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Aug 3, 2011 08:51 PM

Grocery Outlet

A search turned up a ton of posts about this store on the Bay Area boards, but none in the rest of California, so I thought I'd start one.

I frequent the Fresno branch, usually every couple weeks. It isn't great for produce or meat, but I've found some amazing things here. As a matter of fact, I'm drinking a cup of the delicious Peruvian coffee I bought today, as I type (quite fresh, too, although sometimes their coffee isn't).

My boyfriend and I have gotten to know the manager (owner?) over the last few months, as he frequently gives us wine suggestions. And their wine selection is one of the highlights of the entire store. I can't think of anywhere else with such a wide variety of very decent wines for under $5 a bottle.

The cheese aisle is another highlight, with an ever-changing selection of really good cheeses for really good prices. I bought two blocks of nice blue cheese today for $1.50 apiece.

Their stock is constantly changing, which makes it a fun place to shop, but can also be quite frustrating. For example, I bought an amazing bottle of balsamic vinegar there in the fall. I have been attempting to replace it for months now, but they no longer carry the same kind (or any kind, for that matter, as they seem to have stopped carrying vinegar altogether). Shopping here can be hit-or-miss and you do have to check the expiration dates. But I seem to find a few great deals every time I go and it really is a great place for foodies on a budget (and who isn't on a budget right now, anyway?)

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  1. We frequent the GO in Santa Maria and others when we travel,
    Some absolute wine bargains. The Sauvignon Blanc's are among the best buys at $ 4 or less.
    Lots of special buys in the Frozen food section too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bruce in SLO

      Bruce--if you are ever up on Highway 49 you must try the Grass Valley GO. It is simply amazing. Wine selection supposedly the largest of any GO. Great selection. BIG store.

      If you have any specific rec's on SM GO wines, would love to hear them.

    2. Thanks for the report! It is the nature of GO that stock will change from month to month, day to day, store to store....which is why on the Bay Area boards someone tries to most a monthly report. I am game to start this tradition on the CA boards if you are...

      Haven't been (to the Merced GO) yet in August (will post when I do) but in July I found great deals on limes and Smucker's peanut butter....

      10 Replies
      1. re: susancinsf

        I will definitely report on anything great I find at the Fresno branch! Every time I go I find at least a few great deals.

        1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

          Banana, where in Fresno is this store?

          1. re: Gail

            It's on Blackstone and Ashlan, tucked back behind a gas station and an In-N-Out burger.

            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

              Thanks, I'll check out their wine...

          2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

            Also conside the Clovis GO.

            Grocery Outlet
            1845 Clovis Ave, Clovis, CA 93612

            1. re: Stephanie Wong

              Stephanie, thanks for the Clovis suggestion, closer to me. Regarding the wine, do they have a quality wine selection a la Costo or is it mostly jug wine?

              1. re: Gail

                the wine selection, like everything else, is hit or miss, but plenty of hits, especially for the prices. No, it isn't jug wine, it is bottles, sometimes from smaller producers, often but not always from European producers. Typically (at least at the Merced GO) it will be a few bottles from each producer, not huge numbers from just a few.

                Severak weeks ago hubby picked up a nice Reisling for $5. (sorry, blanking on winery, but we enjoyed it with some take out Thai...)

                1. re: susancinsf

                  Thanks Susan. Need to get over there to check it out!

                  1. re: Gail

                    Think of it as a treasure hunt. My sister has been known to open a bottle in the parking lot to check if she go back in for more of the same lot!

                    1. re: Stephanie Wong

                      Your sister is *very* inventive!

        2. we lost ours a few years ago, one day I went in there and it was all but empty, then closed up.
          sad cause I knew the benefits of this unusual food place.
          mom and I used to shop at GO in Auburn, loved it.
          love the new GO in Pittsburg, it's killer
          our favorite GO is in Tahoe with other ones we like in Placerville, Sonora, and Merced-ish. not sure of name of town but close. was disappointed that the GO on Dillingham in Honolulu is also gone. you never knew what you would find there but must not have been able to survive.

          2 Replies
          1. re: iL Divo

            There is a GO actually in central Merced, on Main Street, two in Modesto, and the one in Sonora.

            1. re: susancinsf

              thanks susan,
              the main street one is the one I'm thinking of.
              Merced has special meaning for me, Steven Stayner, never forget him.

          2. A nice wine available at the GO is the 2009 Tempranillo Rose from The Penascal Estate, a Spanish import at $ 2.99. Quite dry and tasty with light dishes and salads. If any 2008 Whitehurst Sav. Blanc remains, pick it up.It's a good value.

            1. I did a quick GO run this afternoon. Stocked up on more of that blue cheese, even though I'm nowhere near done with the last 2 (things at GO have a tendency to disappear.)

              Got a couple bottles of a red Chateau Grand Jean Bordeaux that we tried last time and liked ($5.99 / bottle) and a bottle of a Spanish Centracion Monastrell for a mere $2.99. I'm no wine expert, but it tastes pretty frickin' delicious to me (although the Bordeaux is even better).

              I also grabbed some fontina cheese ($1.50), blueberry-chicken breakfast sausages ($2.50), Schaffen Berger bittersweet chocolate chips ($2.50), a bottle of sparkling passionfruit lemonade ($1.89), and some hickory BBQ sauce that looks delicious and was only a little over a dollar.

              All in all, a successful shopping trip.