Pasquale's Meats in London - What happened
We picked up our turkey on December 23. Got lots of cold cuts, meatballs. Wished everyone Merry Christmas. We were back there on Saturday January 16 and the place has been stripped to the walls, No sign, no landlord's notice. Anybody know what happened - we loved that place.
Sad to hear this news.
I'd guess that Remark, Angelo's & Costco cut too much into Pasquale's business. I also stopped by shortly before Christmas, and they seemed quite busy.
London food shops & restaurants have really been hurt by the poor economy. Many of the shops at the Covent Garden Market noticed their business slow down with the bus strike in December. I had stopped by the Market the week before Christmas, and the place wasn't busy. It seems to have picked up now that the strike is over.
Apart from Remark, some of the Covent Garden Market's shops, and the small selection of foodie pantry items at Jill's Table, Kiss the Cook & Kingsmill's kitchen shop, there really aren't too many places to buy quality foods that wouldn't be found in your standard grocery store. Angelo's used to be quite good, but they've lowered their quality from where it used to be, to keep the prices down, to suit the lowest common denominator.
Also, I noticed a few shops have closed on Hamilton Road in the last month or so, including the Polish bakery (London Bakery) that had been there for years. Imperio dos Frangos also appears to be closed when I've driven by lately- not sure if it's just closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Most London shoppers just don't seem to want to splurge on quality food when they can get half-decent or average food for less. I'm guessing your average Londoner would rather buy meat at Costco, and spend extra cash on a bigger house, on a bigger tv, or on golf course dues.
Thanks for posting about Pasquale's- I wouldn't have known if you hadn't posted.
Too bad about Pasquale's - hopefully the owners find a new location.
You are right about Londoners having little appetite for quality ingredients and food; they eat crap because that's all they have been exposed to. Much of the beef sold in supermarkets is (or is the equivalent) of USDA Select, which I never saw in any decent American supermarket, which typically sells USDA Choice, whose closest Canadian equivalent is AAA.
On a related note, whenever I buy fish at Loblaws, the person behind the counter is always shocked that I want to smell the fish before he/she wraps it, and last week I made the mistake of asking if the person behind the fish counter could gut/clean a few of the whole fish for sale -- that was beyond her skill and authority.
As for Remark, I've been a few times and haven't been impressed with the produce -- not that it was bad but it wasn't much better or different than what I find in the supermarket. Thank goodness my in-laws have a hobby farm and grow a lot and raise some animals.
There are a few god sources of ethnic supplies still. There's a good selection of dried chilis in a store on Dundas near Catholic Central and some good sources of Vietnamese supplies in stores around Huron and Highbury.
Angelos is a sad story. My inlaws are Italian and there was a time you'd see and hear Italians fill the original store on Thompson. Now the bread is supermarket quality, the cold cuts and cheeses are cut by people who aren't Italian and don't know their products and the specialty items have been scaled back. With three stores, Angelos Italian clientele has been reduced to next to nothing.