Laurella and I [I guess I'm outing myself here as Laurella's fiancee] stopped by Big John's PFI on Saturday afternoon. We'd heard about it many times on Chowhound before, but had never quite made it down there.
Ye gads. There's no better feeling than when you walk into a grocery and you have to slowly, methodically walk up and down each aisle, scanning each shelf with deep focus to make sure you don't miss a single item.
We somehow made it out with our pocketbooks mostly intact (the prices are great, it's just that I wanted to shovel the whole store into a cart), and we came home with quite an assortment of stuff.
-- Hot ajvar (a Bulgarian garlic/roasted pepper/eggplant spread I'd never encountered before)
--black currant nectar
--real San Marzano tomatoes, not the domestically-grown "San Marzano-style" tomatoes that have defrauded me in the past. One can of these specified a subregion, which impressed me.
--a really great Tunisian olive mix
--San Pellegrino Chinotto. Can someone tell me what in the hell chinotto is, and why you'd want to extract its flavor and put it into a soda? Then again, I don't understand Cynar either.
Now, mr. nelso, what's this about Paul Allen buying the place?