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bhyde's Profile

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Instacart- are people using it? How is it working out?

Like all modern shopping - it's hard to get a grasp of the cost for this service.

Ignoring the small or fast orders it's:
<store-prices> + <markup> + $3.99

About the <markup> the FAQ says "prices are our own and vary from the store’s price," except for alcohol where it says "add a delivery fee to the store’s price for each item". My take on that is that they are making some money on the markup, but also that they have a challenge getting current with the store's prices, hence the "vary from".

It doesn't bother me that they charge N% more for the markup. That depends on N, doesn't it?

N is probably an average. I'd be surprised if it was just N% on each item. Like all pricing - they can tinker with that in lots of interesting ways. Let your paranoia out for a run :).

Does anybody who's using it have a good handle on what N seems to be? Further, is that delivery fee on the alcohol listed on your receipts. I guess one could go to a few of the stores they support with the app installed on your phone to get a current answer.

I guess we all know how they will treat their runners overtime - :(

FYI, if you poke around you can find links that appear to get you a $10 reward to sign up in addition to the one free delivery.

May 26, 2014
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Pearl Barley - favorite recipes?

Just made the curry/raisin/almond barley dish; very very nice. Thanks!

Jan 24, 2014
bhyde in Home Cooking

Market Basket 4% off

As something of a pricing geek this 4% off for a year is certainly unique. Given the tensions between board and management it's unlikely they are lowering prices eh? So presumably it's just the opening round to encourage impulse purchasing by making the prices more confusing. E.g. the purpose of most modern pricing games. It makes me sad. I fear that next they will have a website.

I've been chatting with the checkout people. They really dislike the little song&dance it's added; they are expected to pull out a marker and circle the total discount. And it's doubled the length of the receipts :).

It would be fun to have an entire thread on interesting products and product placements at Market Basket. For example the interesting Bosnian food in Everett, which including some great smoked meat items.

Jan 20, 2014
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Cannoli shells

Golden Cannoli moved from Somerville to Chelsea. Here's a fun video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr_pA7... According to the video they make 100 thousand a day! Having watched this I'm not sure anybody actually makes Cannoli except these guys.

The Somerville factory used to take "walk in's" so maybe the new place does too. They also have an online store - http://store.goldencannoli.com/wholes... ... now i need to arrange an event were a gross of cannoli can be consumed.

Dec 16, 2013
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Free the Grape! Wine shipments to MA Massachusetts

Fedex ground did the paper work - so they can ship. UPS didn't.

Dec 10, 2013
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Free the Grape! Wine shipments to MA Massachusetts

CportJ, I'm confused - my reading of:

https://www.fedex.com/cgi-bin/wineShi...

leads me to believe that CA->MA shipments via fedex ground are supported.

Dec 03, 2013
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Free the Grape! Wine shipments to MA Massachusetts

It has been my impression that shipments into the state have been legal since 2010. But only Fedex has bothered to do the necessary paperwork, and there is a slight confusion about limits. At the end of the day I think this is a solved problem. http://www.wineinstitute.org/currente...

Nov 23, 2013
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Does anyone manage to shop in one supermarket, or do you have to make the rounds to find what you need?

I could probably do all my shopping at the Chelsea or Burlington Market Basket. Or, alternately Hay Market + the North End. But I do like my bread from Trader Joe's, and nuts, and ...

I go to Hay Market regularly and a butcher in the North End for sausages. The biscotti place closed :(. Hay Market isn't much cheaper v.s Chelsea Market Basket, and the MB quality is a bit higher. But I enjoy Hay Market a lot!

I recently calculated that if I low ball the value of my time and cost out my driving at the IRS deduction rate a half hour round trip to the grocery story is, at minimum, ~10 bucks. So I probably ought to be more willing to use the nearby stores for incidentals.

Meanwhile http://www.checkbook.org/ recently finished a nicely researched piece on the various grocery stores in the area; you can probably get it at your local library. There is a nice little chart comparing the annual cost of various stores, according to which there is a $4,992 difference twix MB and WF.

I also fill my growlers in Chelsea.

Nov 16, 2013
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

December 2013 Openings and Closings

A little sign on the door that indicates what percentage of the gross goes to the landlord would be an amusing labeling requirement. There should be an app for that. Cruelty free eh?

Nov 16, 2013
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Local Heady Topper Source

Hello other hyde :).

There is a term of art in the business literature "lifestyle business."

Many, if not most, small business owners derived value from the business that is not related to the cash flow. It's best to never presume you know what the owner is trying to maximize.

There was an article in the Atlantic a while back about Hill Farmstead where the owner mentioned two examples - one were he rolled his eyes about the offers he had received from various people to scale up his operations, and another were you got the impression that he might just shut down the whole thing so he could follow thru on his other interests; cheese making for example.

In my experience the the business guys typically give an exasperated sigh after saying "lifestyle business."

Last time I was at Alchemist the guy - who seemed quite exasperated - behind the counter declined to sell a case to a gentleman. He marked the gentleman as only buying it to resell. I found that an admirable example of the supply side challenges of a commitment to local sourcing.

Nov 08, 2013
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Outraging foodies Alchemist Brewery to stop sales at the brewery

Both Alchemist and Farmstead had respectable lines on my last visits. Middle of the day midweek for Alchemist and midday Friday for Farmstead. Lordy! Farmstead is remote. My God their beer is amazing.

