Restaurant Supply Store?
I'm sorry to say, but once you've worked at a restaurant, catered or worked in an institutional kitchen, you really can't see the value in places like Sur La Table or Williams-Sonoma. The stores are nice, but too expensive for my tastes. Call me spoiled, but I like the cheap stuff.
I am aware that places like Costco and Sam's Club have some stuff, but is there a store that caters especially to restaurants and that is open to the public? I realized after tonight, I could use a two inch full sheet pan (those who have worked in restaurants will know exactly the pan I need), among a few other things.
Thanks in advance. I do read the threads from time to time, but I need to watch the waistline.
Discount Outlets, 3400 washington st. boston ma.
Happened upon it while looking for a thrift store. They sell food in bulk as well as cooking supplies. Definitely geared towards restaurants, but it is open to the public. I'm not familiar with the pan you need, but I bet they'd have it - it was the first store I've seen that sells those long pizza holders for getting pizzas out of brick ovens, so I imagine they'd have whatever you need.
Harbour foodservice in Chelsea(??) is a decent one. I always like Eastern Bakers. China fair has some cheap pyrex/glassware/serving dishes, but their kitchen equipment is mixed in quality at best.
Restaurant Depot (there's one near me in Needham, and I think another one north of town) is open to food-service companies/employees only, but to be honest, they don't have a HUGE equipment selection and, being a restaurant supply house, they're sizes are enormous - anyone for an entire cured ham?. But if you have a friend in the trade, they may be able to get you a card.
For those that haven't hit this kind of shop up, do not go in there expecting the kind of consulting/hand holding you'll get at SLT or WS - pick up what you want, don't expect the prices to be obvious (but they generally are pretty good), and remember the focus of the place is the trade - high volume, high heat, rough environment, no concern for cosmetics. Don't go looking for a red enameled tagine to match the colors in your new kitchen tiles. Also remember some of these places are more focused on selling huge appliances - commercial volume refrigeration, cooktops, etc. - they aren't going to get too motivated when you come in asking for 2 baking sheets. Not that they won't help you, just it isn't exactly a "high value" transaction..
I have found them to be especially good for baking stuff - brioche and tart molds, baking sheets, cooling grids, Cambro containers, and niche items - e.g. different size dishers.
I also have found some nice online options - I ordered a bunch of stuff from a Matfer online outlet, and if you can get above their "free shipping" limit, I found the prices for silpats and other stuff pretty good.