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August 2007 - Grocery outlet

  • z

jogged through Oakland Grocery Outlet at Broadway and 29th Street this afternoon:

-Godiva Ice Cream bars, 3 bars in a box, 9 oz., $1.49, white chocolate & rasberry swirl bar in a Godiva coating. didn't get it but sure looked good.

-Casual Gourmet Chicken Sausage w/Roasted Peppers & 5 Cheese Blend, 3 lbs (15 links), $5.99, fully cooked, no nitrates, no nitrites, no MSG, no antibiotics, fully cooked, in a pork casing, 9 grams total fat per 3 oz. link. From Monterey Gourmet Foods in Salinas. Expiration date Aug 25, 2007. good tasting sausage for about $2/lb. lots of packages.

- Brown Cow Lemon Nonfat Yogurt, 32 oz., $.99, expiration date is Aug 16, 2007. They also had a blueberry regular yogurt. The cartons were going fast while I was there and not many left. from Brown Cow Farm in Antioch. all natural w/ live cultures. tastes good. I got this instead of the Godiva bars.

- SOYUM Chocolate SoyMilk, 32 oz. carton, 3 cartons for $1. no kidding. Made with organic soybeans. lowfat, about 2.5 grams fat per 8 oz. serving. the expiration date says 'July 07' so it's possible that it's slightly past date but at 33 cents per box, you could buy a hundred and take a bath in it. They were located on a shelf above the freezers, not in the deli sections. bought 6 and will use it in my coffee and they should last until Halloween.

Didn't see any new beers except for a minikeg (Coors?).

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  1. You put chocolate soy milk in your coffee? Cool -- instant mocha!

    I've recently gotten in to chocolate soy milk (a nutritious way to manage the chocolate cravings), so thanks for the tip. Those chicken sausages sound mighty tasty, too!

    9 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      I bought those sausages last week and was pleasantly surprised at how tasty they were. Highly recommended.

      1. re: Hunicsz

        Thanks for the feedback on the sausages. There are so many of them in the pack I didn't want to get stuck with something I didn't like. The Aidell's meatballs were enough of an adventure for me.

        They have individual sizes (6 oz maybe) of Brown Cow in various flavors 3 for $1. Similar sizes of Horizon organic yogurt are also 3 for $1.

        Cans of Earth Pure organic tomato sauce were 2 for $1.

        Large cans of Nature's promise organic whole, chopped and crushed tomatoes (some with basil) are 79 cents.

        Arrowhead Mills 10 oz boxes of Amarinth flour are 2 for $1.

        HUGE 100 serving boxes of Quaker Oatmeal are $5.99.

        And just to mention again because the price is so great, boxes of pectin that sell at Albertsons and Safeway for $2.79 are 2 for $1 at Grocery Outlet.

        1. re: rworange

          I didn't see those sausages in that GO this evening, but they did have individual packages of chicken with spinach and gouda for $2.29. I had them for dinner and they were delicious.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Does GO take manufacturer's coupons, 'cause if so, Score! I bought some Fantastic World Foods dehydrated "cup of soup/noodles" made by Homegrown Naturals in Napa. They looked convenient to keep in the desk drawer and not overly filled with nasty chemicals. They were 2/$1, which I thought was a pretty good deal. But when I opened one up, I saw that inside the outer cardboard casing was a 50 cent off coupon, so if I go back for more, they're ... free! Can't beat that price!

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              For the most part, they do not take coupons. I remember one guy in line ripped off a coupon that was on his beer and tried to use it but couldn't. They explained they do take a certain kind of coupon but most coupons don't qualify.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                No - we don't take manufacturer's coupons. Reason is, most of what we buy is either excess inventory, package is being changed or a size, flavor or brand that is no longer being produced - so they are sold to us at or very close to the manufacturer's cost to produce - they're not making enough off of us to fund coupons.
                We occasionally put out our own coupons that are good at any Grocery Outlet. Some individual stores will also put out coupons that are only good at their location.

            2. re: rworange


              I missed your Aidell's meatball info. Somehow they didn't appeal to me at all! The packaging made them look like plastic. Were they any good?

              Looks like everybody in the world has gotten into the sausage sweepstakes!

              1. re: oakjoan

                No. No flavor of the meatballs is any good. They are not horrible, just not at all tasty. The best of the lot was the chipotle ... but I ate those during my $3 a day dining thing ... so that could have slightly upped their appeal. The worst are the sundried tomato which are pure salt. The teriyaki pineapple tastes like niether teriyaki nor pineapple. The buffalo wing or something like that are inoffensive at bestt.

