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Grocery Outlet, November, 2012

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Oakland - 20% off all wine sale for 5 days, November 7 - 11. I assume it's at all the stores but don't know for sure.

some photos from Oakland Grocery Outlet last week:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/53697546...

They still had the Trago Reposado Tequila at $16.99. Also Dos Lunas Reposado Blue Agave Tequila at $24.99 which I haven't tried. Cans of Wonder Kombucha Cherry Cassis and other flavors for 79 cents for 8.4 oz. Gobbled up some 24 oz. cans of Tailgate Hefeweizen for 99 cents each. A little on the sweet side.

http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/tailgate...

Also 69 cents for a 23 oz. can of Peace Tea, a diet green tea. I really liked the design on the can. It goes really well with 'The 1968 Exhibit' at the Oakland Museum of California which has been extended through Sunday, November 25, due to popular demand.

http://www.amazon.com/Peace-Tea-Diet-...
http://museumca.org/1968

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  1. Has anyone noticed that certain GOs are better for "treasure hunt" items than others ? The newer looking ones (like Santa Clara, San Jose (Monterey) and Rohnert Park) don't seem to have as many treasures. It seems like they think of themselves as just cheaper grocery stores, and not as hotbeds of massively discounted higher end goodies.

    5 Replies
    1. re: DagingKuda

      Most of the GO stores are independently owned. Each owner has some discretion regarding what items they choose to stock in the store. My guess is some of the independent owners are not as adventuresome as others and would rather stick to items they are confident will sell.

      1. re: DagingKuda

        The Monterey Rd store in San Jose has changed. When it was new, I used to find things there that other stores had little of, especially in the cheese department and wine. But about a year ago, it shifted gears. I like the Rohnert Park store, it also has a focus on wine. However, I think Petaluma has more interesting stock.

        1. re: DagingKuda

          I came to the conclusion long ago that all GO's
          ARE NOT created =.
          Their prices vary, the merchandise is fabulous in some
          and not so much in others, fun finds here, boring and lackluster there.

          1. re: iL Divo

            Yes, that is correct. Most of the GO's are independently-owned and operated. Owners have discretion regarding what items they stock.

            1. re: DavidT

              that might be one of the reasons I can't resist going into one if I know they're close or we happen to drive by one. we see it and veer in for the kill (of my wallet).
              they really can be treasure troves. sort of like a piñata , you never know what's inside or what's gonna fall out.

        2. I tried a $4.99 Austrian 2009 "Turn Me Red" wine, Zweigelt with a little Cabernet Sauvignon. Drinkable, better than most wines in that price range, but a bit over the hill.

          1. Missed the wine sale, but wanted to mention that this week in Salinas I picked up 2005 Point Concepcion "Encantado" Paso Robles Syrah for $5.99. This is the second label for Peter Cargasacchi. I popped it open to try with a burger for lunch. This bottle was a bit past prime, but still solid and delicious with blackberry fruit and meaty aromas. Pretty well balanced and not hot, certainly worth the price (but not the $19 original sticker price).
            http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...
            http://www.pointconcepcionwines.com/

            Also picked up Saga blue cheese, Grana padana, Pacific organic chicken broth ($1.49/qt), and gift packs of two sticks of Columbus salame secchi (9 oz, $3.99). The salame has a use by date of 12/9/12, and it's exactly at the point that I like in maturity. Firm when you squeeze it, but not so hard and easy to cut with a sharp knife. The mold is mostly white with some mottling and the casing is pliable and easy to pull off.

            16 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I forgot to mention that I was at GO last week and they had Cypress Grove's Lamb Chopper (a sheep's milk cheese similar to a young Gouda), random weight (most about half a pound for $9.99/lb not cheap, but a good value.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                They still had the lamb chopper today, plus some Vintage 3-year-old gouda for $7.99/lb.

                99 cents -- three-pack of Ocean Snack dried "roasted and lightly sea salted" seaweed.
                $4.99 -- 8 oz bottle of basil-infused avocado oil
                $3.99 -- 400 gram Hageland (Belgian) milk chocolate with almonds (really good roasted almonds)
                $2.79 -- Magnum ice cream bars, both classic and almond

                Lots of baking supplies, including several different kinds of fair trade and/or organic sugar, chocolate chip (including mini-chips and Sunspire vegan carob chips), Albertson's label sweetened condensed milk (99 cents),

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  I tried that 3 year old Gouda because someone else had recommended it. It's edible but to my taste past its prime. I had passed on it previously because the color scared me and I think my eye was right.

