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Grocery Outlet -- April 2014

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At Oakland Saturday (4/5):

$1.99 Organic Valley butter (1/2 pound)
99 cents Mediterranean Snack single-serving hummus snack packs (a container of hummus -- three flavors available -- and some lentil crackers: http://www.mediterraneansnackfoods.co...

)

$3.99 + buy one get one free, 16 oz Tim's Cascade potato chips (three or four flavors)

They still have the Lunatic, which I liked a lot, for $3.99, and I also picked up a bottle of Chateau Ste Michelle "special harvest" riesling for $4.99.

The GO spring wine sale starts Wednesday, so if anyone has recommendations on wines that might currently be in stock, please report!

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  1. Oakland Grocery Outlet today:

    - $1.50/bottle, Beer Lao Lager, 21.2 oz., 4.9% alc/vol, product of Lao PDR, beer-lao.com

    - 99 cents, Mountain High Lowfat Yoghurt flavored with Honey, 32 oz., use by 4/21

    - $1.49, Mountain High Lowfat Yoghurt, Plain, 32 oz., use by 4/20

    - $4.99, Ziggy Marley’s Coco’Mon™ Coconut oils, organic and cold-pressed, curry and other flavors, 14 oz.(located on gourmet shelf above freezer in middle aisle, north side)

    http://www.ziggymarleyorganics.com/co...

    - $2.99, Gilbert's Craft Sausages, Uncured Beef Franks, no nitrates added, 4 franks, 10 oz., best by 5/18/14, GilbertsSausages.com

    - $5.99, L'il Critters Gummy Vites Sour Gummy Bears, Multi-Vitamin & Mineral Formula, 190 gummy bears, 2012 Best Taste Award ChefsBest. These are the best tasting vitamins I have ever had - hope the kids don't mistake them for candy.

    - 50 cents, Panda Gourmet Jelly Beans, The Jelly Bean Planet, 100% natural flavors, 3.5 oz., product of Ireland, internaturalfoods.com (located on gourmet shelf above the freezer section, middle aisle, north side

    )

    Non-food

    - $1.99, Mirra Renew Natural Triple Milled Soap Bar Cranberry Mangosteen, 7 Oz., made in France

    ebay description:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mirra-Renew-N...

    -

     
     
    8 Replies
    1. re: zippo

      Those Panda jelly beans are pretty good.

      What would you use the flavored coconut oil for?

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        Ruth,
        The jelly beans are very good. I didn't actually buy the flavored coconut oil this time but, uncharacteristically, the store had left 2 jars labelled "sample only" with the tops off so apparently customers could smell the engaging aromas of the solidified oil. For a long time GO carried a different line of unflavored coconut oil that I think Melanie was curious about. I just admire the boldness of the idea behind this product. Maybe next time I'll buy it and report back. It certainly would be a conversation piece.

        1. re: zippo

          Yeah, I saw it and was intrigued by it, but just couldn't figure out what I would do with it so I didn't buy it.

          These days I usually see between one and three brands of coconut oil in that area at the Oakland GO.

        2. re: Ruth Lafler

          i would use the curry as a saute oil, or in a raw food dressing.

          i would use the others in smoothies.

        3. re: zippo

          They had the Beer Lao at Berkeley as well. I remember it being $1.29, but could be wrong. Either price is good for a pretty good light lager beer, as long as they aren't badly skunked.

          1. re: zippo

            Does the soap actually smell like mangosteen? That might be too tortuous.

            1. re: zippo

              Bought some of the Beer Lao at 2/$3. I'd forgotten how much I like this beer, which I've only had at SE Asian restaurants. It has a little bit of a cult following, which I completely understand. It's clean and crisp with a subtle malty sweetness. No off-flavor or weird smells. Perfect warm weather beer. Why does a brewery in Laos make such good beer?

              1. re: calny

                I bought a bunch of Beer Lao at Oakland GO.

                Very tasty and not skunked (unlike all the lagers I have ever bought at Trader Joes)

                I have had it many times at Champa Gardens.
                but these larger bottles taste a little more sweet,,,almost too sweet if you drink more than one.

            2. Pretty slim pickings at Rohnert Park GO last night.

              Tried BOPS (baked organic potato snack) aged white cheddar flavor, $1.49. Fairly neutral taste, and nothing like cheese, would not buy this again. Product of Slovakia

              Non-food but cooking related,
              Finish Quantum powerball dishwasher detergent, bonus pack, 30 for $5.49

              Received $3 off Easter bonus, valid April 12-30.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Forgot something.

                Fiscalini garlic cheddar, 8 oz, $4

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Berkeley had the Fiscalini Chipotle cheddar. It was sharp as expected but the pepper overwhelmed it.