        2. Anymore wine specials or close-outs? Are the Covey Run chardonnays still there for 99 cents a bottle (by the case)?

          16 Replies
          1. re: baron45

            not positive, but think that I did see some more Covey Run Chardonnay in the Oakland store. Noticed some Rabbit Ridge wine, but don't remember the variety. the boxed wines they had before were mostly gone.

            Grocery Outlet
            2900 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611

            1. re: zippo

              They had some boxed wines -- I bought some Turning Leaf chard to use for cooking -- $2.99 for three liters, which is 75 cents a bottle. They also had a Turning Leaf red (Merlot, I think) for the same price. They had some other boxed wines as well. I just realized (duh!) that boxed wines are perfect for cooking, since you can use what you need and then keep the rest for quite a while

              They had Chateau la Paws (the label Rosenblum uses for their Rhone varietal blends) for $3.99 -- both the red and the white, 2002 vintage. I bought a couple of reds that looked interesting: a 2004 Cottesbrook (NZ) Pinot Noir ($4.99) and a 2003 Spires Barossa Valley Shiraz ($3.99).

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                I opened up the Turning Leaf chardonnay and found it to be perfectly acceptable cooking wine -- fruity, without any oak or vanilla (which I hate). Not terribly sophisticated, but not thin and sour like bad white wine, either. I love that it will keep in the cupboard as I use what I want, instead of taking up room in the fridge.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  It doesn't say to refrigerate the box after tapping?

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    I looked, and the package doesn't say anything about refrigerating. Maybe it assumes you will refrigerate it, because you'll be drinking it chilled. I don't know why it would need to be refrigerated if the packaging is keeping it airtight and aseptic.

                    I'll look again, though.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      I double-checked the box last night -- read every panel, and there was no mention of refrigeration.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        Thanks for checking. I'll be interested in hearing how the first ounce compares to the last ounce.

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          Well, since I'm not drinking it straight, it will be hard to tell. I'll notice if it goes off, of course, but not necessarily if it diminishes in quality slightly.

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            The typical claim is that boxed wine will stay fresh for 6 weeks without refrigeration. If your consumption is slower than that, it would be interesting to hear how it fares especially unrefrigerated. You might think about tasting a little of it before adding it to anything you're cooking, wouldn't want to spoil dinner.

                            WSJ - Boxed Wines Face the Six-Week Challenge

            2. re: baron45

              Covey Run is gone - there may be a little left in a few stores, but that's it.
              Now we've got Veramonte Chardonnay - $2.99 a bottle or $1.99 when you buy a case. I haven't tried it (and I'm not a Chardonnay fan myself) so I can't vouch for it...

              1. re: David Carlson

                If it's the same vintage of Veramonte chard, I had it about 18 months ago when it first hit the shelf. I assumed it was off-loaded due to the realignment in ownership and distribution and a sure bet. At the time was a lovely wine, a very good example of what Casablanca Valley can produce in Chardonnay and the price was a little higher then. I tried it again about 8 months ago and the finish and body have shrunk, but I's think it's still worth $2.99 to sample. Hope someone will try it and let us know.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Heh ... with my last dinner, I considered my $3 a day eating plan over, so I opened the bottle of 2004 Veramonte Chardonnay. Don't know if that is the same bottle you tried.

                  The bad news is that this is coming from someone who knows nada about wine and just spent a month slurping FIsh Eye wines. Not that that isn't a decent wine, but right now anything else tastes great to me.

                  It doesn't have the buttery taste of most chardonnay's with more of a sharp edge. There's a little apple taste to it. If I did a blind tasting I would never identify this as a chard. It would seem worth trying for the $2.99 price and see if it matches personal wine tastes.

                  1. re: rworange

                    Good tasting note, rw! That's good news if the chardonnay is holding onto its acidity levels. The sharper edge of higher acid levels and green apple taste/aromas are hallmarks of the chardonnay grape variety grown in a cooler climate. The Casablanca area in Chile has the cool climate for growing Burgundian varieties, that is, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and has a lot of promise.

                    The first time I tasted it, I did sit down to write a formal tasting note because I thought this showed its regional character so well, plus being well-made compared to its price point peers. But it's not at hand. I can't remember whether it had any malo-lactic fermentation or not --- does it say on the back label? I do recall that the texture and creaminess on the palate seemed like it had been subject to battonage (lees stirring).

                    When it first appeared on the shelves, there was also a Veramonte Merlot, maybe 2002 vintage, that was very good too. But I didn't think it would hold up very long.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      Nope, no info about fermentation on the back label, just where it is grown, the vintner, the importer, alcohol (13.5%), the govt warning about drinking alcohol, and their own evaluation "stunning ... with sumptous fruit flavors, a touch of spice and a crisp, refreshing finish".

