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Restaurant Supply Store in Lexington/Bedford/Arlington area?

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EvanWilliams Nov 10, 2007 06:40 AM

I am looking for a decent restaurant supply store in the Lexington/Concord/Bedford area. I need to get some cheese cloth and butcher’s twine and Whole Foods doesn’t have it. Any suggestions? I am willing to go as far as the Arlington/Cambridge area to get the stuff I need or if the store is just cool enough.

  1. r
    ReluctantOperaChick Dec 6, 2007 04:10 PM

    Don't know if Stoneham counts for you, but there's a great little place on rte 28 just outside the center (between 128 and the center) called DA Bucci and Sons. They are principally a knife sharpening place, which is GREAT to know about and they do a fine job, but they also have a small kitchen supply shop. I've no idea if they'd have the things you were looking for, but you don't need a kitchen supply place for them anyway. Check out Bucci for knife sharpening, and also for commercial kitchen stuff.

    1. c
      cgj Nov 26, 2007 06:15 PM

      There is nothing cool about it, but Paper N' More on Mass Ave. in Arlington, just east of the the Brattle Street fire station (about 1/2-mile from Penzey's) has a pretty comprehensive collection of restaurant and cooking supplies in the back--including cake/cookie/candy boxes, serving platters, etc. It's in the 995 block of Mass Ave., across the street from RCN.

      1. BostonZest Nov 25, 2007 03:03 PM

        Thanks for starting this conversation. It reminded me that I have heard good things about the Concord shop and I went there today and found two of three items I've not found in the city. I'm dumping all my plastic food storage containers and was looking for a big glass container for larger items-- a whole chicken or soups. They had one!

        Nice place with very helpful and knowledgeable folks to assist you in finding items or selecting the right one for your purpose!

        1. g
          ginnyhw Nov 24, 2007 05:44 AM

          I bet the meat counter staff at WF would be happy to give you some butchers twine for free. I have had to ask the butchers at Roche Bros and Stop and Shop for twine when the store didn't have any for sale and I was buying meat from them. If you are willing to drive to JP there is a very cool restaurant supply store there called BMS on Washington St near Green St. They have a web site.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ginnyhw
            Maxinella Nov 25, 2007 04:04 PM

            I guess I'll have to give Penzey's another try.

          2. Maxinella Nov 23, 2007 01:11 PM

            Market Basket on Middlesex Tpk. sells cheesecloth, as does Ace Hardware on Lowell Street in Lexington (the same street, actually). I wouldn't be surprised if they both also sold butcher's twine. There used to be a restaurant supply near the Watertown Mall, anyone know if it's still there? There's (was?) also one in Union Square, Somerville, next to the Market Basket.

            As far as spices go, don't waste your money at Penzey's. Go to China Merchandise on Rte. 3A, Cambridge Street in Burlington. The spices there are very cheap and very fresh. Just make your own mixture. Balich is quite great, though.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Maxinella
              LindaWhit Nov 24, 2007 05:48 AM

              I disagree on the "don't waste your money at Penzey's" comment. China Merchandise isn't going to have everything that Penzey's has, depending on what you're looking for. Penzey's prices are reasonable if you buy in small amounts, and way fresher and cheaper than what you get in supermarkets.

              1. re: LindaWhit
                g
                ginnyhw Nov 24, 2007 06:01 AM

                I'll second that. Penzy's small sizes allow me to have a variety of fresh fried herbs and spices on hand and I am happy with their prices.

                1. re: ginnyhw
                  LindaWhit Nov 24, 2007 06:54 AM

                  I love fried herbs and spices. :-) (jk!)

                  1. re: ginnyhw
                    l
                    lesliewh Nov 26, 2007 07:03 PM

                    As to the Penzey's versus China Merchandise debate, the spice bags at China Merchandise are really large, much more geared to the trade in terms of quantity. Penzey's ends up being inexpensive if you need just a little bit of some weird specialty spice - they'll have it and in a small container. As for the Concord Shop, its great and has every kind of specialty item. While not cheap, its pretty comprehensive, and its nice to support a local store that's been around forever rather than Williams and Sonoma. Just be sure to wander down a few storefronts to the Cheese Shop, where you'll think you've died and gone to heaven..if you like cheese, that is.

              2. b
                bear Nov 10, 2007 09:18 AM

                Also, just up Mass. Ave. in Porter Square you'll find China Fair. Decent prices on heavy-bottomed cookware, and they are sure to have cheesecloth and butcher twine.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bear
                  finlero Nov 10, 2007 10:41 AM

                  Second China Fair. Large, if sometimes weird selection of stuff. If they don't have it, you can go down the street to Tags in the Porter Square shopping center, a "soft" hardware store.

                2. o
                  osmom Nov 10, 2007 09:05 AM

                  Have you tried The Concord Shop in downtown Concord?

                  http://concordshop.com/

                  They're not a restaurant supply shop, but they tout themselves as "a hardware store for the kitchen." It was the only place around me where I could find jelly stands and jelly bags. I'm sure you'll find cheesecloth and butcher twine there. Good luck!

                  1. i
                    ijhhot Nov 10, 2007 06:44 AM

                    any good hardwear store will have these supplies; cheese cloth is very expensive since you are unwilling to travel, try coffee filters; on second thought, try a major supermarket.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: ijhhot
                      t
                      tweetie Nov 10, 2007 07:44 AM

                      I've gotten cheese cloth at Balich 5 and 10 on Mass Ave in Arlington Heights. I have a feeling you'll also fine the butcher's twine. As a bonus, Lakota Bakery is on the next block and Something Savory nearly beside it. I can highly recommend Lakota for cakes and killer cookies and Something Savory gets a lot of buzz. Oh yes, there's a Penzey's for spices and such in the Heights as well. Have fun!

                      Afterthought.......there's a 5 and 10 in West Concord too and there's really nothing cooler than these places.

                      1. re: tweetie
                        c
                        ChrisConcord Nov 23, 2007 01:25 PM

                        I run the West Concord 5 & 10, thanks for the mention. We got cleaned out of butchers twine just before Thanksgiving, but will get more in asap. Plenty of cheesecloth, which is not at all expensive, canning supplies like jelly bags and jars, and a few thousand other things. Balich shares a principal supplier with us, a wholesaler in Worcester who services independent 5 & 10 stores across the country. Really good people, and huge Sox fans as well.

                        1. re: ChrisConcord
                          Maxinella Nov 23, 2007 02:39 PM

                          I love your store, but haven't been there since we sold our Plymouth. (The car dealer is right across the street). Glad to hear that you're still there and going strong. I'll have to take a ride out your way sometime soon.

                          1. re: Maxinella
                            c
                            ChrisConcord Dec 5, 2007 12:18 PM

                            Thanks! Butchers twine is now back in stock, as well as many other sometimes odd things (and I am very tired!). Any Hounds coming in please feel free to say hello, I'm Chris and am here every day. Oh, and the odd but wonderful Acton Chinese place has now started delivery. I'll be calling them again tonight.

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