Archive for the ‘Grocery Stores’ Category

What’s New in Wabasha

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Had another great day at the Wabasha Farmer’s Market yesterday by the hospital. Abigail sold us the bread she promised, we took it home and had some this morning as toast and we put some avocado on it. Man, that was good. It’s a very dense but doesn’t go down like a heavy rock. It’s dense, but light and mighty tasty. Just really good ingredients. For four bucks a loaf, I think I can make several meals with it as a base. Good work, Abigail!

Later, we tried baking French toast with Abigail’s bread. It was awesome. We cut 5 pieces of 3/4 inch thick slices into quarters and soaked them in 5 eggs with vanilla, milk and cinnamon. Then placed all 20 pieces into two buttered glass pans, put them in the oven for 25 minutes at 350 degrees F. SO good with real maple syrup or honey.

Sara George got us some of the MOST wonderful tasting strawberries we ever had. We love strawberries and these were so worth the money. Get there early, they might be gone soon.

Another lady had radishes, but we didn’t get there early enough. Maybe next time!

Thanks so much to the wonderful farmers who weed and wait for us to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Thank you so much for your support. I know they really appreciate it.

Flying Over Northfield

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Last Monday morning I was fortunate enough to enjoy a airplane ride over Northfield where I could see such remarkable attractions as the public swimming pool, Malt-O-Meal-the company, Cannon River, Northfield Golf Course, St. Olaf and Carleton Colleges and their perspective wind turbines, dozens of silent train cars, city parks and aprox. 5,000 or so dwellings. And oh, the new Peggy Prowse Bridge really stood out!

My dh had business down in Chicago and he had to come in late at night, so he could not land at Stanton Airfield, where he rents the plane, because it has no runway lights. That eventually meant a ride for me from Faribault to Stanton on a perfect morning. What’s more, it all ties in to my restaurant and food blog as he brought with him an Aurelio’s pizza from Illinois. This is a small chain of pizza houses that offer some of the best pizza I have ever eaten. We used to go to the one in Homewood, Il whenever we were out visiting. and were patient enough to wait in line.   The restaurant was in a converted mansion and was filled with booths in nooks and crannies,  stained glass,  t-shirt shop, arcade  games, lower and upper floor dining..something for everyone in the family.

The one thing aurelio’s does differently  is use a blend of cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Kind of  like real Italian cooks  do when they make pizza, using whatever they happen to have on han . You can hardly go wrong with that approach on pizza or in mac and cheese. At least that is true for me with the basic seven, cheddar, mozzarella, swiss, provolone, Gouda, Edam, or Jarlsberg.

Anyway,  I really enjoyed my flown in pizza,  saving part in the freezer so I can enjoy it again.

Just as I started writing this blog, a friend came over with some cannolis from Byerly’s in Apple Valley. For those of you who have not met this delightful dessert, it is a ricota (or marscapone cheese) piped into  a crisp pastry tube and topped with pistacio and sometimes chocolate bits on the open ends. It is very, very good and sweet and super fattening. These weren’t as good as the one’s I remember in Chicago at an old time Italian restaurant called Salerno’s on the near north side, but they were as close as I have seen in years. I guess it’s just hard to find  an Italian grandma to make cannoli for everyone in the area out of love.

We also found that people can order things like baked goods on line at Byerly’s and they will respond with a confirmation.

recipe link;

La Vencedora

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

La Vencedora, a grocery store, restaurant and bakery. Located at CR 3 and Hwy 19 in Northfield, west side of 3.

It was a sunny autumn afternoon, just after 1PM. I walked in, was greeted by a lovely senora who graciously asked me, “Can I help you?” ‘Si’, I said showing off my Spanish :) , I ordered a corn taco, pork. Everyone was so nice. Did I want onions? Por favor, I bragged. Did I want cilantro? Did I want spicy green salsa? Si, si, si, I replied. It only took about a minute and then, there it was, my pork taco with everything. Gratias.