                      I agree with the last. When I have another glass for dinner, I'll have to evaluiate the rest. BTW, it is a screwtop cap.

                      Thanks for the info.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        Hey ... thanks for mentioning the Merlot. I just remembered today there was a red you tried, so I picked up a bottle of the 2000 and 2003 Veramonte Cabarnet Sauvignon.

                        The 2000 was past its prime. It is drinkable but pretty flat. The cork was crumbly.

                        However, the 2003 when it was first opened was amazing. Saying it was the best bottle of $2.99 wine is damning it with faint praise. It outclassed most of the wines I've had up to the $20 range.

                        It had the taste of blueberries and the tannin had just mellowed perfectly. A few hours earlier for breakfast I had fresh blueberries I bought from Rainbow Orchard and there was not mistaking this wine had a strong note exactly like that.

                        The only wierd thing is I think it fades quickly. I had another glass a few hours later and it didn't have all the pronoucned flavors just after opening. I'm going to buy another bottle tommorrow to see if the taste is different from what I have left.

                        Disclaimer: I know nothing about wine. Like people say about art ... I only know what I like.

                        The San Pablo Grocery Outlet now has a fresh meat counter. There's a lot of cryo-vacked beef, some of the big tubes of hamburger and fresh Tyson chicken. The chicken prices were pretty good ... about 99 cents lb. The beef seemed pricy, but I don't buy a lot of beef. Given the nearby Raley's markdowns, I doubt I'd be buying meat here.

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          A friend who worked in the wine industry for quite a while really loved the chardonnay saying it was as good as any 20 - 30 bottle he's tried. The first words out of his mouth were about the malo-lactic fermentation ... which he is fond of.

                          He said it reminded him of Mataza Creek Winery's chardonnays ... in the glory years prior to being sold to Kendall-Jackson ... not in the same class but he thought it compared favorably.

                          He was working in the wine biz about the time Matanzas was first producing Journey.

                          He tasted apple and melon and thought it was buttery which I still don't detect. He's planning on picking up quite a bit more. He really thought it was an outstanding price.

                          He wasn't as fond of the 2003 Cabernet as I was straight of a newly opened bottle, but liked the comparison bottle I had opened a few days before. He thought it benefitted from airation but thought it was oaky and still had too much tanin and would benefit by aging a few more years in the bottle.

                          He did like the 2000 cab more but thought neither was in the same class as the chard.

                2. Spotted at RWC today:

                  -Horizon Lowfat Organic Yogurt Tubes - $1.29 -- (8) 2 oz. tubes to pkg. 4 blueberry, 4 strawberry. 2 oz. isn't much, but the tube is a good form factor for eating in the car on the way to work.

                  -Dannon Frusion smoothies -- $2 for 1. Banana berry flavor only. It does have HFCS. Exp. date was 8/16. I passed and bought Horizon Organic Yogurt Tubes instead. Left me wondering why didn't I buy more of those Stonyhill Farms ones...esp. after I noticed they were $1.69 at Whole Foods.

                  - Terra chips - $1.99 -- Salt and vinegar. I'm not a big fan, but they're ok.

                  -Aidell's sausages - $2.99. Mostly mango. A couple of packages of pork andouille. And of course, the dreaded buffalo (wing flavored) meatballs from last month's thread.

                  -Del Monte organic tomato paste - 39 cents.

                  -Seeds of Change pasta sauce - $1.99 -- Summer tomato basil and Balsamic & Onion. I got the summer tomato basil. It's a pretty chunky sauce. Nice for quick homemade pizza.

                  -Capri bococcini - $2.49.

                  -Haagen Dazs -- $1.49 - Dulce de Leche and Caramel Cone. Dulce de Leche was new today. Full fat.

                  I saw a couple of people w/ bottles of Chateau Souvrain Chardonnay in their carts, but none in the store. I've had bad luck w/ the wines, so I didn't take the risk.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: kivarita

                    Haven't tried it yet, but for $1.99 I took a chance with the Chateau Souvrain 2002 Sauvignon Blanc. Also picked up the $1.99 Viognier from Domaine De Vedilhan which probably was throwing $2 bucks away since it is a 2000 bottle ... welcome to the new millenium.

                    The colorful little red chile on the bottle of PKNT carmenere from Chile got to me so I threw $2.99 to the wind since I never tried carmenere before ... good or bad. Though since Bronco Wine is the US distributor, I'm not expecting too much. Won't try any of these till later in the week.

                    For the person who asked, the San Pablo store still has a lot of of Covey Run for $1.49 with a case discount.

                    The other boxed wine for $2.99 is the Black Swan ... which is ... well, Black Swan ... go with the Turning Leaf if buying what is available boxed currently.

