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Sep 20, 2013 06:19 AM

The Procurement Thread - Your Best & Worst

I recently experienced opposite ends of the spectrum on procuring tasty foodstuff in the DC area. Not from a restaurant, but from a market or grocery store where you can pick up something that calls for finishing/easy cooking at home.

The worst is first: literally the wurst. The shortrib franks at Glenn's Garden Market on 20th above S St, NW are $13 for ten franks. I tried two ways to heat these things: once in a microwave and once in a pan. Either way, the texture is like clumps of sawdust and lacking in flavor. I had visions of the great shortrib franks at Lyon Hall, but these are inedible. I tried a couple and threw the rest away.

After years of misplaced hope that Safeway can actually do something right, I have to say that their unorthodox samosas are a shining light. They use a beet-tomato tortilla as a wrap and are stuffed with vegetables bursting with flavor. I avoid samosas at most restaurants because they are too doughy and the filling indifferent. These are fresh tasting, crispy, and light.

If you could name a recent success and/or failure at procuring good food, please list it here!

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  1. Since the season is approaching...two years in a row now I've outsourced some of our Thanksgiving sides to Whole Paycheck (Old Town/Duke St store) and I must admit, they do it very well. Biscuit stuffing, mushroom gravy, green bean casserole, breads are all very solid items.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rachelcp

      I haven't been able to get home for a proper Grandmother-prepared thanksgiving in a few years and Whole Paycheck (AKA WPC as we call it in our house) is my go to. I really enjoy most of their items. My usual order includes a raw turkey cleaned and seasoned with herb butter, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, sausage stuffing, and both the turkey and mushroom gravy which is outstanding. For dessert, I like the apple pie. The rolls I am not too much a fan of, but everything else has been great. I like to use it as a base and then give myself some chance to tinker with it in the kitchen so I feel like I'm contributing as I do enjoy cooking. The turkey I prefer to cook myself for many reasons. The potatoes I will often doctor with additional milk, butter, herbs, bacon.

    2. Oh and another "best" -- Society Fair's meal bags and dinners have been consistently good.

      3 Replies
        1. re: Steve

          Was having trouble thinking of one. Then it just came to me...Polyface's bacon. Oh the salty horrors. Milk soaking hardly made a difference. Resorted to using it as obscenely expensive bac-o-bits in salads because any more than a crumb was unpalatable.

          1. re: Steve

            Their breakfast sausages are not bad. Just the bacon.

        2. Went back to Glen's Garden Market, and this time scored well with their baked empanadas. These slay Julia's and any others I've had in the area. Really good stuff.