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drgonzo's Profile

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Good quality ground chuck in Oakland/Berkeley?

Star Meats on Claremont has ground chuck and sirloin from Niman and Marin Sun Farms. I've gone in and asked them to do custom grinds for me. They usually do it on the spot! They did a grind for the pork shoulder I bought to made albondigas for my New Year's feast. Last time I was in they had standard brisket from Niman and some kind of fancy Waygu brisket too.

Star Meats
3068 Claremont Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

Fairfield Tomato Festival Eats

I emailed the promoters to find out if food would be available to spectators for sale or tasting but received no response. I'm happy to have found this info on chowhound as I'd be sorely disappointed to head to Fairfield and not be able to try some 'que. As for food being prepped in NSF kitchens or whatever, I've gone to the last two Beer and Barbeque Revivals in Guerneville where food is prepared on-site by various barbqeue teams (I think 25 teams last year) and for a $50 ticket you could eat and drink as much beer as possible for 5 straight hours. There didn't seem to be any health department inspectors or NSF facilities for prepping food on site. Perhaps I should become a bbq judge; that sounds like a good way to ensure tastings!

Lardo - where to buy in Bay Area

I went into Star Meats in Berkeley about a month ago and they had two kinds (both house-made). I think it was made from the Mangsalita pigs they had in the wintertime. It wasn't in the display case, so you'll have to ask or call ahead.

Star Meats
3068 Claremont Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

North Bay Co-op's

You could try Santa Rosa's Community Market. Its a worker-owned market but not a co-op; however they definitely have bulk dry items you mentioned.

Community Market
1899 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa, CA

where can I get "homemade" bacon?

I went by Star Meats in October when they were demoing a whole hog breakdown of two beautiful Mangalitsa pigs. They had a couple kinds of bacon, including Neuske's. Some slab and some sliced. I went to buy a jowl to make guanciale last weekend and noticed customers buying Neuske bacon too. They often have meaty goodies hidden in the case or the back, like the jowl and lardo from the Mangalitsa pigs (delicious!). They have a smoker but I don't know if they house-smoke bacon. They had just pulled a batch of house smoked andouille when I arrived...can't wait to go back for more!
Star Meats
3068 Claremont Ave
Berkeley, CA 94705
510 652-7712

Source for Seville Oranges

I'm looking for someplace to buy seville (bitter) oranges in the east bay or San Francisco. I found them for a month or two at the Berkeley Bowl in January, but not recently. In the last week I looked for them at Berkeley Bowl, Mi Pueblo on High Street in Oakland, Mi Tierra and Monterey Market in Berkeley with no luck. I live in Oakland, but haven't checked out any produce stores in Fruitvale or Richmond yet. Any suggestons?

Russian River Valley:Grocery Shopping/General Provisions

I just spent the weekend in Guerneville and until a year ago lived nearby in Santa Rosa, so I thought I'd chime in on sources for provisions in the area. I didn't find much in Guerneville, but there's plenty on the way there.

If you're driving from San Francisco and taking Hwy 116 from Cotati through Sebastopol to Guerneville, you'll bypass the bad traffic in Santa Rosa (and its a far more scenic drive). You'll pass by a Whole Foods in downtown Sebastopol, but I'd rather stop at Andy's Market in Hwy 116 a few miles past downtown Sebastopol. Andy's is a great spot to find local wines, a variety of produce, breads, a good cheese selection too. They do have meat, but its all packaged already--nothing like a meat department. You could make a detour from Andy's to Willowside Meats for a local butcher, though.

Another small place on the way is a tiny market in Graton called Pinnacle Market. I've found them to be really pricey, but they can have local meats and sometimes fish from Bodega Bay on hand.

In Guerneville near the Safeway is Food For Humans, a small natural foods store that had a decent selection of local breads, some good cheeses, and a small but solid selection of organic produce. No meat, fish, or alcohol.

I found the Guerneville Safeway a bummer. Pretty much standard grocery store selections and not much in the way of local bounty. They were nearly entirely sold out of beer on Saturday evening by 8, and there wine selection was basically your normal grocery store brands. There may be more retailers in Guerneville for specialty items, but I didn't find them.

If you find yourself in Occidental the Bohemian Market has grass-fed meats, some wine, and produce too.

Have fun!

Andy's Produce Markets
1691 Gravenstein Hwy S, Sebastopol, CA 95472

Willowside Meats & Sausage
3421 Guerneville Rd, Santa Rosa, CA

Food For Humans
16385 1st St, Guerneville, CA

Pinnacle Market
9056 Graton Rd, Graton, CA

Bohemian Market
3633 Main St, Occidental, CA