I didn't make this clear in my first post: this is not a tea store.
They sell MF teas, but this store is mainly about selling nice gift & home decor items, books and cards. It's a small local business owned by one or more older gentlemen that appears to rely mostly on shoppers coming in to browse and "discovering" some charming thing they just have to have. It's the kind of place that specializes in unusual, good quality things, things you won't see in other stores, and I think their selection changes over time. So while they do have the website, I don't think it's a big part of their business.
They do have the Mariage Freres, though, along with some imported chocolates and other sweets. One of the employees told me they have from 20 - 40 kinds of MF, but to me it looked like they had about 20 - 25 kinds. That's a lot more than I've found in any other store in San Francisco.
If you are a MF fan and live in the SF Bay area, or are visiting, the store is worth a visit, but I agree, their web presence is not very strong for the MF teas. If you want to order teas online, there are better web storefronts.
For those in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dandelion at 55 Potrero Ave, San Francisco has a decent selection of Mariage Freres - about 15 - 20 kinds. (Note: this is NOT the chocolate store also called Dandelion that's on Valencia.)
Dandelion's website shows only a few MF teas, but maybe they will ship the others if you call them or email them directly. I bought the one tin of Darjeeling Rose Camelia that they had about a year ago, but they weren't planning to stock more because it doesn't sell fast enough (too expensive, I suppose, at $45). However, I bought a tin of Darjeeling Rose d'Himalaya from them 6 months ago ($37.50) that I enjoyed very much, too. The store called me today to tell me that a new shipment of MF has just arrived...I'll be heading over tomorrow for an early Christmas present for myself!
Just called Gourmet & More. They have slices, raw and cooked, and chunks, and they will cut a chunk to the size you want. No more raw lobes, though.
Gourmet & More on Gough had a lobe (about $80/lb) as well as the cryovac'd slices when I was in there a couple of weeks ago; might see if they still have any lobes.
Hi, sorry for the long time to reply. If you are still interested, I have purchased 5 - 7 lbs of pork shoulder, or pork butt, from various places: Guerra's Meats on Taraval St., Andronico's, Whole Foods, all in SF. Last month, cost was about $5/lb at Guerra's and Andronico's, and $4.50/lb at Whole Foods. Bone in or out, doesn't matter.
Since this is really not fancy food, I just use Kingsford charcoal. I do use woodchips for the smoking. Traditionally, the wood would be hickory; some people mix in some fruitwood, like apple or pear, but I can't tell the difference in the flavor. Oak works, too; I wouldn't use mesquite, though.
The most important part is the cooking technique. I've gotten good results using the method described at this website; very important to use Juancho's split grill technique:
Since I live in the foggy, cold Sunset, I bought a small Weber grill, because I knew I would use it only about 2x a year. I smoked my butt for about 5 hours, got a great smoke ring, then finished the cooking in the house oven: about 4 more hours at 225 degrees. Then I chunked and shredded the meat, sauced it with the eastern NC vinegar sauce, put it in the fridge overnight in a 9x13 pyrex dish covered with foil, then reheated it at about 275 - 300 degrees the next day about 30 - 45 minutes before dinner. You can fiddle with covering/ uncovering the dish to get the moisture of the meat right; serve with extra vinegar sauce.
Bob Garner's North Carolina Barbecue book also tells how to cook a pork shoulder in a Weber using a very similar method.
A few more traditional dishes:
1. Chicken pastry aka chicken stew aka chicken slick. I was surprised that no one else listed this one yet. Is this local to eastern NC?
How we make it: Simmer a cut up chicken and giblets (reserve the liver) in a big pot of water with salt, pepper, a small amount of finely diced onion and celery until the meat falls off the bone; remove the chicken, reserve the meat, discard the bones and skin, degrease the stock. Reheat the stock while making and rolling out the pastry (flour, water, salt, some chicken fat) very thinly (1/16" thick); cut pastry into rectangles, about 2" x 4". Add chicken meat back to boiling stock (add the liver now if you like it), then drop pastry in a few pieces at a time when stock boils again. Pastry will be done about 5 min.after adding last pieces (test it.) Dish out and top with plenty of black pepper.
Best is homemade; I've not been impressed with restaurant versions - the pastry is usually too thick and overcooked. A variation uses fresh garden peas (shelled English peas) instead of the chicken meat & giblets.
2. Some more bread-type things: Flour bread; spoon bread; cornmeal mush.
3. Fried fatback (homemade pork rinds.) This was our "meat" some dinners; serve with a pot of navy beans and ketchup and cornbread or biscuits.
