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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

shopping where the restaurants shop

i don't know what fascinates me about things that either miniature or supersized, but i dig it. little teeny-weeny trial-sized products are irresistible to me, as is the idea of giant vats of hershey's syrup or sacks of potatoes taller than i am. i love shopping at costco and smart & final, and not just because you get a great deal on lots of things. i know, i'm weird. what else is new?

so when we started talking about christmas dinner this year and lamented the fact that large cuts of meat are such a pain in the ass to get from regular grocery stores, the hub turned to a friend and got us access to restaurant depot. it's a wholesale joint typically available only to the food service industry, and bills itself as "where the restaurants shop." yesterday, we piled in the car with the bean and the ILs and headed out to do some shopping.

see? big ass sacks of potatoes and onions, more than you'd ever need.

FIL teased me with the prospect of digging into a huge box of crab legs all to myself. yum. too bad none of us currently have the freezer space to put it.

the refrigerated/frozen stuff is housed in a ginormous walk-in cooler that is so frigid, they put these at the entrances.

FIL and i were equally entranced by the vast selection of food, utensils, appliances, and everything else you can think of to run a restaurant. we wandered up and down every aisle, pointing at things here and there, completely entertained. meanwhile, MIL, the hub and bean dragged along, taking up the rear, rolling their eyes and totally amused by us.

need some latex gloves? they had them in every size, color, thickness, etc. i know you're freaky. you need these now and then.

the baking aisle offered ginormous quantities of flour, sugar, and 5-pound blocks of chocolate.

the bean enjoyed her fun ride on the cart.

i broke my "no pictures" rule (it didn't take long, and you knew that would be the case) to show off that awesome orange jacket i pulled on before walking into the meat department. hot and sex-hay, huh?

i stopped for a moment of silence as i encountered this WALL o'bacon.

and then we finally found what we were there for - a giant slab of prime meat, ready to be seasoned and put in the oven for hours on end.

you know what a carnivore i am, but the sight of so much ground meat had me slightly grossed out.

as did this - whole goats and lambs hanging from hooks. ew.

and this. EW. gah-ross.

as the hub and FIL debated over what cut of meat to buy, i wandered around and found the selection of italian meats. although i'd just had lunch, it totally made me crave an italian sub.

aisles upon aisles of cold cuts, cheese, potato and pasta salad, and more.

when we finally got outta the meat locker and hung our jackets back up on the rack, i found yet another fun aisle - chef's uniforms. i was hoping to find a pink chef coat, but the closest i got was red.

some of the restaurant-quality appliances. there was some serious equipment here.

more fun restaurant supplies - baking pans, squeeze bottles, sugar/creamer serving pieces in bulk, tongs in every size you could ever want.

it took me a few seconds to figure out what these were - need an immersion blender? these ain't no wimpy proctor-silex $20 dealios. you can't get this shit at target.

want to set up a fast-food kitchen in your house? here, you can do just that.

i totally wanted a deep-fryer and a cheese sauce dispenser. come on, that'd be fun!

rice for days, folks.

those crappy wooden high chairs you find at most eateries were here, too. $35 buys you one.

back in the utensils section, the bean thought the giant potato mashers were kind of fun. i thought it was comical that they were almost as tall as she was, and MIL found this enormous strainer, bigger than her head.

if i had that deep fryer at home, i would totally get these. serve up fries and cute taco salad bowls? okay!

i smirked at that sign - if i saw that posted somewhere i was working, i'd tag that shit.

we goofed around in front of the security camera while the men, uh, handled the meat. heh.

outside, i thought it was cool that they provided these when shopping during hot ass southern california summers.

after all that browsing around, this is what we walked outta there with:

well, that and a box of vanilla chai tea bags.

and now i totally want to open a restaurant just so i can shop there more often. ha!


  1. Your hair is effing a-dor-a-ble!!! Seriously. I do not lie.

  2. holy shit man, that's store is like costco's older brother. awesome!

  3. If you watched Top Chef, you might've been even more excited to shop here. This is where they got all their food when they were in L.A.

  4. i most especially appreciated the moment of silence and awe for the wall o' BACON!!!

  5. From what I can see, your hair looks fantastic! So cute!!!

  6. I just passed this place yesterday and was wondering what it was like inside. This place seriously makes Costco look like an AM/PM.

  7. Ditto Weezermonkey. It's so cool you got to shop there!

  8. First of all, from what I can see of your hair, it looks cute!

    Second - my friend's dad works for a restaurant supply company. And in high school, I'd go to her house and was in awe of her "fast food" kitchen.

  9. i once tried to get in, pre-top chef LA days even. i was denied. :(

  10. Your hair looks cute! I'm sure you'll feel better about it once you get used to it.

  11. I've got to quit reading your blog when I'm hungry.

  12. I've ALWAYS wanted to go in there! Your hair looks tres cute!

  13. I've never heard of this place. But whoaaa, how overwhelming. And the meat would have grossed me out too. Poor goats.


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