I know this sounds whiny and lazy but there are foods I can't seem to find in north OC. Normally I'd just search and search and search but with the impending arrival of Ubergeeklet I need to be home (when maths teachers talk about infinity, they show a Honey-Do list written by an eight-months-pregnant woman, not to mention that Mrs Ubergeek simply can't stay on her feet very much). Having targets would be a great, great thing.
Please let me establish nebulous limits on geography here, mostly because I do need to be able to be home in less than 20 minutes if necessary... for the sake of argument, let's call Angel Stadium "home".
Lambert Rd on the north
Riverside County on the east
Jamboree on the south
Valley View on the west
If there's something fantastic outside the borders, please let me know -- maybe I can check it out in a few months after we've got used to our darling daughter Chlamydia Rose.
1. Good rye bread. Spongy stuff, gray, sour, tough but chewy crust. The sort of thing delis manage to get hold of and pretty much nobody else.
2. Fresh fish. I tried the fish vendor at the Irvine FM and it was an unmitigated disaster -- it smelled fine at the market and by the time I cooked dinner that night (we're talking it went from ice to cooler to fridge-with-ice-on-top) it was funky and "off". I've been buying at Henry's Marketplace but it's a) expensive and b) often adulterated with such nonsense as artificial colour.
3. Italian groceries (cannoli shells, cheeses, great sausage, balsamico tradizionale, etc.) -- there's Claro's in Tustin, which is fine, but anything closer in?
4. Outside of the farmers' markets, who's got the best produce? The strawberries at Henry's looked peakèd and wan -- even the ones at Albertsons on State College and South looked better.
5. Truly great meat. Stater Bros. on La Palma and State College has a darn good meat department for a grocery store (those of you who have been to Iowa, it's a lot like Fareway), but where's the Marconda analogue?
6. Fresh feta cheese. If it comes in a box marked "Kyrios" or "Kronos" I'm not interested in it -- I want the emeseh!
7. Kosher market -- I'm not Jewish, I don't keep kosher, but it helps to have kosher pre-made food on hand (served on disposable plates, of course) for when I'm entertaining the Orthodox. A kosher bakery would be even better.
8. Other breads -- challah and a great ciabatta or pugliese. I've got a biga in the fridge right now for pugliese on Friday, but I don't always have three days' notice.
I'm sorry such a long list... I simply don't have the time to research the way I normally would. Thanks!