                    1. re: rworange

                      Thanks for the Covey Run observation. I'll have to make a stop and load up. I bought 6 cases a month ago and other customers were inquiring about it. Decent wine for 99 cents a btl.

                      1. re: baron45

                        There were still about 8 cases of Covey Run at the San Pablo store as of today.

                        1. re: rworange

                          The Berkeley GO had lots of the Covey Run chard today.

                  2. At the Redwood City GO the other day, they were selling the large bars of Ghirardelli intense dark chocolate (70%) and dark chocolate with citrus for $1 per bar. Excellent price and the quality was fine.

                    1. I was looking through my coupon/grocery store ads that I get in the mail, and noticed one for Grocery Outlet (which I hadn't noticed before) and it mentioned that a new location has opened in Sonoma county, in Rohnert Park. 6335 Commerce Blvd, across the street from the Safeway shopping center. Just thought I would mention it. So now Sonoma county has three locations, Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Rohnert Park.

                      They also seem to be having some sort of contest, where, if you put your grocery receipt into a box they provide, along with your name and phone number, you can win (3 lucky winners! says the flier) a Grocery Outlet GIft Card. Drawing held on Aug. 31st at noon. I'm not sure if this is all the locations, or just the new one in Rohnert Park.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: chocolateninja

                        Hey, if you go to Santa Rosa GO, be sure to look for the fancy pasta for $1 box - Artigiano Pastaio from Cav. Giuseppe Cocco - 1# boxes of angelhair & spaghetti, other boxes of shapes. 6 choices in all. Lots of organic tomato products if you go for that, but basil is flourishing now too.

                        1. re: Stephanie Sugars

                          You should ask for the Department Manager or the store Owner, either will know when they get their loads. If you ask for the Buyer, they may send you to corporate headquarters. We love hearing from customers, but we don't know when each store gets their delivery.

                          1. re: Stephanie Sugars

                            End of August report -

                            At Santa Rosa store today-

                            The Fine Cheese Company crackers 6.2 oz box for $1.49 (walnut-oat and oat with mustard & black peppe). From chow review - "Seek out The Fine Cheese Co. crackers. They make an amazing variety of crackers to "pair" with cheese ...But they have a "walnut & oat" biscuit that rocks the socks off of the Carr's! " (http://www.chow.com/digest/3074). Best by Oct. 2007. Taste great to me, not stale. I think they're hard to find & usually sell for much higher price.

                            Seeds of Change Bayano organic chocolate bars with 70% dark chocolate with cacao nibes & cinnamon oil - 3.53 oz for $1.49.

                            The pasta mentioned in post above is just about gone. Only angelhair left. Across the aisle are organic roasted garlic and chopped ginger in 4.25 oz bottles for $1 and Eden organic apple concentrate for $1.50. Also, many organic tomato sauce products.

                            Thomas Ballantyne Scottish Smoked Salmon Pieces, 8 ounces. deli package, $3.99 still available.

                            As are green mussels mentioned by Zippo on 8/19.

                            Organic brown eggs $2 for 18.

                            Price of milk is rising - now $1.29.

                            May we please start a new GO thread on Saturday?

                            Grocery Outlet
                            1116 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

                        2. Yesterday at Vallejo GO I couldn't resist:

                          - Muir Glen Organic Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Sauce $1.99
                          - Muir Glen Organic Hot Salsa $1.99
                          - Sanstede Black Forest Proscuitto $1.99
                          - New York Style Sausage Company Vino & Formaggio Sausage Rolls $1.99
                          - Antica Pasteria Crespelle ricotta e spinaci (imported from Italy) $2.49 for a package of 4
                          - Barbara's Bakery Puffin cereal .99 (French & English label)
                          - Quaker Instant Grits $.99 (24 oz. canister)

                          I've seen the Antica Pasteria stuff in there before and kicked myself later for not getting some. They also had the organic diced tomatoes (stacked on the shelf over the cold box), and I think they had the Casual Gourmet sausages. There were also several varieties of smoked salmon, some looking better than others. I got some smoked salmon there in January that was so heavily dyed it tinted the sour cream on my potato pancakes and interesting orange color.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Ruby Louise

                            I was in the Petaluma GO today and bought 48 oz. cans of Muir Glen crushed tomatoes with basil and the whole tomatoes for $1.29.

                          2. Any opinions on which days of the week are better for catching new stock? I seem to be having better luck on Sundays than during the week.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: kivarita

                              Call your local store and ask to speak to the buyer (ex. deli), then ask which days deliveries come. Be sure to mention specialty items you want (ex. imported cheeses). The buyers order from a list and can make choices. Santa Rosa seems to have lots of organic choices - probably because customers ask. GO buyers seem to be responsive. Also stores remerchandise daily and stock moves from place to place. Those big displays of heavy things - ouch.

