PinchOfSalt's Profile

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What can i substitute for gruyere?

Actually, there are Trader Joes all over the country! There are four within a 15 minute drive from my home here in Massachusetts.

1 day ago
PinchOfSalt in Cheese

Chinese lobster sauce

Please share it here! Gratefulness will certainly follow.

Dec 22, 2014
PinchOfSalt in Home Cooking

Grassfed beef taste test

I get grass-fed beef from my meat CSA. The flavor definitely is different - more assertive - and the meat itself is leaner. (Grain fattens up the cattle.) The hamburgers I make from my CSA's ground beef are head and shoulders tastier than the ones I have made from supermarket beef. As for the raw grass fed meat from Target smelling different than the regular kind, I haven't noticed anything like that. Perhaps what you experienced was due to the differences in the age of the packages or their sources or how they had been stored.

Dec 19, 2014
PinchOfSalt in General Topics

Belmont: Mark and Toni's Coal Fired Pizza

Thanks for the report, Chris. Trapelo Road between Cushing and Waverly is home territory for me. My favorite pizza along that stretch is Belmont Pizza. It was good 30+ years ago when I first moved into the neighborhood, still is now. (Full disclosure: during that 30 year period the boy who lived across the street and shoveled my sidewalk for a few bucks got a job at Belmont Pizza and later became a co-owner.) It is not gourmet pizza, but when you want a decent old-style (not Greek-style) pie, the large hits the spot (the small has always been too doughy).

FWIW, the place across the street from Belmont Pizza has Greek-style pies and Thyagos (at the end of the block) is its own kind of place. The family that runs it is Brazilian. Really nice folks and a somewhat more varied menu than the other two places.

Grand Opening of the Waltham Market Basket

Yes, I have been happily contemplating combined Costco/MB runs. Thanks for confirming that doing that will be easy.

ISO saurkraut for choucroute garni

Karl's Sausages (North Shore) has several different brands of high-quality German sauerkraut. They also make their own. Delicious!

Polar Seltzer Limited Winter Edition 2014

I've tried all of them. My favorites are the Cranberry Clementine and the Blackberry Bergamot. The Ginger Apple is pretty good, and when I am in the mood the Toasted Coconut Creme can be nice. Both of my thumbs are down on the Strawberry Champagne. Just not my thing.

FWIW, I saw all these flavors at the Waltham MB today and a couple of weeks ago at the Burlington Wegmans.

Grand Opening of the Waltham Market Basket

Hey bear, it was hard-to-park busy but short of being a madhouse. In fact, one of the associates told me that they really wanted to do the opening this weekend because, as he said, it is the slowest weekend of the year for supermarkets, what with people's fridges being full and the start of the holiday shopping season.

I made a full tour of the store, so am happy to answer questions. Seafood is in the back of the store and its inventory/size is essentially like Burlington - maybe a little better, thinking of the pile of frozen pre-cooked crabs at $3.49/pound - but alas, falls markedly short of Chelsea.

About the entrance(s), the one I used (on the north side of Main Street/route 117) was clearly marked. There is a big perma-sign that says "1265 Main Street". There also was a smaller temporary sign for Market Basket. This entrance is NOT what Google Maps suggests you do. Google Maps shows an entrance that is right next to route 128. I can't confirm whether that works. Traveling west on Main Street, the entrance I used was the right turn BEFORE the one that Google Maps showed.

One of the more fun/happy things about my shopping trip was the store manager coming onto the PA system every so often, so informal and enthusiastic and with a marked Boston accent, telling us about give-aways and bargains around the store. As always, shopping at Market Basket is a neighbor-to-neighbor experience. Love it.

Grand Opening of the Waltham Market Basket

Market Basket opened a new store in Waltham today. Artie T was there!

Info on Market Basket new locations?

Thanks for the heads-up! I am gonna check it out. I usually shop at the Burlington MB - about the same distance - but the product mix in Waltham might be a bit different due to the different ethnic mix.

Christmas blessing

A local grocery chain around here (the ever-wonderful Market Basket) offers small packages of deli ends (ham, cheese, beef, cold cuts) at a deeply discounted price. If the OP has something similar nearby, that could be an inexpensive source for casserole ingredients.

Nov 20, 2014
PinchOfSalt in Home Cooking

Rye bread?

Just ran across this image over on Facebook. Like I mentioned above, when I came to Boston I found there was a food-like substance called pastromi which was definitely NOT to be confused with real pastrami. Buzzy's Roast Beef sold pastromi, among other things.

Christmas blessing

Blessings unto YOU for serving those in need when you might be at home enjoying Christmas morning with your family.

How about a casserole with bread, eggs, cheese, and ham? Day old bread would be perfect and you only need a little ham, so this might fit your budget. There are many recipes around for this. You assemble everything the day before. All you have to do in the morning is bake it. If the budget allows, perhaps you can serve some sausage or bacon on the side.

Declining quality at Costco?