                  1. re: chocolatetartguy

                    What exactly about the taste led you to say it's past its prime ? (I'm not experienced with aged Gouda.)

                    1. re: DagingKuda

                      Me neither, but I do eat a lot of sharp, hard cheeses: Piave, Mimolette. A couple of weeks ago, I tasted an older and a younger Piave at the Cheeseboard. I bought the younger because the older didn't taste fresh and clean. I think it was past its prime.

                      My reaction to the the 3 yr was the same. It tasted earthy to me. Literally, it tasted of dirt. The color was an offputting yellow brown, but try it. You might like it. I didn't.

                      1. re: chocolatetartguy

                        One person's "offputting yellow brown" is another person's "deliciously carmelized." ;-)

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          The one I didn't buy, looked like very burnt caramel. :)

                          1. re: chocolatetartguy

                            Right. Caramel color, flaky shards, salty crystals, deeper mushroomy flavors, all hallmarks of an aged gouda. It shouldn't taste "fresh and clean", that's the sign of young, immature cheese. Aged gouda will be much more nuanced and not direct and straightforward in its flavor profile. Not past prime, it's advancing into prime territory, but that additional complexity of flavor is not for everyone.

                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                              By fresh and clean, I do not mean young, immature. Maybe I don't like aged gouda, but to my taste it had turned to the dark side. As my cheesemonger said to me re the more aged Piave, cheese does have a peak. What you characterize as complexity and nuance, I experience as staleness. What you consider prime territory, I see a dead zone.

                              1. re: chocolatetartguy

                                Yes, cheeses do have a peak though goudas can age five years and beyond. But storage comes into play as well. A slice that has been kept in plastic for a long time can taste stale picking up too much taste of the plastic and other gunk besides getting dried out. Curious that you enjoy mimolette aged but not old gouda as the cheeses are so similar but for the color.

                                Aged Gouda discussion
                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/301926

                  2. re: Ruth Lafler

                    Ruth, was that Oakland GO? Have you tasted the Cypress Grove yet?

                    1. re: dordogne

                      Yes, Oakland.

                      I like the Cypress Grove Lamb Chopper -- I bought some more.

                      BTW, they still had some of the Trago Reposado Tequila at $16.99. It's a pretty bottle and would make a nice gift.

                  3. re: Ruth Lafler

                    That's an incredible price on the Lamb Chopper. Sheep's milk cheeses are very high and $9.99 IS cheap for that cheese. I pay considerably more than that at wholesale from my distributor. You can expect to pay around $25 per pound at retail at most stores.

                    1. re: Sushiqueen36

                      Cheap, of course, is relative to both the item and the buyer. That's why I used the term "good value," which is inarguable considering what other stores are charging for it

                      I know a lot of people who don't think $10/lb for "cheese" is "cheap" and who would be astounded to know that I regularly pay several times that for cheese.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        I understand. That's why I said cheap for *that* cheese. "Good value" doesn't even begin to describe what a good price that is - that's the point I was trying to make.

                        1. re: Sushiqueen36

                          Cheap was a few years back when Sigona's had La Tur for $2.99. But I understand your point!

                2. Yesterday at the South San Fran GO:

                  33.8oz. tubs of Roba Dolce Gelato & Sorbetto for $3.99
                  3.5oz. packs of Droste chocolate Pastilles for $0.99:

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: DavidT

                    I love the Roba Dolce. Just finished off a Raspberry and if you can find their Chocolate, grab it!

                    1. re: BigWoodenSpoon

                      I just tried the coconut Roba Dolce for the first time. Really nice flavor, with lots of shredded coconut.

                  2. at Oakland Grocery Outlet today:

                    -$3.99 Barão Do Sul Tinto 2005, a Portugese Red. This tasty bottle is back after an absence of a few months. I don't know wines but I liked the aromas of black cherry and leather and a tangy acidic taste on the palate. The back label suggests it goes well with mild cheese, grilled meats and bacalhau (salted codfish).

                    Most of these guys liked it:

                    http://grossoutwine.wordpress.com/201...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: zippo

                      Thanks for the link to the GO wine blog. Very interesting and very helpful.

                      1. re: zippo

                        zippo, the blog is really helpful, but it makes me wish that I was closer to the Berkeley GO for the selection available there. Thanks for posting.