                  1. re: chocolatetartguy

                    Oakland also had the Fiscalini Chipotle cheddar.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      I got the Fiscalini garlic and chipotle cheddars from Oakland GO. for $7.99/lb. While I don't really understand why they're making flavored cheese with such high-quality product, at that price it made some delicious nachos, particularly the garlic version. I can see good mac and cheese coming from this also, as the melting properties were good. I prefer the Wellesey Farms pecorino Romano Romano I picked up for $8.99/lb. Vacuum packed, it is still soft relative to most pecorino Romano, but has the characteristic flavor, though on the mild side.
                      They also had the 22 (actually 21.2 oz) BeerLao, which is the best of the lager imports I've tried.
                      Their greens (kale, mustard) seemed to be a similar value to what I get at farmer's markets--here 99c for smallish bunches, fresh.
                      I took advantage of the wine sale, including the Lunatic, which was still there--a white blend I find interestingly floral. I've only gotten the chance to try the Cottonwood 2011 Pinot Noir, which I wouldn't buy again, due to blah-ness, for 10.99 before 20% discount and the "Top Chef Quickfire Chardonnay" which was ridiculously fruity, but worth the laughs. The have other varietals if you want to laugh for yourself.
                      I also bought, but haven't tried the Mario Batali spaghetti and fettucini for $1.49. Both have a promising texture and text on the back suggesting bronze die extrusion.

                    2. re: chocolatetartguy

                      There was Tarragon Cheddar too.

                2. Correction: It's Ste. Chapelle, not Chateau Ste. Michelle.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    Hi Ruth,
                    The Ste. Chappelle was not my favorite. I think I ended up returning it because it was flat & sweet. The Cline Mouvedre Rose for $4.99 is probably gone, but great. At Oakland, Steve recommended a 2007 Maorou Northern Rhone Syrah, Carignan & Grenache Blend: $6.99 and a Maddalena Sauvignon Blanc Paso Robles: $2.99. I also got the Rocland Grenache Barossa Valley: $5.99, a NZ Pinot Noir: $6.99 and a Wolf Blass Dry Riesling: $4.99.
                    Grand total for 9 bottles after 20% & tax: $41.78. Now I gotta start drinking some so I'll have room for more deals ; )

                  2. Petaluma GO:

                    Columbus Salumeria toppings: $1.49 or $1.99 for 4 ounces, sell by date May 6, 2014
                    Calabrese salame, Fennel salame, Hot soppressata

                    Lots of Lindt chocolate Easter bunnies, milk chocolate eggs, and Lindor milk chocolate truffle eggs.

                     
                    1. I love Grocery Outlet. They have some of the best deals on food. I just hate that I can't depend on them to continue carrying the same things.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: bigmisa

                        That's the reason they have those deals.

                        1. re: davidg1

                          I'm curious if anyone has noticed an uptick in good wine deals at GO in the last year or so. A couple of months ago I had a conversation with a wine guy at Trader Joe's in which he informed me that they were curtailing many of their best "hustle buys" because of complaints from customers that they didn't like missing out on deals, and were thus moving toward a model of more consistent wine offerings. As the occasional great hustle buy was by far my favorite thing about shopping for booze at TJs, I'm wondering if GO has picked up the slack and is offering the same value for closeout wines there.

                          1. re: bigwheel042

                            Just the opposite for me, actually. Prices seem to have gone up, to an average of $7-8 a bottle. At that price point, I don't want to risk an unknown wine when I can get an old reliable bottle from TJs.

                            I can sympathize with missing out on good deals, though. A 2004 IO grenache/syrah/mourvedre blend from Santa Rita was delicious, but when I went back to buy more yesterday they had sold out.

                      2. April 16: The Redwood City GO had Pacific Organic Mushroom Broth for $1.49 (34 ounces; no, 34 is not a typo). They also had the Ziggy Marley coconut oil mentioned by zippo, in the Curry flavor. Several shapes of Barilla pastas were $.99.

                        There wasn't anything out of the ordinary in the refrigerated section.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: goodeatsgal

                          I'm guessing the Pacific is from Canada, where the package is a liter, not a quart. I've bought Canadian Pacific products at GO before (the bilingual packaging is a giveaway).

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            Yes, everything on the package had an equal translation in French, so you're probably right!

                          2. re: goodeatsgal

                            I saw Pacific Organic Tom Yum soup starter at the Geary store; was intrigued, but didn't buy. Has anyone tried this?

                            1. re: TVHilton

                              Yes, I've tried it. It's pretty good. Not like a true Tom Yum soup you'd find at a Thai restaurant, but it's a decent home substitute. I think I doctored up the soup, though.

                          3. How did I not know until today that there's a Grocery Outlet in my neighborhood (27th & Geary)? Someone must have forgotten to send me the memo.