I took it home, shared it with dh and ate it. I was amazed, I was surprized, I was happy. Look folks, for $1.98 total we got a nice happy little snack. If I had two, that would be dinner for me. So delicious. The corn tortilla was not that rubbery one I am used to, the pork was lean and juicy and chunky, not ripped up shredded muckety muck. The cilantro had some guts to it, not that weaky, thin, and barely flavored cilantro I usually see around. Then, a nice hunk of fresh lime to go with it, and fresh onions, not those about to disappear ‘caramelized’ ones you don’t see but sort of feel. The green side container of salsa was very good. A deep spicy but mellowing out sort of salsa. I liked it mucho bueno.

I saw a man eating there with several plates set out before him. I want that next time.

How do you say ‘authentic’ in Spanish? Let me give them four stars so far.

Fireside Orchard and Gardens

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Went to Fireside Orchard and Gardens on Hwy 19 today for the first time this season. Oh, what a lovely, lovely place to see an apple orchard, gardens, apple store and more! It is a nice place to escape for a few.

Every year, it just gets better. They have an incredible rose garden with roses of many colors and types. They built a pergola and are now growing grape vines that have just about covered the lovely seating area where you can go with some homemade donuts and coffee or cider and look out over the boulders and the gazing pool and rose gardens that surround the pergola.

The Fireside owners, Todd and family, want you to come out and do art and bring some children and have an afternoon of peace and beauty. They are great people. Get all their info, including when apples are available and what type will be ready on any given date at the website listed below. They also have some great cheeses, apple pie from heaven, fudge, and apple butter and more gourmet items. I have a lovely red hot chocolate cup I bought three years ago and it is still lovely red, after many, many trips thru the dishwasher. They also feature Good prices, too.

Totally handicapped accessible and they have a website, too…

The Tavern of Northfield Restaurant, Est. 1877

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

The Tavern of Northfield Restaurant-Live Music!  Wine! Great Food and Service!

212 Division Street Northfield, Mn 55047Ph. 507-663-0342

We had to wait for a prescription today, so we glided into The Tavern around 3:30 PM. It was quiet an an English church mouse in there, and like everyone else that followed us, we felt like we should ask if it was opened, and it was! Thank goodness because we had worked up an appetite shopping and recycling our yard waste.

We had eaten lunch and dinner there a few times before today. I really like the stained glass windows, the wooden floors and the English pub style quaint separate rooms. I had a couple of minor gripes about the place, but nothing serious. We had had very good filet mignon, chicken salad, and stir fry. I loved their tavern potatoes, but have since given up all fried potatoes in favor of a more girlish figure.

Today, my dh ordered the Parmesan Peppercorn Chicken wrap with bacon, ranch dressing, green leaf lettuce and garlic chips. He said it was good, and I saw that it was quite ample in size, and I tasted the nice ranch dressing, and garlic chips which were very crunchy. He also had iced tea which was rich in color and served with a nice wedge of lemon. I tried the garlic dill pickle spear off his plate, as I am wont to do, and found it delicious. Thank goodness for restaurants that are not cutting back on the things we go to restaurants for…the extras…lemon, pickle, maybe a little tomato, oh, the dark green cloth napkins, I love that, and we don’t use those at home very often, do we?

I ordered a half of Jambalaya on fettucini. I have had jambalaya in New Orleans a couple of times, and then again at a place called Bourbon Street in Tulsa, OK, one of the few truly authentic New Orleans style restaurants outside of the city at that time, circa 2000. So I felt it was a good thing to pick for comparison and blogging.

I started out with the optional Caesar Salad, which I order whenever I can get it. This one was good, plenty of tomato, black olives, parmesan cheese, tons of croutons, and some green spinachy things. Not sure what that was. I don’t think it was romaine, but there was one piece that looked like romaine lettuce. This wasn’t the authentic caesar salad, but it was good and it was tasty, and it didn’t cost your dowry, so I advise for it.

The Jambolaya was unexpectedly delicious and very spicy hot. The andouille sausage is a highly spiced smoked pork sausage and this was no exception. The jambolaya also contains shrimp, chicken, celery, onion and more…all done to perfection. It is served with a medium weight white bread and butter, and some lovely melon slices and leafy green lettuce. I ate it all. Now, I have not seen the dish served with fettucini before, only rice, but I was in the mood for the optional noodles, and it worked out well, as they were very fresh and seemed almost homemade.

