|Forget love, I'd rather fall in chocolate.||Home | Featured | The Restaurants | About ||
|« FEB 23: FB Pays Off or Can Good Come from Sun Valley?||FEB 29: The Three Natalies »|
except the one, true God. This past week, I spent quite a bit of time looking at and tasting different foods. I shopped at Bristol Farms for the very first time and I dropped by Golden Road Brewing in Atwater Village to check out their pub.
On Tuesday evening and again on Wednesday afternoon, I shopped at Bristol Farms (BF) in South Pasadena. All I knew about BF prior to shopping there was that it was an upscale, snooty, and pretentious supermarket. I even remember a "Simpsons" episode that poked fun at Bristol Farms for these very reasons. No doubt BF is upscale, however, I found that the only snooty or pretentious element of Bristol Farms were its customers!
I entered the supermarket with a bit of trepidation, but instead of an alarm sounding off against the approach of plebeians, I was greeted by a grand display of Dekopons (see photo above)! Dekopons have been described as the "most delicious" of citrus. It originated from Japan, and during the 1990s, Dekopons were the "most prized and expensive citrus" in Japan, known to sell for 10 USD per fruit! ¹ (Read more about the Dekopon here.)
To the left of the store entrance was the store's bakery. I proceeded to ogle the various baked goods on display when a nice lady approached me from behind the counter. She asked me what I would like and I answered, "I'd like to try a pistachio macaron." She passed it to me and when I tried to pay for it, she smiled and said, "Please, enjoy it free of charge!" You could imagine how surprised I was by this act of generosity, especially when you consider the kind of market I was in!
The pistachio macaron (green) was delicious, perhaps more so since it was free! It had buttercream filling, which I prefer over ganache. While I savored the macaron, I entered into a friendly conversation with the bakery attendant. She told me a heartwarming story about her daughter's upcoming birthday and I asked some questions about Bristol Farms' bakery operation. I found out that they don't do much baking in-house at BF. The employees at BF only finish items that have already been parbaked and they decorate pastries: everything is purchased from a third party. Even if Bristol Farms wanted to do all their baking in-house, it would be impossible given the limited space at the supermarket.
I was compelled by the bakery lady's kindness to buy a cupcake:
Red Velvet Cupcake (3.29 USD): Cream cheese frosting. This was a fairly standard tasting red velvet cupcake. As for texture, it was spot on - light, fluffy, and moist - just what you want in a cupcake. I thought the frosting was nice as well - not cloyingly sweet.
I moved on to look at other parts of the store: produce, meat & seafood, prepared foods, olive bar, various grocery aisles, and the wine & spirits section. Very nice. BF also has a dine-in cafe. It was closed by the time I arrived.
I was favorably impressed by Bristol Farms' cheese case. There were lots of goodies in there like fresh mozzarella, Roquefort, Humboldt Fog, aged Gouda, and an array of soft cheeses:
My impression of Bristol Farms? I thought the folks working there were very down to earth. The selection of ingredients and products was high in quality. Pricewise, items cost more here than at Albertsons/Ralphs/Vons, yet shopping at BF is still doable. I would say BF is very similar to Whole Foods.
The next day, I returned to Bristol Farms because I had to taste a Dekopon. This time I came with a friend from church, "EM".
0.71 lb Dekopon (3.49 USD per pound). I split it in half with "EM". The Dekopon was definitely tastier than an orange - much richer in flavor - had the sweet tones of a mandarin, and had a tart quality. The flesh was packed with juice. A lot of the Dekopons "EM" and I handled had a loose skin, which "EM" said resembled Cuties-brand mandarins. When you know you can get navel oranges at Ralphs for 69 cents per pound, you make sure that every bite from a Dekopon counts.
Earlier on Wednesday, "EM" and I were driving into Glendale on the 134 Freeway when I saw the blue siding and logo of Golden Road Brewery near the San Fernando Road exit. Last December, my cousin "SHY" bought me dinner at Charlie's Trio in El Sereno. At that time, I tried Golden Road's Point the Way IPA and it was an eye-opener. So when I spied Golden Road from the freeway, I had to drop by and take a look.
"EM" and I pulled into the parking lot of the blue warehouse. We walked up to the building and saw a sign on the door that told us the pub was in the "yellow building". "EM" and I were puzzled. Fortunately, one of the employees there directed us in the right direction. So we drove past a red warehouse, and finally, we pulled up to the "yellow building":
The setting very much reminded me of a brewery in Australia: I look at a lot of photos from Western Australia, in particular, because it's No. 1 on my list to places to visit. Walking into the cavernous warehouse, I could see row after row of picnic tables and a bar at the far end. To the right was a rack for Golden Road apparel and a refrigerator for cans of Golden Road beer. (Read more about Golden Road's craft beer cans here.) "EM" and I eventually made our way over to the bar and we placed an order for two beers.
Taking our freshly poured beers with us, "EM" and I chose one of the many empty picnic tables to sit at.
Pint of Golden Road Brewing's Point the Way IPA (4 USD). Beautiful golden hue. Slightly fruity flavor profile. Well balanced. While we sipped our beers, "EM" and I discussed a wide range of topics. The most memorable topic was movies written and directed by the Nolan brothers - Christopher and Jonathan.
What I liked about Golden Road Brewery: Cool, relaxing, informal surroundings. Good IPA. Friendly people. The Metrolink train that boomed past the property. The nice company - thanks for joining me, "EM"!
The pub also has a full menu: starters, main plates, desserts. There were a lot of vegan options in the menu which made me wonder what kind of clientele the pub attracts.
So that was my week in a nutshell. I know I won't always be able to spend my time grazing on samples and kicking back with a pint o' suds, therefore, I won't be too concerned about the power of the food sun. From now on, I'll simply make sure that there's a bigger sun in my universe - God.
Last Word: What a pleasant week I had!
¹ Karp, David. (2011, February 17). The Dekopon arrives in California. Los Angeles Times on the Web. Retrieved February 23, 2012, from http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb/17/food/
blog comments powered by Disqus
|Gabriel Woo||Navigation||RSS Feed||Previously Featured|
|Editor and Publisher|
|Home||GabrielWooDotCom||February 2011 - Present|
|© 2010 - 2012 Gabriel Woo. All rights reserved.||Featured||October 2010 - February 2011|
|The Restaurants||Social Media||July - October 2010|
|About||May - July 2010|
|Urbanspoon||April - May 2010|
|Flickr||February - April 2010|