                            2. I came across what I believe to be a SERIOUS wine bargain today at the Petaluma GO.

                              2003 "La Calonica" Vino Nobile Di Montepluciano, estate bottled by Fernando Catani for $2.99!

                              This winery gets a very nice writeup in my 1998 Gambero Rosso Italian wine guide (the most recent one I own). Vino Nobile typically sells in the $15-$30 range, so I think the risk/reward ratio at $2.99 is pretty good on this one. I bot 3 bottles but have not opened any yet.

                              1. The problem I have found with Grocery Outlet is the frozen ice cream bars often times have melted once and been refrozen so they are kind of funky. Ice Cream never really tastes right after melting and refreezing. Other than that I find treasures at Grocery Outlet when I visit. Coupled with The Old Town Farmer's Market (better quality produce for cheaper at the Farmer's Market) on Fridays I rarely need to go to Safeway any more.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Pony_girl

                                  I've lucked out with the ice cream so far, but I by pints usually rather than bars. However, I've heard the ice cream is one of the risky items.

                                  Yeah, isn't it something. When I shop at Raley's or Safeway or whatever, I just can't see paying the prices anymore ... especially for juice.

                                  It isn't food, but they are selling 4-packs of All Mighty laundry degergent for $10.99 ... or about $2.75 per ... which I've never seen less expensive anywhere.

                                  My SO has coffee preferences for brand name or Latino coffee. Currently they are selling something called Cardenon coffee ... or something close to it. I bought some for him and he liked it. It isn't bad. No dimension but it is a nice inoffensive mild coffee. It is $3.49 for a very large can. Peet's people would not be happy. Blue Bottle people would die, but much better than stuff like Maxwell House.

                                  1. re: rworange

                                    Sometimes the Oakland Grocery Outlet has an interesting array of teas. A few weeks ago picked up-

                                    - Mount of Olives Treasures Green Tea Chai, $1.49 (?), 20 tea bags, about 1 oz., in a hexagon shaped box. from Israel with green tea, cinnamon, rose petal, star anise, ginger, cloves, black pepper, cardamon, nutmeg, olive leaves (!), lemon grass, grape leaves (!), pomegranate leaves (!), galangal root and hyssop.

                                    My usual breakfast drink is coffee, (Java Time in a 28 oz. bag for $5.99 ? or $3.99 ? at GO - better than the canned coffee) with a couple chai tea bags thrown in the coffemaker and then topped off with chocolate soy milk. might not appeal to everyone but I find it pretty tasty.

                                    1. re: zippo

                                      It's worth mentioning again that that chocolate soy milk is an amazing value at 3 quarts for a dollar. I've never drunk soy milk, but coincidentally I bought some chocolate soy milk at TJ's three weeks ago and was very impressed by the price/convenience/taste/nutrition/calorie value (in other words, it tastes good, it's nutritious, it's relatively low in calories and it's easy to buy, store, take to work, etc.). I like the TJ's organic a tad better than the Soy-Um on sale at GO, but the Soy-Um is perfectly drinkable, and although it's not completely organic, it is made with organic/nonGMO soybeans.

                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                        you're right, Ruth. Trader Joe's does have an unsweetened soy milk, 32 oz. carton for $1.29, which has a more traditional taste. The imitation meat products made with soy or wheat gluten such as Yves, Morningstar and Gardenburger have become pretty sophisticated in the last few years and Grocery Outlet often carries these items and, if it is close to the expiration date, at super bargain prices.

                                        Just finished the 3-lb package of Casual Gourmet Chicken Sausage and they were a good Aidells wannabe. Did some googling, and the Casual Gourmet company is affiliated with Sonoma Cheese and Monterey Pasta.

                                2. Since I was in Vallejo today and driving past Grocery Outlet it seemed like a good time to check it out.

                                  It is the most organized GO I've been in and carries some specialty items I haven't seen in the other stores

                                  - 46 oz of Pom Pomegranate juice $2.99
                                  - Eiffel Tower European style butter from Argentina $1.49
                                  - Anchor New Zealand butter
                                  - Jeramiah's Pick Andes Gold Organic coffee beans 12 oz $4.99
                                  - Cafe Eight O Clock 33.7 oz $4.99
                                  - Grey Poupon mustard (Dijon, Savory Honey, Harvest Course Ground) $1.49
                                  - Alaska Smokehouse Natural alder-smoked salmon 4 oz $3.49 (not refrigerated)
                                  - The coolest wide egg noodles from Italy. Forgot the name didn' get the price
                                  - Dutch Colony cooked canned ham $3.99

                                  There were these pretty decorator bottles of peppers and vegetables, something like Chef Shenfields. The red chile vinegar had whole red chiles beautifully displayed. There was a chile, garlic and orange peel arrangement. One of the $2.99 garden delight bottles had pretty tiny orange slices on th bottom with the upper part a braid of green peppers and white garlic.

