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Wal-Mart (American Canyon) – Boulangerie, fishmonger, greengrocer, pico de gallo rotisserie chicken, deli, Sterling Vintners Collection wines and the sushi chef

rworange | Jan 20, 2008 09:14 PM

So I’m looking over the sushi counter, amazed that not only did Wal-Mart HAVE sushi, fresh edame and seaweed salad but also an on-site sushi chef … when the chef hands me a complimentary slice of California roll.

I said it was very nice. He smiles and bows. I smile and bow back.

Prices were from $2.50 for the seaweed salad to $4.50 for the rolls topping out at about $7.

The California roll sample tied in nicely with my visit to Copia today (free admission Jan-Feb). I learned the California roll was invented by a Los Angeles chef who wanted to introduce sushi to Americans who were wary of raw fish.

Also there were about a dozen free color recipe cards near the sushi counter for dishes like ….
- Radicchio and gorgonzola salad
- Shrimp stuffed mushrooms
- Havarti-stuffed French Toast
- Oatmeal with maple apples and walnuts
- Gouda cheese and apple soup

Yep, this Wal-Mart not only sells radicchio but all the cheeses mentioned and fresh seafood.

First … I’m aware I just sold my culinary soul to Satan.

Second … has the world gone mad? Wal-Mart selling things like fresh in-shell oysters and fresh portabella mushrooms.

In my topsy-turvy day today the grape tomatoes at Whole Foods Napa were LESS expensive ($1.50) than the same tomatoes at Wal-Mart (over $2) … and the produce at BOTH Wal-Mart and Whole Foods Napa was significantly less expensive than Trader Joe’s next door to the Whole Foods … and sadly, the quality was better at both Whole Foods and Wal-Mart than Trader Joe’s.

Third … this post mentions Copia, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Wal-Mart comparatively … something even I could have never imagined.

Ok, I exaggerate in some of those labels but Wal-Mart has an in-house bakery selling sourdough bouclé ($2.75), Crusty Italian bread ($1.44), French bread ($1.44), Parker House rolls, Kaiser rolls and nice hot dog rolls that were more substantial than the usual supermarket balloon bread. Eight house-made hot dog rolls $1.50.

Yes, I served my Whole Foods natural beef hot dog topped with Alexander Valley sauerkraut on a Wal-Mart hot dog roll … a just-baked hot dog roll, never the less.

Had I wanted to, I could have bought Millers hot dogs in natural casings at Wal-Mart (2 lbs for $8.27). They had some nice Millers cocktail Polish sausages too.

They carry Hormel Natural cold cuts for $3.34 a package … $5-$6 elsewhere. Fresh Butoni pastas and sauces were available

Desserts included slices of red velvet cake, mini-pies (58 cents … the blueberry was ok and blueberries were second ingredient … sugar NOT hfcs), tres leches cake, cheese cake (2 slices $2.14), Orange Crush cake, 7-UP cake, Dr. Pepper cake ($2 for half a cake).

They have a really nice produce section with samples available. Some of it
was beating my neighborhood Mexican market both price-wise and quality-wise.

Some of produce that caught my eye
- Yukon gold potatoes 5 lbs for $4.14
- Fresh blueberries $1.50
- Bananas .44 lb
- Fuji, Cameo, Red Rome, Jonagold and Gala apples all under $1.50 lb.
- Mangos .58 each
- In-shell mixed nuts $1.50 lb
- Bartlett, Asian. Bosc, D’Anjou pears (various prices)
- Fresh cherries (2.48 … not sure if that was for the bag or by the pound)
- Beautiful bulk white and brown mushrooms $2.98 lb

Deli meats were mainly Sarah Lee. Wilson Genoa salami was $4.28 lb. It might just be President’s brand but there is brie in the cheese case. . There were also items like red bliss potato salad ($1.94 lb) and pepperoni calzone ($1.34)

The dairy case had two types of organic milk … Horizon and Heritage ($3.47 for half gallon). Goat milk was also available. Yoplait yogurt was .44 cents and Horizon organic yogurt was $2.48 for a quart. Ricotta was $1.48 for a small container.

Tropicana organic orange juice was $3.44 for a half gallon.

Some interesting frozen items
- Pepperidge Farms toast (roasted garlic, cracked pepper parmesan or Romano and herb)
- Steamed veggies for about $1 a bag
- Blue Bunny gelato (hazelnut or chocolate $1.38)
- Turkey panini

The wine section was pretty good … a few besides the Sterling in the title
- Chandon sparkling wines
- Australian sparkling wine … Pink by Yellowglen
- Louis Jarot
- Black Box, Trove, Box Star as well as the usual boxed wine suspects like Franzia
- Copola
- Concanon

Giving two buck Chuck some competition are the Oak Leaf wines …5 for $9.85

Of the places I visited today, IMO, the selection of bottle wine for sale from best to worst
- Whole Foods Napa
- Wal-Mart
- Trader Joe's
- Copia (don't know enough to say how good the bottles are, but it is a small selection)

Not counting,but if you are in American Canyon, Carlidge & Browne Winery up the road from Wal-Mart has some very nice wines in the $10 - $15 range. One of their more expensive wines ($20) ... Ehlers Grove "Hard Labor" syrah really does taste of fig and black cherry.

The beer selection wasn’t too unusual but they did carry a few like Fat Tire, Kirin and two kinds of Guinness.

The hard liquor was pretty standard. They had Grey Goose vodka … and unlike most discount supermarkets the Johnnie Walker … red or black label … was not under lock and key.

There were tins of Watkins organic spices. A two ounce can of organic cinnamon was $2.48. Bags of Starbucks coffee were available.

Heinz organic ketchup was $1.99.

The Mexican food section was ok. They dropped the ball on Chinese. I can’t remember the last time I saw cans of Chung King. Frozen Chinese food was An Joy.

Various types of whole rotisserie chickens (including pico de gallo) were $4.48

As far as what might be usually expected at Wal-Mart … there was a stunning pop tart display with such exotic flavors as strawberry milkshake, hot chocolate and cherry cheese Danish.

Then you can roll your cart over and buy your I-pod, TV, wardrobe, furniture, house wares, sporting goods, toys, pharmacy items, etc, etc.

If you like you can have your vision checked, your hair styled or refinance your home (5.5%, IIRC).

McDonald’s is the in-store restaurant.

Wal-Mart Supercenter
American Canyon, CA, American Canyon, CA

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