Nov 06, 2013
bhyde in Northern New England

Outraging foodies Alchemist Brewery to stop sales at the brewery

Alchemist Brewery, in Waterbury VT, makes Heady Topper. It really is an amazingly good beer. People travel great distances to acquire their supply. It ain't cheap. I seem to recall that a case was $60 when I made my recent pilgrimage. They can't satisfy demand, so local stores sell their stock quickly. There is a whole "who you know" grey market. There are smugglers who fund their trips to VT by reselling in the "black" market.

Alchemist has taken the decision to stop selling direct to customers, at least for the time being. They announce that yesterday.

http://www.alchemistbeer.com/a-diffic...

I can't say that I'm entirely unable to sympathize and yet I can't help but be amused by the passion some people can put into their comments.

I find myself seeking a variant of "while people problems" for the withdrawal syndrome when a passionate foodie has his supply cut off.

Nov 06, 2013
bhyde in Northern New England

Where to find Pan de Muertos Framingham to Worcester?

Not Metrowest, but I'd be surprised if Lolly's Bakery in East Boston didn't have it.

Oct 24, 2013
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Blueberries in October

I was in Montreal this week, and a few of the farmers at Jean-Talon Market had blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Clearly their own. So apparently science has puzzled out a way to keep the blueberry season going longer than it did when I was a kid.

Blueberries have been plentiful at Hay Market until about three weeks ago. They were from the Canadian Maritimes! And you'd see those at Market Basket as well. Then there were none. A week later, last Friday, they reappeared - rare and in smaller containers - again from the Maritimes.

You can get a peak at what things will cost and availability by checking out the market report for the Boston Terminal Market - http://j.mp/15ScaPs I don't know if the shutdown effects that data, it but looks like the market movement data http://j.mp/H3zzUV was effected.

Oct 19, 2013
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Bertuccis Sporkie sausage

Try Di Paolo & Rossi Meat Market, 56 Salem St, Boston, MA

Oct 08, 2013
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Which is your favorite supermarket chain, and why?

And a fishing fleet anchored off Ephemerisle.

Which is your favorite supermarket chain, and why?

"United Nations"?

Sep 23, 2013
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Donuts!

I wouldn't buy another. Just another excuse to layer a few nearly indistinguishable sugar slurries together. But maybe I'm just feeling cranky, having noted that paneer is 12$/lb

Sep 23, 2013
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Donuts!

Sep 22, 2013
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Donuts!

I bought a cronut there the other day. I predict pumpkin, but hope for Moxie.

Sep 22, 2013
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Vanilla Beans

Thank you! Those old postings are excellent, I'm embarrassed I started another thread :).

Aug 23, 2013
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Vanilla Beans

Any suggests on where I can acquire some vanilla beans at a reasonable price?

Aug 22, 2013
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Best Fried Chicken

There is a Popeye's in Everett in the south side of Rt 16.

Jan 22, 2013
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Got Any Peach Ripening Secrets?

I've been getting and consuming mass quantities of excellent peaches in New England for decades. The area west of boston, around Harvard, has a long tradition of fruit growing; mostly apples. But if you head out there you can buy prefect peaches starting early in August thru about the first week October. Bolton Orchards at the corner of 110 and 117 is a good example. It's worth learning about the different varieties so you know which are best week by week.

Recently the farmers markets that come once a week to towns around me here in Boston have had excellent peaches, often cheaper than out in Bolton. Given that Bolton is an hour's drive that's nice!

All these peaches are improved by a bit of further ripening on the counter.

I have never gotten good peaches at Wilson's or Russo's but then I haven't tried much.

They sell lovely peaches at Hay Market from distant lands; but they have always been very disappointing - I'll need to try that paper bag trick. I have great luck with the bosc pears, once I learned to keep them in the chiller, then let them sit out for 3 days before eating, and that pears rippen inside out - so check/squeeze the tip.

Sep 25, 2009
bhyde in General Topics

Fun outting with many plates?

we ended up going to the excellent Sichuan place in Medford Center and having many appetizers.

Aug 29, 2009
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Fun outting with many plates?

yum, i sense a project coming on :)

Aug 29, 2009
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Fun outting with many plates?

It has been suggested that we go to the Sichuan place in Medford Center and order all the Sichuan appetizers on the menu :).

Aug 23, 2009
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Fun outting with many plates?

curious you should mention that, just finished making a vast batch of humus ;)

Aug 22, 2009
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Fun outting with many plates?

:)

Aug 22, 2009
bhyde in Greater Boston Area

Fun outting with many plates?

I hope people will enjoy this query.

The four adults in my household would like to go out to a meal that involves a numerous dishes.

For example there is a Korean restaurant in a distant city we enjoy where about fifteen assorted pickles and such show up early in the meal. Or possibly we are looking for a tapas or dim sum experience.

But wait! we are also cheapskates, or more accurately we don't tend to think you enough additional value to make it worth doubling what you spend.

We probably won't be having any liquor. A slower rather than faster meal is probably what we are seeking. This expodition might happen this evening or on Monday.

So? Any fun suggestions.

Aug 22, 2009
bhyde in Greater Boston Area