                                  The wine selection was a little smaller, and there were no boxed wines. No Judy's organic eggs either. They had small bottles of Covey Run Chardonnay but I didn't see a price.

                                  Some of the items were more expensive than other Grocery Outlets. Orchard Juice was $2.49 and is $1.99 at my local Grocery Outlet.

                                  The only thing is that this had the worse service of any GO I've been too ... maybe most markets. I tried to buy two items and two were mismarked. One item was more expensive than Safeway, so I said forget it. It took someone a few minutes to come down and do something to subtract the total.

                                  The total still seemed off and I asked about the other item. It was $2.99 on the shelves. All other Grocery Outlets were charging $2.99. The item rung up as $3.99. Three times I said "The shelf price is $2.99". Not only was nothing done it was like I wasn't talking. It wasn't acknowledge. The clerk didn't look at me even.

                                  Fine I said, never mind. No acknowedgement. They subtract the total and the woman walks off. Now I'm really annoyed. "You could have at least sent someone to check the sign"

                                  "That's where I'm going" I was told. Uh, am I a mind reader?

                                  The sign in the window said "Our bargains bring you in. Our service brings you back".

                                  Uh, no. That service will keep me from returning to that particular Grocery Outlet for a while. Otherwise because of the better product selection I probably would have made it a regular Vallejo stop.

                                  Grocery Outlet
                                  920 Tuolumne St, Vallejo, CA 94590

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: rworange

                                    I've seen the Eiffel Tower butter at both Oakland and Berkeley, and the Anchor at Oakland. Oakland seemed to have a bigger overall selection than Berkeley, but the Berkeley store was much neater and more organized.

                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                      I tried the Anchor butter from the Gilroy GO and didn't care for it. Pale color and not much flavor at all. I'll probably just use for cooking.

                                      So I convinced husband to stop at GO after our spree at the Gilroy Outlets last week. This one was kinda dumpy and florescent light bleak on the inside, but the random items were kinda fun to look at and after a full trip around the store, we declared the experience "campy."

                                      I didn't find many of the items I've read about, but we bought some random items for cheap. Silver Oak Malbec for $2.99. Red Beret Rose for $1.99. If they suck, then I can always cook w/ them. I did see the Covey Run but didn't purchase. Husband's treat purchase was 3 oil cans of Foster's beer for $5. Food purchases were nothing special and on the processed junk food spectrum. I questioned the freshness and storage of a number of items. Not food related, but we found a gigantic ceramic pot to replant our growing bamboo for $24.99. Looks spiffy and would sell at most places for $60+.

                                      This place seemed very understaffed. One checker who looked painfully bored to be working there. I appreciated her refreshing transparency and lack of forced smile or quip of "Have a nice day, Mrs. X." I look forward to our next treasure hunt!

                                      1. re: Carb Lover

                                        Here's the link:

                                        Gilroy Grocery Outlet
                                        333 E 10th St, Gilroy, CA 95020

                                        1. re: Carb Lover

                                          You put your finger on it: it's the treasure hunt aspect that makes it fun and chowhoundy.

                                          Actually, though, it seems like they have a fair number of gourmet products that didn't make it. Since chowhounds often have different ideas about what makes a good product than the average consumer, that sometimes means that we love it for the precise reason it failed.

                                          BTW, I'm not that impressed by the Casual Gourmet sausages. The ones I bought at the Oakland GO were much more delicious. I agree with Carb Lover that the Anchor butter isn't great for the table, but it is excellent cooking butter, because it has a high fat content and a fairly neutral flavor -- I bought some and tossed it in the freezer (at which point I realized I have a lot of butter in my freezer -- I keep buying different brands, but because I've been on a diet for the last six months, I'm eating very little butter, so after sampling it I chuck it in the freezer).

                                    2. The chocolate soy milk and sausages are gone. However, I spotted -- of all things -- some quarts of Straus organic yogurt, maple nonfat and lowfat (1%) plain, for $1.49 a quart. The containers were in good condition (foil seals intact), and the quart of plain I took home was fine. The sell by date on these was 8/29, so they should be good for a while, making this a terrific deal. I assume quantities are very limited.

                                      They still had quite a bit of the $1.49 Covey Run chard, but had moved it toward the back of the wine section.

