Bi-Rite Market new Divisadero location, SF - any reports?
- hhc Mar 18, 2013 10:17 PM
Who's been to the new Bi-Rite Market on Divisadero? Grocery, cut to order cheese, ice cream shop inside, break down animals in house, grind all meat daily, parking at DMV Panhandle lot $2/hr, select # of hrs, Bi-Rite Market, coupon code 550.
InsideScoop link with pics & info:
550 Divisadero St, near Hayes St
Went in for the second time today. My first visit was a dash in and out on a weeknight shortly after they opened. Today they've been open a week, and I took a leisurely stroll through around 3pm, and got a sandwich from the deli counter.
I've never been in the Mission store, even though I've lived in SF for over 18 years. Just didn't have cause to go in since there are tons of great little markets all over the city, including in my 'hood. So I can't compare the locations, but I can say this one is too small/cramped, even at an uncrowded hour: While waiting for my sandwich I constantly felt in the way of other shoppers or staffers trying to pass by. No one was irritable or rude about it, but the aisles are just too damn narrow. I guess maybe a fair bit of floor space is taken up in back with that butchery setup.
While I was waiting for my sandwich I got to nibble on a Midnight Chocolate Cupcake sample, as well as a bit of Manchego cheese; both delicious. (Though I'm not a person who'll spend $7 on a small wedge of cheese.) There are lots of cool specialty and artisanal products on the shelves, priced to match those words "specialty" and "artisanal." But there were some surprisingly well-priced items too (the individual Fage and Chobani yogurts are actually cheaper than at Falletti's a couple blocks away), and the staff are incredibly friendly. Plus Bi-Rite offers a sandwich card, so eventually I'll be getting a free sammie.
Speaking of that sandwich, I got the $8.99 nicoise tuna, which was good: "Pan-seared tombo tuna, sliced thin and served with sauce gribiche, chopped olives, arugula and tomatoes on a toasted Semifreddi’s Ciabatta roll." And it was fun in a throwback kinda way to take a number at the deli counter rather than try to figure out where the line was forming to order.
Next visit I'll be tasting their ice cream for the first time. Today was just to get the lay of the land. Summary impressions: too cramped, too expensive (for me), but nice resource for hard-to-find specialty items or as an occasional treat, and the staff are stellar.
Yikes; if the Divis location feels cramped, you can go ahead and cross the original Mission location off your list of places to go, ever. It's like an agoraphobia obstacle course, but with organic crystallized ginger display instead of a climbing wall.
I live near the Divisadero shop but haven't made it yet--I want to take a look soon, but having lived near the original in the Mission and been aghast at a $60 tab for a meal's ingredients, I'm not eager to make this a regular shopping stop. Nice to have around when you need a very particular something, though.
I was really happy with my first visit to the new Bi Rite.
I was down on Divisadero (my old neighborhood back when they called this the Western Addition..."Do City. It's the sauce!") and stopped in to check out the new location. The high end groceries and specialty foods from 18th street are all here too. Meat/cheese/deli are much expanded. The Ice cream department is in the front window. I found the layout of the store easy to navigate, but it was not too crowded when I went. The young (do they only hire under 30s?) energetic staff was all smiles and helpful interaction. I picked up some prepared white beans from the deli, some corn tortillas and a vacuum sealed bag of boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a Bi Rite-made chile/lime/cilantro marinade. The prices were not too bad, especially for the marinated chicken thighs which were $6/lb.
Took everything home, cooked the chicken in the oven over some potatoes for 45 minutes, warmed up the beans and softened a few tortillas on the stove flame. The result was an almost no work meal at home that fed two with leftovers. The marinated chicken was excellent, well made and (for me) a bit unusual. I look forward to trying more of their ready-to-cook dishes and prepared foods.