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Lancaster: Polenta (pref. Golden Pheasant brand)?

c
clarence6ybr Nov 15, 2009 12:58 PM

Hi-

I'm fairly new to the area, and was shocked that my local Giant only carries 'instant' polenta. Any tips for where to find good non-instant polenta (I've always liked the stuff made by Golden Pheasant)?

  1. c
    centralpadiner Nov 15, 2009 02:15 PM

    I am not familiar with specific brands, and can honestly say that I've only ever made instant polenta. However, I would think that the place to look is Mandros Import Foods. If you are new to the area and have never been, you really need to check it out. Esp. good for imported meats and cheeses.

    1. h
      Hungryin theBurbs Nov 15, 2009 03:33 PM

      I can't help with location, but Bob's Red Mill brand is very good, and available in most supermarkets in the greater Philly area. It is also easy to mail-order through amazon or somewhere similar.

      1. p
        PearlRabbit Nov 15, 2009 08:54 PM

        I second the vote for Mandros. Corner of Lemon and Charlotte streets downtown. When you pull up the phrase "hole in the wall" comes to mind. But when you step inside you will be wowed by the variety and types of foods inside. Hope you find what you are looking for!

        1. v
          Vladimir Estragon Nov 15, 2009 09:30 PM

          Stauffers of Kissel Hill on Rohrerstown Road has a huge import section.

          1. c
            clarence6ybr Nov 16, 2009 07:29 AM

            Thanks all for the tips.

            Our real estate agent pointed out Mandros for good imported foods a few months ago, but it slipped my mind, so this will be a good kick in the butt to head over there. Similarly, I have been to a couple Giants, Herr's in Millersville, and Musser's in Mountville, but I have yet to try a Stauffer's, so I'll check out the Rohrerstown Road location.

            I've had some of the other Bob's Red Mill grains and found them good, so if I can find the polenta locally I'll give a try.

            To change the topic a bit, I moved here after 16 years in the Southwest, and I've been a bit disappointed with the tortilla selection in local supermarkets. With the large hispanic population, I'd assume there are some better options available--any suggestions on neighborhood markets (or supermarkets) that have fresh tortillas?

            I hope I don't sound too whiny--we're happy overall (especially impressed with great produce at various farmstands in the late summer when we first moved here), I'm just trying to locate some old favorites.

            5 Replies
            1. re: clarence6ybr
              v
              Vladimir Estragon Nov 17, 2009 02:32 AM

              I'm no authority, but there's a restaurant called Cocina Mexicana on Prince Street that has great homemade tortillas,

              As far as supermarkets go in this town, Stauffers is the high end and Giant is the low. Giant has good prices on grocery items, but their meat and produce are not good. Stauffers is more expensive, but has terrific meat and produce, and a fish counter that doesn't stink up the whole store. And, if you register on their web site, they'll send you a $5 coupon every week.

              -----
              Prince Street Cafe
              17 N Prince St, Lancaster, PA 17603

              1. re: Vladimir Estragon
                c
                centralpadiner Nov 17, 2009 10:48 AM

                While I agree that SKH is superior (when I lived in Lititz, I didn't consider going anywhere else), I don't know if I would call Giant the low end of local grocery stores. Price wise, perhaps they are one of the cheapest - as a fairly large regional chain, they have the buying power to keep prices lower than competitors. There are so many around, and I have heard that the selection of specialty items varies greatly from store to store. We have a really nice one here in E-town - I think much better than our other choices, and the two in Hershey are even better. My mother is is Lebanon, and will often choose to stop in while visiting me, or go to Hershey over her local Giant - she says hers is so bad in comparison. I have heard that the one between 501 and Oregon Pike is rather sad. However, I think that if someone went to the Oregon Pike Stauffer's, they'd wonder what the big deal is - that store is no where near as nice as the Lititz or newly remodeled Roherstown Rd. branches.

              2. re: clarence6ybr
                a
                armartin Nov 17, 2009 06:32 AM

                Yes, you must check out the Stauffer's on Roherstown road. They have a terrific grains/flour aisle that should do the trick!

                Plus, I 2nd Cocina Mexicana! It is wonderful. Best guacamole in town, too! Not to mention their tacos are the best in Lancaster! The closest thing I have had to California tacos.

                1. re: clarence6ybr
                  t
                  tlgiesler Nov 17, 2009 01:11 PM

                  I always shop at the Giant on Fruitville Pike (near the wine/spirits store and Panera Bread) and buy my polenta there-the Bob's Red Mill brand. You may have missed it because I always find it in the organic aisle, where they have all of the specialty grains, flours, etc.

                  Hope this helps!

                  1. re: clarence6ybr
                    a
                    aekbooth Nov 18, 2009 05:05 AM

                    A couple more places to try....
                    For polenta, I'm pretty sure I saw some at the Eastern European Market on Fruitville Pike. Couldn't tell you what brand or if it was non-instant. But that place is great to check out. We love their Polish wedding sausage as well as their Croatian foods.

                    Sometimes you find things at S. Clyde Weaver's in East Pete that you wouldn't expect. Not sure about polenta but they have an olive oil and vinegar bar and Spanish chorizo. I'm pretty sure I saw some kind of polenta there but it may have been in the refrigerated case with the sandwiches.

                    For tortillas, I can't remember if they sell tortillas or tortilla chips, but I remember seeing a sign for one of these at the cash register of El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant by Park City. I know El Serrano on Columbia Avenue will sell their tortilla chips.

                    BTW did you get out to Roots and see the stand with all the peppers. Bet they would be good for Southwest cooking. Also both the SKH on Rohrerstown Road and the one in Lititz carry a wide assortment of powdered or dried chiles and a large ethnic section.

                    Good luck and welcome to the area.

                    -----
                    El Serrano
                    3410 E Market St, York, PA 17402

                  2. c
                    clarence6ybr Nov 17, 2009 02:11 PM

                    Thanks again to all for your replies.

                    Giant just happens to be close (three blocks away right now), and one of the few places in town that carries Odwalla products (my pregnant wife drinks one of their protein drinks a day). I've certainly noticed a difference in selection between the Fruitville Pike and Stone Mill Plaza stores, but those two stores aren't bad. I will look for the Red Mill polenta at the Fruitville store, but also check out Stauffer's.

                    Also looks like a visit to Cocina Mexicana is on my agenda for the near future.

                    Thanks again, look forward to hearing more from all of you in the future!

                    1. d
                      dorothyp Dec 2, 2009 05:01 PM

                      I've been looking for Vladimir Estragon for years. Is this THE V.E, who wrote the world's best food columns for the Village Voice in the 80's? Where are you? Are you writing anything. I will sign up for the semester. My best hours were reading about you and the woman warrior and your detours while preparing food.

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