Meijer – Charlotte

11 12 2009
  • 1167 E. Clinton Trail
  • Charlotte, MI 48813
  • (517) 541-9201
  • Website

Like everyone else, I seem to wait until it snows to get my truck ready for winter.  The timing was impeccable.  We’re under a blizzard warning and I had to drive to East Lansing for work.  I have four-wheel drive, so I wasn’t super worried, but like most people, I’m more worried about the way other people drive than I am about the roads or conditions. 

I made it to Battle Creek doing 45 MPH the whole way.  I got off to get a Pepsi, text J to let her know how far I had made it, and use the bathroom.  I didn’t need gas, but I pulled up to a pump to clean off my windows.  This exact same thing happened to me last December.  I had a long drive and I was out of windshield washer fluid.  I should have bought some at the gas station, but it never occurred to me, so I got back on the road.

By the time I made it to Olivet, the road was clear, but still a little wet.  By the time I got to Charlotte, the road was actually dry, but passing semi’s had done a number on my windshield.  It was getting to the point it was hard to see, so I had to pull off.  Lucky for me, I knew there was a Meijer at the next exit. Read the rest of this entry »

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Westborn Market – Dearborn

27 04 2009
  • 21755 Michigan Avenue
  • Dearborn, MI 48124
  • (313) 274-6100
  • Website
Westborn Market in downtown Dearborn.

Westborn Market in downtown Dearborn.

 We had no intention of shopping in downtown Dearborn on Sunday.  My parents were in town and we were looking for something to do.  My dad is a car fan and J thought a trip to The Henry Ford Musuem could be interesting.  After a quick Google search, I remembered there was a Cheli’s Chili in Dearborn and even though Chelios is a Red Wing now, he’s a Chicago boy first, so I’ve been wanting to go to his restaurant.  We got there about five minutes before the restaurant opened.  My mom noticed a flower shop across the street which led us to see a Fruit Market across the street from that.  So, to kill a little time, we headed across Michigan Avenue. 

Westborn Market is a small group of stores in the Detroit area.  Besides the one in Dearborn, there are stores in Berkely and Livonia.  The Dearborn store is on Michigan Avenue at Oakwood  Boulevard.  From the street, it looks like any neighborhood grocery store, but that impression quickly changes you walk inside. 

The first area of the store is an open air fruit market.  It’s covered by a permanent structure, but there are no window or doors….at least when it’s nice like it was the day we stopped.  They have a huge variety of fresh produce.  When we walked in, J called it a cross between Whole Foods and Horrocks.  They had the variety and nice displays of a Whole Foods, but they didn’t have the Whole Foods prices.  Read the rest of this entry »





Whole Foods Market – Ann Arbor (Cranbrook)

5 04 2009
  • 990 W. Eisenhower Parkway
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48103
  • (734) 997-7500
  • Website
The Whole Foods Market on Eisenhower in Ann Arbor

The Whole Foods Market on Eisenhower in Ann Arbor

A trip to Ann Arbor is not a trip to Ann Arbor unless you go to Whole Foods.  There are bloggers in Lansing (*cough*amy*cough*) who make special trips to Ann Arbor just to go to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.  Until J and I went to the Ann Arbor store on Washtenaw last fall, I had never been to one.  J used to shop at the store in Willowbrook, IL and would buy most of her meals there.  She actually went to the Washtenaw store on Saturday while I was working, but didn’t want to buy anything cold, so we made plans to go back on Sunday.  Since I needed to do some shopping, we went to the new store near Briarwood Mall.

This Whole Foods is on Eisenhower Street in the Cranbrook Village shopping center.  It’s in a strip mall so the exterior is pretty bland.  When we were driving by, I didn’t even realize it was a Whole Foods.  It could have passed for any random grocery store.

The inside of the store was also unexpected.  At first, J said she didn’t like it because it wasn’t like every other Whole Foods Market she had been to.  She was turned around and departments were laid out differently.  Read the rest of this entry »





Vallarta Supermarket

22 01 2009
  • 312 W. Willow Street
  • Lansing, MI 48906
  • (517) 267-9999
  • No Known Website
Vallarta Supermarket on Grand River Avenue and Willow Street in Lansing.

Vallarta Supermarket on Grand River Avenue and Willow Street in Lansing.

I’m still amazed by all of the neighborhood grocery stores that have managed to survive with so many big box stores in Lansing.  I was driving around today looking for a restaurant for lunch while J was at a hair cut appointment.  I drove down Grand River after leaving the Aunt Millie’s Bakery Outlet and came across Vallarta Supermarket. 

I just left Walmart and didn’t need anything, so I didn’t really have a reason to stop in, but the name got me thinking.  I use a lot of ancho chile powder in my BBQ rubs and it’s not a spice you can find very easily in the mega marts.  I used to buy it at a Mexican grocery store in Bloomington, IL.  Since moving to Lansing, I’ve been grinding some dried ancho chile’s I bought for a mole with my coffee grinder.  It works just fine, but takes a while and can get pretty messy if I’m not careful.  I’d like to find a place to buy it in powder form.  The name Vallarta gave me hope that I would find the chile I needed.