                                      1. Last Wednesday (Aug. 15) at the Berkeley Grocery Outlet, after having had a respectable buffet lunch ($8) at India Chaat & Sweets a half block away, found a few notables:

                                        - Thomas Ballantyne Scottish Smoked Salmon Pieces, 8 ounces. deli package, $3.99, from Scotland, cold-smoked with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. tender with very few chewy pieces. ate the whole thing in two sittings. couldn't figure out the date code. The cashier wasn't sure of the price and wanted to charge me $4.99 because it wasn't in the computer. I had her check and the price is $3.99.

                                        - more Casual Gourmet Chicken Sausage (3 lbs for $5.99) but a different flavor, Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella. didn't get it. 9/20/07 date.

                                        - Italian dry Egg Noodle Pasta, 8.8 oz. for $.99 from Pastificio Artigiano, Fara S. Martino, Abruzzi, Italy. Also a bowtie version, 1 lb. for $.99. The egg noodle is good. These might be the noodles that rworange mentioned in her post of 8/14 at 9:19 pm.

                                        - Kono Marinated New Zealand Greenshell Mussels, net weight 10.5 oz, about 5 oz. drained, $1.49 in a plastic tub in the deli section. Farm raised from New Zealand. Interesting idea at a good price but a little on the chewy side. Best if used by Sept. 7. They also had the same item in a chili flavor.

                                        Lotsa cases of the Veramonte Chardonnay ($2.99/bottle, $1.99/bottle if you get a case) and the Covey Run Chardonnay.

                                        India Chaat & Sweets
                                        824 University Avenue
                                        Berkeley, CA
                                        tel: 510-704-1200

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: zippo

                                          oops. Could be that the Scottish Salmon didn't scan at the register because the particular package that I picked up was missing one of the labels with the sku on it and may well have been in the computer.

                                          1. re: zippo

                                            The Oakland GO still has a dozen cases left of Covey Run Chardonnay----after I just bought 5 cases. Didn't see any of the Veramonte Chardonnay but there were a few different 6-packs of micro-brew beers for $3.99. I was hesitant to buy beer there since it may be too stale.

                                            1. re: baron45

                                              In general, you're more likely to find bad wine than bad beer. A lot of the microbrews we get are seasonal and being liquidated just to make space for the next season's brew.

                                          2. I just returned from GO on Broadway in Oakland. If you are passing up the seedless watermelons, don't; the ones I have been getting were outstanding: crisp, sweet and juicy. After numerous trips to GO, lingering over the Breyer's vanilla and almond ice cream bars (15-pack/4.99), I finally yielded to temptation and bought a box. Cracked them open as soon as I got home. They were just fine!

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: MKatrinaToo

                                              Oh yeah, I saw those. Definitely a bargain if they're in decent condition. The other thing I couldn't resist on my last visit was the Hershey's milk chocolate bars with extra flavinols: their attempt to make milk chocolate seem like a health food. I haven't bought a Hershey bar for a while, but these struck me as slightly better than I remembered -- perhaps one way they're boosting flavinols is by adding more cocoa solids. I never really noticed until other people talked about it on chowhound that Hershey's milk chocolate has a "sour milk" taste. Now I understand what they mean by that, and realize it's the reason I like Hershey's milk chocolate: it isn't as sweet and milky as "better" European milk chocolates (which I find cloying). I guess healthy milk chocolate didn't catch on, because these bars were in perfect condition and were going cheap at 3/$1.00.

                                              Also, they had 5-packs of Natural Valley apple chips for 99 cents, which makes for a good, low-cost, low-calorie snack.

                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                Off brand peanut butter can be bad. Has anyone ever tried GO's peanut butter?

                                                1. re: MKatrinaToo

                                                  The essensia brand creamy peanut butter is fine, much like TJ's only it doesn't get quite as hard in the fridge. Not organic, but it only contains peanuts and salt. To be honest, though, I don't eat much peanut butter.

                                            2. Oakland Grocery Outlet this afternoon:

                                              - Red Beret 2004 Rose, Cotes du Rhone, $1.99 for 750 ml bottle, got 88 points from June/July 2006 'Wine Report.' Bucko's Nov. 2005 Wineloverspage says: "2004 Red Beret, Rosé, Côtes du Rhône, France, $11, 4,000 cases. Lightly colored, with an orange tinge. Cherries, berries and a kiss of herbs unfold on the nose and carry over to the palate. Soft, but reasonably balanced - drink now; 82/82." Don't know much about wines, but in the two years since that review, it seems to have lost some of its fruitiness and is on the dry side. Has a cute pink plastic cork;

                                              - Ballantyne Scottish Cold Smoked Salmon, 8 oz., $1.99 per deli package. Bought this same package last week at Berkeley GO for $3.99;

                                              - Organic Dark Chocolate from Italy by Seeds of Change, $1.49 for 3.5 oz. Bar, 70% cacao, w/cacao nibs, cinnamon oil. Spicy from the cinnamon and crispy from the nibs. Good. Located on shelf above the frozen fish section.