                            Anyway, picked up three random $3.99 wines (random, because I didn't have my desktop computer with me so I couldn't consult Chowhound): Cellar No. 8 2011 Chardonnay (Sonoma County); Trewa 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (Chile); and Barrymore (!) 2011 Pino Grigio, which I suppose we can drink while watching one of the Essentials on TCM. Haven't tasted any yet; we'll see.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: TVHilton

                              Please do report back. I'm always wondering which wines are good, and there's a huge paucity of people actually reporting back on what they bought.

                              1. re: davidg1

                                I will report back!

                                Melanie, that's good to know. I figured at $3.99 each it was fairly low-risk, but a return option reduces the risk still further.

                              2. re: TVHilton

                                Hold onto your receipt. GO has a liberal return policy and I've gotten refunds on wines I thought were off or did not like.

                                1. re: Melanie Wong

                                  just curious: do you return opened bottles?

                                  1. re: escargot3

                                    Yes.

                                2. re: TVHilton

                                  The Cellar No. 8 is unexceptional but perfectly drinkable as an everyday table wine. Light, sort of a generic Chardonnay.

                                  1. re: TVHilton

                                    Trewa is also unexceptional but decent. Crisp, light white. Would buy again.

                                    Didn't like the Barrymore (sorry, Drew), wouldn't buy it again. It wasn't off or anything like that--just not particularly good.

                                  2. last Friday (4/18) afternoon at Berkeley Grocery Outlet:

                                    - $2.99, 2011 Lupi Reali Trebbiano D’Abruzzo, from Italy made from organic grapes, tasted the minerality mentioned in the review, below, and will get some more:

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

                                    - 99 cents, Ines Rosales Almond Sweet Olive Oil Torta, about 6 oz., 5 count, from Spain, each torta individually wrapped in paper that soaks up some of the almond and anise-flavored olive oil, crispy, pairs well with coffee, they only carried the sweet almond flavor:

                                    http://scribblerinseville.com/tag/tor...

                                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJn3n...

                                    (English subtitles available at bottom of Youtube settings

                                    )

                                    - $1.99, MaraNatha Roasted Natural Sesame Tahini - Creamy with salt, 16 oz. jar, manufactured by Hain Celestial, product of Guatemala:

                                    http://www.maranathafoods.com/product...

                                     
                                    1. Santa Rosa:

                                      Oleaoestepa EVOO from Spain, 500 ml, available as Arbequina or Hojiblanca single varieties, $4.99, with best by date of Nov 2014. I've purchased this Co-op's oil before from Española Meats.

                                      Spectrum olive oil spray, sunflower oil spray or coconut oil spray, $3.99

                                      Swanson turkey stock, 26 oz, 50¢

                                      Anchor unsalted butter from New Zealand, 8 oz, $1.49

                                      Dagoba organic 59% dark chocolate "roseberry" 2 oz bar, $1.49 - this has rosehips and raspberries, liking it alot.

                                       
                                       
                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                                        Oakland:

                                        4-pack of 18 oz Heinz Homestyle turkey gravy for only 50 cents.

                                         
                                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                                          Did anyone see the Oleaoestepa EVOO from Spain at Berkeley or Oakland? There was none in Berkeley on Sunday.

                                          Those Dagoba roseberry bars are very good.

                                        2. Gloria Ferrer 2008 Pinot Noir 375 ml at $4.99 Berkeley and Vallejo GO. I bought a case without tasting, and was not disappointed.

                                          Here is the link to the tasting notes:
                                          http://www.winealign.com/wines/25838-...

                                          Granted that this is only a half bottle, but very good value for the price. Going back for more.

                                          Normally I check out grossoutwines: http://grossoutwine2.wordpress.com but sometimes their recommendations misfire. Again, GO is very good about returns, even opened bottles. At the Petaluma outlet, they even graciously say "Sorry this did not work out for you" after 6 months. But keep the receipt though. No risk involved.

                                           
                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: NapaSpy

                                            I'm afraid that link to grossoutwines is outdated. The most recent reviews there are from 2013. The currently active site is

                                            http://grossoutwine.wordpress.com/

                                            1. re: NapaSpy

                                              The Palo Alto store had the same Gloria Ferrer 2008 Pinot Noir 375 ml today. $4.99. I picked up 6 bottles.

                                            2. Angove Family Winemakers Vineyard Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 from Coonawarra, Australia
                                              $7.99 at Petaluma GO

                                              Here are the tasting notes:
                                              http://www.wine.com/v6/Angove-Family-...

                                              It needed three hours of decanting to come alive. We had it with Thai Green curry, and it boldly held its own.

                                              So Hounders, would you agree " 90 Points -- Wine Enthusiast"?