prosciutto di parma, prosciutto di san daniele, bresaola, mortadella, prosciutto cotto, salamis, etc., etc.

        2. Never was impressed with much at BF. Produce has been somwhat better than other stores but nothin special. For some reason they think they can charge more. I will say that they try to stock a more upscale variety but it just does not warrant the prices charged!

          1. Bristol Farms is owned by Albertsons which 'used to be' Alpha-Beta so keep the expectations low - they are big and corporate from the old get-go. I buy produce at Whole Foods and have always been satisfied - big and corporate, yes, and a little pricey, (remember seasons and weather) but I think they keep their management in touch with the best growers and go local if they can. And, no, I don't work for them.

            2 Replies
            1. re: OCEllen

              I won't say I haven't had bad produce from WF, but at least they'll always give you your money back if something you buy isn't up to snuff. And if you're careful about seasons, it's rare that you'll get something bad. And, while I'm typing, I have always had the best russet potatoes from there. They're enormous, a little pricey, but really do taste better than potatoes from anywhere else. They're so flakey and flavorful I can eat them baked with barely any salt or pepper. Yes, russets with actual flavor!

              1. re: OCEllen

                Your history is flawed. Alpha Beta's ownership was American stores. Round about 1990 American stores purchased Luckys. There were 3 luckys to every 1 Alpha Beta so it was cheaper to make those stores Luckys as well. Albertsons then bought the Lucky stores.