                                              - Froodia Bars, non-fat fruit bars with hoodia, the weight loss plant from South Africa. From TrimSpa. 1.1 oz., 4 bars for $1. Jan '08 date. Eat candy and slim down at the same time. Apricot, strawberry, cherry and other flavors,

                                              - Clif Bars, 4 bars for $1, iced gingerbread, spiced pumpkin pie, caramel apple cobbler and other flavors, 2.4 oz., July and Sept 2007 dates, would taste good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top;

                                              - Eckrich Skinless large sausages, 14 oz. deli package for 99 cents. Made with pork and turkey in several flavors. Sept. 3 date. For 99 cents, if you don't like them you can use them for doorstops;

                                              - Yves Meatless dishes, 10.5 oz., Penne, Chili, Lettuce Wraps, $1.49 - $1.99., various Sept. 2007 dates.

                                              - Fantastic Soup Cups, 1.5 oz., 4 dry cups for $1 and

                                              - Strauss Organic Nonfat Maple Yogurt, 32 oz., $1.49, also had plain 1% fat.

                                              Had more Casual Gourmet Chicken Sausages, didn't see any soy milk products or boxed wines. Had Stite beer which comes in 12 oz. aluminum bottles. Picked up two 16 oz. tubs of Smart Balance light spread, 5 grams total fat per 14 gram tablespoon serving, contains flax oil and lots of Omega-3, claims to improve ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol, either $1.29 or $1.39 per 16 oz. tub. May, 2008 date.


                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: zippo

                                                LOL! At 99 cents, if you don't like them, they make good training treats for the dog.

                                                Good to know to keep checking for the Casual Gourmet sausages; the Fantastic soups have come down in price: they were 50 cents a couple of weeks ago. The ones I tried were only okay, but still better than the average dry soup.

                                                1. re: zippo

                                                  Hey, thanks for the Froodia mention. This is a true bargain. Didn't see individual bars, but a box of 12 is $2.99 ... Amazon is selling them for $21.32 marked down from $36.

                                                  They are actually quite good. There are a soft fruit bar with lots of cherry flavor. Threre's a little powdery taste, I guess from the Hoodia, but it doesn't get in the way. Can't tell you yet about its appetite suppresant qualities since I just had one for breakfast.

                                                  Not only could this be good for your, but you can feel good about yourself. It is a fair Trade company that is using sustainable cultivation of Hoodia,an endangered species. From the website ...

                                                  "These cultivation projects create many new jobs in the most desolate regions of Africa ... Our suppliers have also led revenue–sharing negotiations to ensure the indigenous Sans people, who shared their traditional knowledge of Hoodia’s benefits, receive a royalty from all legal Hoodia sales."

                                                  Hoodia, for those who might not know was used buy the Sans people during famine because eating the berries (I think) kills you appetite.

                                                  Good ingrediants too:

                                                  Other Ingredients in addition to Hoodia: Dried Pear, Dried Apricot, Dried Apple, Cherry Concentrate, Aroma Concentrate, Apple Fiber, Fine Cellulose, Natural Flavoring, and Sulfur Dioxide (for Color Retention).

                                                  1. re: rworange

                                                    Interesting. I've gotten so much Hoodia spam I never bothered to find out what it was. Maybe I'll try it.

                                                    Speaking of price comparisons, I saw the same Casual Gourmet sausages at Costco this weekend for $12.99 -- more than twice the price!

                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                      Really, everytime I look at the dreadful Aidell's meatballs at $6, I feel sorry for people who are spending twice the money I did at GO.

                                                      The best Froodia flavor is cherry. The strawberry and 'summer thunder" (dried apricots, peaches & apples) were good, but the cherry flavor stood out. The starwberry had a similar taste to the summer thunder probably because the fruit was similar ... dried appricot, dried pear, dried apple ... with strawberry concentrate.

                                                      Did it work?

                                                      Hard to say. I had a bunch of meetings in Oakland yesterday and inbetween was trying to fit in some Chowhound places I had on my list. So I was eating or too busy to be hungry.

                                                      That being said, my Chowhound stops had to do with sugar ... Charles Chocolates, churros, ice cream (Yikes) ... which is usually a trigger that makes me hungry and I wasn't.

                                                      These might be good to have on hand for an emergency like an earthquake. They can store for a long time, are tasty and might fill you up. The "best by' date on these boxes is Jan 2008. The Oakland GO sells singles or boxes.