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Krys Stanley

This Week at the Berkeley Bowl

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Tips, hits, and misses

There are so many items at the Berkeley Bowl, no one could try them all.

What are your favorites and any tips you may have about shopping there? Also, this might be a nice thread to use if you find something particularly wonderful while you are shopping each week and let us know about it.

This week

Green cocktail grapefruit They are sweet. These are to grapefruit as Meyer lemons are to lemons. It is getting to the end of the season. The greener ones are better.

I saw the first honey tangerines this week.

Also bought some seasonal soft shell pecans . Just like regular pecans but you can shell them just by squeezing the shell with your fingers.

Favorites

Saint Benoit Yogurt is that expensive yogurt ($2) in little crocks. If you like that cream on top of Brown Cow yogurt, every bite of this French style yogurt is like that. If you look at the link to the website, you can find other stores that carry this Sonoma yogurt.

I just discovered Whole Grain Natural Bread Company’s marble rye. Their oatmeal is too dry for me. The spinach parmesan is a nice bread. No really assertive flavors so you can use it to make any sandwich a little more unique.

I love canned herring in wine sauce. The Bowl carries Acme herring from Brooklyn which is some of the best canned herring I’ve tried. The herring in sour cream is excellent also,

Currently the Bowl is selling Crane Lake wines for $3.99 next to the register. It is a good everyday table wine. Some restaurants in SF are serving Crane Lake.

Some of my favorites include the lemon chicken in the Chinese take out section. I recently had a terrific shrimp risotto from the deli.

What kind of world do we live in where you have to put a sign on the olive bar that says “olives may contain pits”. I’m really fond of the little onions in balsamic . This was a great article in the San Francisco Chronicle about all those mysterious types of olives. There is an olive glossary at the end.

I know other places sell it, but this is where I first tried Apple a Day juice and Sconehenge scones . I read somewhere long ago that Apple a Day squeezes the juice at the orchard and then freezes it to keep it fresh. I like to get the not quite defrosted juice and drink it on the ride home. I love the little pieces of ice in it. I think Sconehenge still makes the great pies and galettes in the white boxes. In the old bowl location Sconehenge was the great little café next door. After the move, the pies seemed to change a little. They are still good, but something seems different.

Tips

As far as tips, I never realized that there was a 10% discount if you buy in bulk. That flat of Chandler strawberries becomes even more of a bargain.

I bought the canvas shopping bags when they first were sold years ago and they are still in great condition. What makes them so special is that the handle loops under the bag, so it never rips off.

As to the best time to go, I have found that about 4 pm on weekday there are the least number of people. Close to closing, after 7 can be good too. I thought I would be clever once and show up at opening. Mistake. People sit in their cars sipping coffee, reading the newspaper and a mob forms about a minute before the doors open.

Just a little background on the new location.


Edited by Krys Stanley (log)

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My best tip for shopping at Bowl is to take a lot of patience with you! I usually can only get over there on a weekend when it's a madhouse, people are lined up for parking places, and the checkout lines are huge.

That said, nothing compares to Bowl for its produce. The meat and cheese counters aren't too bad either. I love their bulk bins for things like steel cut oats, organic unbleached pastry flour, beans, rice, pasta, and granola.


"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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Last night I cruised the bulk bins for the first time in years because the market was uncrowded. I was just astounded by the selection. I was considering those steel cut oats. I currently like an oatmeal that is only sold at Andronico's (the name is escaping me), but it is pretty pricy.

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oooh this thread is going to kill me. i love bb, but live in southern ca, so i only get there a few times a year (along with the pasta shop, monterey market, etc.) i have to pack an extra carryon just for goodies. i always have a new friend or two by the time my flight home lands. ("would you like an olive? how about a lovely piece of acme bread? salumi?")


"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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I used to buy wonderfully plump, moist vanilla beans at Berkeley Bowl for I think $2.99 a bean, but I noticed they recently switched to selling bottles of extract instead. I heard they still sell the beans though, but I didn't see them that day. However, you can get better deals by buying in bulk, if you use vanilla beans regularly.


I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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Not to detract from Berkeley Bowl, but I can get a pair of fat and sassy vanilla beans from Trader Joe's for $3.29.

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Hmm, maybe Trader Joe's has gotten better than when I tried them. I did buy beans from TJ's a couple of times but theirs were too skinny and not moist enough. Thanks for the tip.

--do you remember when TJ's used to sell $.99 Tahitian vanilla beans? That was awesome.


Edited by jschyun (log)

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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Hmm, maybe Trader Joe's has gotten better than when I tried them.  I did buy beans from TJ's a couple of times but theirs were too skinny and not moist enough.  Thanks for the tip.

--do you remember when TJ's used to sell $.99 Tahitian vanilla beans?  That was awesome.

Yes, indeedy. These beans are from Madagascar. Not to be confused with NASCAR.

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