4. More pig parts: Souse, scrapple, chitlins (chitterlings.) Livermush - seems to be more popular in the western part of NC?
5. More things from western NC (mountains) - from my Asheville cousins, I learned of:
I don't live in NC any more, but I visit a lot and eat, eat, eat that NC food that I can't get where I am now. Since I'm not sure what you mean by the top dishes, I'm choosing to interpret top as meaning traditional NC food.
1. Butterbeans - little, fresh ones full of flavor. Get them already shelled at farmer's markets to save time, don't overcook them, top with black pepper and eat hot with their juice, some hot biscuits and iced tea. I can ship BBQ, cornmeal, White Lily flour, etc. to where I live now, but I can get butterbeans only in the NC area (I think Mississippi has something they call butterbeans, but they are a big, starchy bean, not what we call butterbeans in NC.)
2. Hoe cakes - very NC old-timey food. Use the recipe on the cornmeal bag - very simple, just white cornmeal, salt, and water to make a mush (let it set for about 10 min before cooking), and some bacon drippings in a cast iron skillet to cook the hoe cakes until they get that crispy crust.
3. Fresh peas: crowder, field, pink lady, black-eyed. (See butterbeans above.)
4. Collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens - all cooked with ham hocks, side meat, or some other cured pork, chopped up fine and served with the pot liquor, finely diced onions, and cider vinegar.
5. Okra. Fried or stewed or cooked in a casserole with diced onions and tomatoes, topped with crunched saltines.
6. Sweet potatoes!!! Big export crop for NC.
7. Banana pudding. The real deal, made with from-scratch custard, over-ripe bananas and *only* Nabisco nilla wafers.
Best way to eat the above foods is to cook them yourself, or get yourself invited to some church potluck. When Ed Mitchell had his BBQ place in Wilson, I preferred his sides over all others. He had more variety and they tasted better. Haven't been to his new place (The Pit) in Raleigh, but maybe that's a place to taste many of the above dishes - I see he still has lots of the sides I loved.
8. Brunswick stew. I like what I find in the eastern NC BBQ joints - Bill's and Parker's in Wilson, Wilbur's in Goldsboro.
9. Yellow slaw. Same places as #8.
10. Eastern NC style BBQ. My favorites: Bill's in Wilson and Wilbur's in Goldsboro.
12. Ham biscuits from the Bojangles's by the Wilson Mall, Tarboro St., Wilson.
13. Hot dogs "all the way" from The Burger Boy on Ward Blvd. near Hwy 301 in Wilson. This place is like a time trip back to the '50s - complete with cigarette smoke.
14. A *good* fried seafood platter (must haves: shrimp, oysters, some kind of white fish). I had a very good version from Sam & Omie's in Nag's Head. In Wilson, try Worrell's Seafood Restaurant in the old downtown.
15. Country hams.
16. Grilled pimiento cheese sandwich made with Stan's pimiento cheese (Harris-Teeter sells it.)
Now for non-traditional food I like in NC:
Worrell's Seafood Restaurant
The Duck & Dumpling
I agree - my family ate at the Sanitary Fish Market and at Captain Bill's several times every summer when I was growing up and I thought it was the best food I'd ever eaten. Visits in the past few years have been very disappointing - it's just not the same quality, and the last (and i do mean it will be the last) time we went there, service was awful and so was the food. We eat elsewhere now.
Original poster here - Yesterday, I went to Vallejo to meet a visiting relative, and then went to the American Canyon WalMart to hunt for Luzianne. Score!!! I bought 3 boxes. Maybe the other WalMarts in the East Bay have it, too?
Thanks to the above posters. I've looked at two Safeways (Noriega St. and the one in West Lake SC in Daly City), and they don't have it. I'll try the Target and Lucky's near me next. Wal-Mart will have to wait until I go to the East Bay, but I may go back to NC before that so I'll bring back a load then. Last trip to NC, I mailed my clothes and filled my suitcase full of cured pork parts and cornmeal from the Piggly Wiggly - yummmm! Oh, and White Lily flour.
After lurking for years and being educated and entertained (thank you, SF Chowhounders), I finally have a question that does not seem to have been asked yet:
This weekend, I'm making a traditional eastern North Carolina dinner (pork BBQ, slaw, Brunswick stew, hush puppies, banana pudding, etc.) and it's got to have some sweet ice tea to wash it all down. Back where I'm from, everyone thinks Luzianne makes the best iced tea.
Does anyone know of a grocer or market that sells Luzianne tea in San Francisco or near San Francisco? I'm in the Sunset, and I can drive elsewhere if necessary.
Thanks for any leads...