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Nov 5, 2011 01:48 PM

Grocery Outlet, November 2011

San Pablo


$2.99 - Gato Negro
$2.99 - Evil Pinot
$3.99 - Cordially Invited Spumante Brut
$3.99 - Cape Rock (South Africa)
$4.99 - Modavin Spumante
$4.99 - Cook's White Zinfandel
$19.99 - Grand Reserve Cuvee Chopin Brut Champagne (France)


50 cents - Breakstone fat free sour cream (what?) 16 oz
79 cents Pillsbury Simply buttermilk biscuits (other croissants and buns 79 - $1.29)
99 - Ritter sports bars
99 - Veetee pouches of Indian curries and dishes such as potatoes and peas in spicy masala
99 cents - Smuckers chocolate chip or cinnamon whole grain waffles.
$1.99 - Hood dairy beverage 1/2 gallon
$2.99 - Schwartz smoked bratwurst
$2.99 - Boner'ts pumpkin pie (Santa Ana) sugar ,,, 4 stars on yelp
$2.99 - Mrs. Smiths pumpkin, apple, cherry, sweet potato pies (HFCS)

The boxed wine of summer picnics is being replaced by the holidy sparkling wines, ports, etc.

Gato Negro turned out to be really good. I'd buy it again. The Evil sparkler was evil ... not much fizz ... skip. Cordially Invited is ok too. More a sparkling wine to me than a sweeter spumante. It is from Italy.

I love sparkling wine. However, it is the one thing that is usually a disappointment at GO. I'm a little reluctant to go for the pricy Chopin. If anyone tries it and it is any good, let me know. Yes, I know I can return it if it is flat, but I'm not so much into returning stuff.

I just put the Hood there because I saw it and thought "dairy beverage?" Water is the first ingredient. There are preservatives. Shame on you Hood.

Turns out the one American thing my family is crazy about is frozen waffles. I thought I'd give the Smuckers a try. They have a decent enough ingredient list, but the whole grain is front and center. They taste healthy. They are not crispy, almost donut-like. While I might not buy the chocolate chip again, I'm thinking this might really work well with the cinnamon.

Not on the list, but finally tried the organic cranberry maple syrup ($3.99). It was nicely tart. I microwaved some pears that were getting over ripe in it with some fresh cranberries. It was pretty good.

Also, not mentioned, but that Haagen Da Chai ice cream is really good ($1.99). Another poster last month said they didn't like chai, but liked this ice cream. I have to agree. It has a pleasant cardamom flavor with only a hint of green tea. So far I haven't met anyone who tried it and didn't like it.

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  1. $2.99 - J Lohr sparkiling wine

    I forgot this one. Both Pinole and San Pablo carry all the sparklers. Went to Berkeley yesterday but the only sparkling wine was the Cook's of various types.


    50 cents - Jiffy corn muffin mix
    50 cents - M & M dark chocolate (plus milk, coconut, pretzel)
    99 cents - Bauducco mini pannetone with Sunmaid raisins made in Brazil
    99 cents - Ritter wild berry yogurt bar
    $1.49 - Imagine Organic Kosher boxed chicken broth
    $2.99 - Amy's organic lemon poppyseed cake
    $2.99 - Grace Baking Italian bread
    $2.99 - Original Malt-O-Meal
    $2.99 - Gilbert's of Wisconsin smoked sausage with cheese (blue or mozarrella)

    The pannetone had basically good ingredients but was just ok. It had more of a babka texture than pannetone. I've found that pannetonnes from Brazil are usually good because there's a big Italian population down there.

    Anyone tried the Gilbert's sausages? I have never had a sausage with cheese that was really good so I passed on them.

    I saw the M&M dark chocolate at Berkeley Bowl a few months ago, didn't pick them up and couldn't find them since ... only ok and marginally different than the milk chocolate.

    I did pick up the Smuckers cinnamon waffles and liked them as much as I imagined ... soft an donut-like ... much better than the chocolate chip. Great with the cranberry maple syrup.