Vallarta sits on the corner of Grand River Avenue and Willow Street in Lansing.  Like most of the other neighborhood markets in town, Vallarta carries Spartan products on their shelves.  You walk into the store behind the cash registers.  As you walk into the sales floor, you end up in produce and the first display in the middle of the aisles had a number of chiles and Mexican spices.  At this point, I had pretty high hopes that I’d be able to get my chile powder.  I started looking through the bags and found a number of different ground chile’s, but no ancho.  They had arbol which is another spice I use in my BBQ rub, but I don’t use as much and still have plenty of that in my cabinet.  Read the rest of this entry »





Jensen’s IGA – Clifton, IL

19 12 2008
  • 150 E. 4th St.
  • Clifton, IL 60927
  • (815) 694-2342
  • No Known Website
Jensens IGA just off the main highway in Clifton, IL

Jensen's IGA just off the main highway in Clifton, IL

I’m sure those of you stuck in Mid-Michigan right now aren’t going to feel too sorry for me.  I’m stuck in a small town in Iroquois County, Illinois with no power after a pretty good ice storm.  While we didn’t get the inches upon inches of snow, we got a heavy coating of ice which did a pretty destructive job of tearing down tree limbs and power lines.  My parents house is one of the unlucky few without power.  My brother, however, has power and, more importantly, heat, so I took a little drive five miles north to crash at my brother’s this afternoon.

Last night, my brother was raving about this new treat he had at his office the other day.  This area isn’t really known for it’s ethnic cuisines.  In fact, if you’re not looking for a burger and fries or pizza, you might have a hard time finding a place to eat.  So, when he had baklava for the first time this week, he thought it was a treat that the rest of the country had never heard of. 

After he got done telling us how great it was, he turned to me and asked if I could make it.  I hate phyllodough almost as much as I hate working with chocolate.  I told him it was a huge pain in the butt and it was going to cost him.  When I ended up at his house by myself all day, I thought I would be nice and try to make him something.  Obviously, he doesn’t have most of the stuff to make baklava, so I headed up to the local grocery store to see if they had it.

The only grocery store in Clifton is Jensen’s IGA.  It sits just off the main highway that runs through town and for a town of 1300 people, the store has much more than you would expect.  IGA is the world’s largest voluntary supermarket chain.  Almost any grocery store can apply to be a member of the IGA.  I can remember when the store in Clifton used to be a Red Fox which was a regional chain of supermarkets.  When Red Fox went out, the new owners signed on with IGA which gives them access to store brand products as well as marketing and brand recognition with customers. Read the rest of this entry »





Press Release – Thanksgiving Feast under $30

20 11 2008

From a press release from Aldi…..

Get Thanksgiving Feast for Less Than $30 at ALDI
Grocer beats discounters, big box by 16% to 24%,
traditional supermarkets by 30% to 40%

Batavia, Ill. (Nov. 19, 2008) – For shoppers looking to save money this season without compromising holiday traditions, select assortment discount grocer, ALDI, offers a complete Thanksgiving meal for a family of four for less than $30.

“This holiday season, we hope shoppers can focus on enjoying time with family and friends – not worrying about how to squeeze a Thanksgiving feast into already tightening budgets,” said Joan Kavanaugh, vice president of corporate purchasing. “As we’re helping shoppers cut their grocery bills in half, we’re grateful to have some of the most loyal customers in the industry.”

While food costs continue to rise nationally, you can still get a less than $30 Thanksgiving meal from ALDI that includes:

· 14 lb. Butterball Whole Turkey ($.99 per lb.) $13.86

· Chef’s Cupboard Stuffing Mix (6 oz.) $.79 each

· Chef’s Cupboard Gravy (12 oz.) $1.19 each

· Fit & Active Dried Cranberries (6 oz) $1.19 each

· L’oven Fresh Classic Dinner Rolls (12 ct.) $1.69 each

· Happy Harvest Extra Fine Frozen Green Beans (16 oz.) $.1.39 each

· Chef’s Cupboard Cream of Mushroom Soup (10.5 oz.) $.49 each

· Chef’s Cupboard French Fried Onions (6 oz.) $1.99 each

· Happy Harvest Cut Sweet Potatoes (15 oz.) $.69 each

· Belmont Deep Dish Pies – apple, peach or berry (42 oz.) $4.49 each

· Sundae Shoppe Whipped Topping (8 oz.) $.69 each

For an extra $4.99, you can also get a bottle of Burlwood wine to enjoy with your meal.

Beginning Nov. 23, ALDI also will offer a selection of appetizers for under $4, including Antoinette Brie or Camembert cheese, crab and shrimp or shrimp cakes and wheat crackers. Appetizers and other special purchase items vary weekly and are available while supplies last. Customers also can visit the Special Purchase section online and subscribe to ALDI’s e-mail newsletter to get e-alerts about upcoming specials for food and other merchandise.

Visit the ALDI Meal Planner at http://www.aldi.us for helpful holiday recipes to use with ALDI select brand items, such as: roast turkey with cranberry sausage stuffing, cranberry glazed ham, gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, pecan pie and apple pie.





Goodrich’s Shop-Rite

4 11 2008
  • 940 Trowbridge Rd
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 351-5820
  • Website
Goodrichs Shop-Rite in Trowbridge Plaze in East Lansing.

Goodrich's Shop-Rite in Trowbridge Plaze in East Lansing.

Another recommendation by regular commenter Corky.  Since we were already at Hobie’s (review HERE), we took a few minutes to walk over the Goodrich’s Shop-Rite to check the place out.  Corky and a few other people have told me they carry Zingerman’s bread so that’s what we went looking for.

Goodrich’s Shop-Rite is in the Trowbridge Plaza near MSU’s campus.  When we walked in, my first impression is that it wasn’t going to be much different than any other grocery store.  We walked quickly through a lot of the GM section looking for the bakery and deli section.  On the way, we made a quick run through the meat department.  The thing I noticed here is that they put signs up letting you know where all their meat came from.  I’ve been noticing that a lot more lately.

We finally made our way to the deli and what a surprise.  I was a little unimpressed up until that point.  Once we turned the corner, my impression changed.  The deli/bakery section is rather large.  There are racks of bread throughout the area.  I didn’t find any Zingerman’s so I didn’t buy anything, but there was a lot of different fresh baked bread.  The deli case was also huge.  Lots of different meats and cheeses. Read the rest of this entry »