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Bristol Farms- anything good?

I don't live or work near Bristol Farms, but I'll be by the one in the Newport Beach this week. Is there anything good at their bakery, or prepared goods counter?

Is there anything special that you go to BF specifically for or can only find at BF? What's their best department- meat, seafood, fruits, etc?

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  1. I love, love, love their hamburger buns. Buy a pack and make some homemade hamburgers! Yum!

    1. The sushi-for take out isn't too bad. I always liked the spicy tuna. Farm Boy is still better tho.

      2 Replies
        1. re: wienermobile

          +2 I totally forgot I always get a spicy tuna roll every time I go to BF!

      1. i like there carved tri tip and turkey

        1. They also have a pretty good cheese department in NB. Their cheese manager is quite knowledgeable, and very accommodating (he routinely will cut a rectangular block of raclette cheese out of a wheel for me...fits the trays on the raclette grill...but results in some wastage for BF)!

          1. Consistently excellent seafood and meats, but you do pay for it. I can't afford to go all the time, but if you're in the mood to drop $70 on a roast, or $15 on a wedge of cheese or something like that, it's really, really good. Baked goods, cheese selection is great, produce flawless. It's like Whole Foods with out the rich-hippie angle. I can't think of anything they do that's totally unique, I just wonder how they're staying in business with their prices in this economy.

            Totally disagree on the sushi and prepared foods in general, which are no different to my tastes than Pavillions or anything. Ditto for their cafe - avoid!

            2 Replies
            1. re: cant talk...eating

              So, the quality of WF and BF are about the same? :(

              1. re: hobbess

                I personally think that because WF is so enormous (at least the Tustin, OC store), it's very difficult for their management to ensure that everything is first-rate. I find BF to be more reliable. Although their overall selection is less than WF, pretty much everything at BF is dependably very good.

            2. The Westchester store is closest to me so it's my most frequented Bristol Famrs. Agree on their meat and seafood counter. They usually have some very nice cuts of beef in the case. Their ahi poke consistantly good. Their cheese dept is always well stocked. Their wine dept isn't huge, but the folks in charge there do a great job stocking it with wines of all price ranges. They usually carry a lot of cooking-oriented gadgets, some plates, etc., and the spice section has just about anything that I might need on a normal day. The produce can be inconsistent at this store but the flowers and plants always look really nice.

              1. I like their selection of baked goods, esp. the sugar-free variety. It's my go-to when I want to buy something for my diabetic friend.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Our Bristol Farms' baked goods are about a C+ to B grade. The items I've tried seem to be a little off the mark to me in some way or the other. Too sweet, not enough flavor, texture not quite right, etc...

                2. The have excellent produce, meats, seafood and cheese. If you want a baked good, head across the parking lot to Sprinkles Cupcakes for some cupcakes. Their plain vanilla cupcake and the red velvet are probably my favorite.

                  Also in the area is Gelson's where you can grab some Nueske bacon. $10.99/lb though. : / Meats are also excellent there but a bit pricier than BF.

                  1. Good cheese dept....great seafood, especially if you know the fish monger...really good specials on quality meat...Poilane French bread flown in several times a week...imported Italian mortadella...Spanish jamon (including the black footed style for $150+/lb...it is wonderful!!)...and terrific service. All of this comes at a price though...many things are more expensive than other purveyors...but if you pick and choose what you buy it can be cheaper than Ralphs or Vons!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: TravelPath

                      >>...and terrific service.<<

                      I agree and am so sorry I didn't mention this as well. Never had a bad experience with their staff.

                    2. Many of the larger stores have prime or choice meats, and some offer dry aging. It is the best quality conventional raised beef you can buy at a supermarket. Gelsons has better conventionally raised veal.

                      If you want organic/humane/grass fed you need Whole Foods or some Gelsons.

                      Much less expensive overall than it was a few years ago.

                      1. i like their baked goods. they used to have an orange sticky bun/roll thing that was amazing! they also had it in cinnamon and chocolate. i'm curious if they brought it back. I always liked their soups. i agree- best supermarket sushi. the deli case items are also good. Great tuna fish and also, they have great sauteed string beans.