    1. Anyone ever find an interesting bargain at the Concord Store ?

      4 Replies
      1. re: ezv1i2V40

        The Concord GO is probably the worst of the 5 that I have been to.

        It seems to just have the boring over processed mainstream products and none of the quirky and unusual products (some of very high quality) that you can treasure hunt at the other stores.

        My favorite GO store so far is the East Hayward
        22660 Vermont Street, Hayward, CA 94541-3214

        Plus its just Two blocks from Vals Hamburgers!
        Very easy to get to if you come from the 580 freeway

        Anyone else have a favorite Grocery Outlet?

        1. re: Mission

          It was Vallejo before they shrunk their wine section. Low income = lots of markdowns on more expensive items that didn't sell. Just probably poor merchandizing by the franchisees. Bought a lot of prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella in the 2 years I lived there! Danger was getting good wine taken by those in the know driving to/from Napa. Had to drive to others here and there for the real wine scores that meritted buying a full case (pretty few and far between, but they did have a $5.99 Syrah that scored #7 on Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Wines of 2010 that I bought 2 cases of) and a $15 ($90 retail) Grgich Hills 30 Yr Anniversary Chard (not my style) and 4-5 very memorable deals at 70-80% off retail.

          Now? I really don't know. Pinole's big but lacks exciting stuff. Berkeley is okay. I like Oakland for volume and the wine/liquor selection...

          1. re: runner0382

            I like San Pablo the best. It isn't the prettiest store but they usually take some chances and they are the best in markdown.

            Pinole is a nicer store with a better wine selection, but they rarely do the drastic mark downs. Also the manager is nasty and makes a big deal about returns. The registers are often wrong. I have never had a receipt at that store that hasn't had a mistake.

            After San Pablo, I like Oakland. Berkeley has the best cheese selection and better bread than most, but other than that I'm not too enamoured with it.

            Novato has a really nice store with a good wine selection. Rhonert Park is pretty good wine-wise. Not so into the Vallejo store as my local stores are better.

            1. re: rworange

              Oakland's my pick, too. I've been eating asparagus (the thumb-thick stalks, not the pencils) that I bought for 1.49/lb, and what w/ the .99c quarts of chicken broth that I frequently use as a base for stock, I made a great cream of asparagus/spinach soup. (The pre-washed, bagged spinach was 2/$3, and I had to have that too. Found Soy Vay Teriyaki for 2.29/qt., and Challenge butter, which I use a lot for baking, at 2.99/uncut pound.) Speaking of baking they also have a lot of different varieties of shelled nuts for holiday baking (or whatever), the pound bags, for 2.99-3.99 depending. And they had some Breakstone's cottage cheese, though not much was left, for .99/pint.

      2. Heads up! The Grocery Outlet semi-annual wine sale starts on Wednesday (Nov. 9) and goes through Sunday. 20% off all wine. I just caught this on their FB page.

        2 Replies
        1. re: oniontears

          Any recs? Started a new thread for this. Anyone know the exact J.Lohr sparkling at San Pablo? Website says the only one they make is the non-alcoholic version...Good deal, regardless, I'm sure...

          1. re: runner0382

            Sorry ... my mistake ... it is J Roget, not J Lohr.

            Tried the Cape Rock today. Nah. Not sparkly enough. So far Gato Negro is the best choice, IMO.

        2. unfortuantely we won't have a reason to visit anywhere a GO is for quite a while.
          when last there, we picked up the things I couldnt live without, that was 3 weeks ago.
          with no GO even close at all to me, I'll hope our friend is racing his car soon in Sacto so we can visit him in Placerville and I can get my GO experience in.

          1. Ooopps .. wrong thread

            As long as I'm heree, GO has been getting Kraft Simply cottage cheese. I bought some at $1.49 and it was wonderful, very creamy and mild. It was the full fat version ... 4% ... but it was like cottage cheese curds in a thick cream. The caveate is that I can't remember the last decade I bought anything but low fat or non fat cottage cheese, so all 4% cottage cheese might be like this. Still ... good stuf ... good price.