The service was great, by Sandy, and we enjoyed our sit there until the window washer came up behind us and started working, so we left, but not unhappy, just full and happy we stopped. As for the prices, I’d say they were fair. We spent $21.00 for two of us and had a really good late lunch or early dinner. So ignore my quirky, silly complaints and realize the Tavern for yourself.

One unfortunate note, I could not locate a website with a menu for them.

The Tavern is handicap accessible if you go in through the Archer House door in the rear, or can manage single stairway steps into the regular entrance.

Thanks for reading. We welcome comments.

Northfield Grocery Stores

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Having just returned from EconoFoods, my first visit in three years, I became very excited about expanding my restaurant blog to a blog about any food resource around. We sure do spend a lot of time shopping, eating at restaurants, thinking about eating, preparing to eat, cooking and trying to get out of cooking, cleaning up afterward and so on. Hopefully, I can ease that burden so you can do something even more fun.

I was amazed at EconoFoods. First of all, because they interspersed their organic foods amongst like non organic foods and labeled the areas very clearly indeed, unlike Cub, who keeps all their organic food in one area, making it seem too fringy and special. Just Foods mixes everything in together, but does not label it as clearly, unless it is fresh fruits and vegetables.

EconoFoods seems to have a lot more choices in every case, from mustards, beans, pizzas and teas. They even had Celestial Seasonings Wellness Teas which I have never seen even at Byerly’s. That may be a new thing, so let me know if you think so. Cubs tends to have a lot of one thing on hand, but not all that many choices and Just Foods carries such a different group of food, I cannot really compare them on this point…but they do have adequate choices if you are a completely natural and organic sort of gal or guy.

I did not see many bulk items at EconoFoods, and Cubs and Just Food have them beat there. EconoFoods also has a full array of flours and baking from scratch organic or natural items, and Cubs has been spotty at best, Just Foods I think now has most if not all the best used ones.

I stopped going to EconoFoods because they are expensive, more expensive than the stores I have been used to around the Midwest and South, from Tulsa, OK, to Chicago, Il. Now, I have learned to shop the sales. Buy in quantity and don’t go shopping hungry. Only buy what you will eat, and be able to store well. Freeze items like bread and some veggies until you are ready to use them. Cook a few pounds of chicken or other meats at once, and freeze what you don’t eat. Easy to warm up later, saving time and energy and trips to the store. Then, you’ll have some moolah left over for treats and luxuries. :)

EconoFoods used to be dark and confusing with so many items. Now, I can see what I am buying and I feel like hanging out and learning more about what is available when I get some time. I use my shopping time to exercise, too, so I can spend an hour walking around and studying, then that means I have to double back and get the milk and juice so it doesn’t get warm while I study. This adds more exercise to my routine, which means I can buy more food to eat, cuz I lost so much weight shopping for food! :) again.

EconoFoods is somewhat more expensive for many items. Cub has less choices, but they all have adequate supplies and well stocked shelves. Just Food has some great homemade touches, like a nice deli, good bakery items, a more every one knows everyone atmosphere, and a smaller, more manageable size store.

All three stores do a good job of changing things up every so often to make your experience fresher.

EconoFoods has baggers and is all set up to load up your car. Cub will too, but you might have to wait awhile. Just Foods is more concerned with how many and what kind of bag you or they will load up, never quite sure, and they expect you will be able to carry out one really heavy bag even if you are not built like a construction worker. I always ask for two. I do re-use or recycle my bags, so don’t feel bad about it at all.

Just Foods is accommodating in the service area, but it’s a special case for them to assist with loading into a car, as far as I can see.

All three stores are handicap accessible, will provide help choosing items out of reach, but I did not see any special riding carts at EconoFoods or Just Foods. Please send correction if I missed something.

One thing about grocery shopping and that is to understand what the terms ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ mean and to understand that all process foods are less nutritious than most fresh or frozen fruits, vegetables and meats. Just because potato chips or rice crackers are organic or natural doesn’t make them any better for you than regular potato chips, or rice stuff…which really hold very little nutrition, if any. If it’s in a box, you could eat the box and get some good fiber at least. Just kidding. Don’t eat the box!

Please send in your comments on what you like best about your store. I’ll include those opinions and facts in the main body of the blog for accuracy.

PS- Cub wins for the best store to walk around because they play music I like and is a huge store with wide open aisles.