This is sounding more and more to me as if the problem is right there in your Costco - the manager who spoke with you. Maybe the employees laughed because they knew that was what is going on.

I suggest you get back in touch with corporate. I've never seen anything like what you describe at my Costco (Waltham, MA). If there is some other Costco within a reasonable drive, perhaps you could try that one.

Nov 18, 2014
PinchOfSalt in Chains

Declining quality at Costco?

Which Costco do you shop at? Given all the problems with so many produce items, the root cause may be with refrigerated storage at that store (or perhaps the distribution center that serves it).

Nov 18, 2014
PinchOfSalt in Chains

Rye bread?

Ha ha, yes, Greenfield is a bit far, even for that very excellent price.

Yes, that is the recipe. I can't really comment on the other two you are considering, as I have never made pastrami before.

When I first came to Boston (quite a long time ago) it sometimes seemed that the only pastrami that you could buy was spelled "pastromi" and had only a passing resemblance to the pastrami I had grown up with. The closest I could get to what I craved was sold by Elsie's in Harvard Square, Cambridge (long gone). Their hand-carved Romanian pastrami really hit the spot. It's been so long since I had a really good pastrami sandwich! With all the tremendous variety of good ethnic food around Boston, it is amazing that good Jewish deli is so underrepresented.

Rye bread?

May I ask where you got the brisket? I scored a nice piece of brisket (6.25 pounds worth) at Wegmans Burlington, nicely trimmed (just the right amount of fat, not more or less). My usual meat shopping haunts (MB, Costco) have only offered much smaller pieces of the flat end of the brisket. So, there's another reason to put Wegmans in the rotation.

Also, I am wondering which recipe you are using. Coincidentally, just yesterday I started some brisket down the pastrami path based on a recipe in the Jewish Artisan Deli.

Apropos rye bread, if you find yourself on the North Shore, Karl's Sausages usually has a nice selection.

Heritage Turkey

While some farms may require you to sign up for a heritage turkey in the spring, others don't. My suggestion to the OP would be to contact a local farm that does raise turkeys. If they cannot sell you a heritage bird, perhaps they can suggest another farm to try. Pete and Jen's Backyard Birds would be a good place to start. They are very helpful and very plugged in to the local farming scene.

Zaika Indian Bistro Woburn

Thanks for a good laugh, Striper. :)

Gabila Frozen Knishes at any Area Supermarkets?

Today I saw fresh (not frozen) Gabila's knishes in the kosher refrigerated case at the Burlington Wegman's.

Costco meat

I doubt there is anything wrong with that ground beef. The outside is a brighter, lighter color than the inside because of oxidation, which can occur within minutes. There even is a word for what is happening: bloom.

Nov 04, 2014
PinchOfSalt in Chains

Info on Market Basket new locations?

I have no idea about that location, but Artie T. has said that construction of new locations will probably slow after the current slew of new stores (Revere, Attleboro, Waltham, all of which were constructed, but not yet open). MB needs to rebuild its cash reserves after the events of this past summer. It's not just the lost sales, there is the issue of paying down the debt that had to be taken on to buy out the Arthur S. faction (likely a priority).

Saturday night dinner for one in/near Northampton or West Springfield

Thanks for the suggestion. It could turn out to be just the thing, depending on how I feel. It will be a long day.

Saturday night dinner for one in/near Northampton or West Springfield

Ooooh, just looked at the menu and reviews. The price range is on target and several of the dishes are calling out to me. A definite possibility! Thanks!

Saturday night dinner for one in/near Northampton or West Springfield

I'll be in the area on Saturday and would be grateful for dinner recommendations. I am an adventurous eater, so open to just about anything cuisine-wise. Pricewise I am imagining entrees in the $20s-30ish. Local and/or seasonal ingredients are a plus. Alternatively, an unusual ethnic restaurant might be just the thing. Quality is more important than ambiance. Any suggestions?

Costco Food Finds - 4th Quarter 2014

I saw Victoria marinara sauce at the Waltham MA store last week.

Oct 08, 2014
PinchOfSalt in Chains

Info on Market Basket new locations?

All those openings are major good news. Yes, the construction was complete. But inventory and hiring all those new people costs money. Artie T. must be feeling good about the way the business has been running since he came back! (Yes, I know he's said that new store growth will slow after these three open, but still, if things were tight he would not be able to open them all so quickly.)

Market Basket-Items no longer carried?

The latest flyer (delivered in yesterday's mail) is back up to its regular size!

FWIW, Kate's butter and buttermilk were available at Burlington a week or so ago.

Market Basket, Thoughts

Yes, MB definitely has some new customers. A friend of mine and I have been telling a mutual friend about MB for years. Finally, a week after Artie T came back, the mutual friend texted me to say, "X, you were right! Now I'm a mkt basket customer. Just tried it out." Since then the mutual friend has returned to Market Basket at least once. I didn't ask. She was so happy about it, she told me.

Apple picking?

Thanks for the info!