Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sunflower Market in Dallas

Last weekend the wife and I finally made it to the Sunflower Farmers Market. It's not a "farmer's market" like you (or I) would think. You know the one...every 'farmer' has a booth on an aisle on some outdoor parking lot or grassy knoll. It's essentially a grocery store, a small one, but one nonetheless.

A neighbor of ours was talking about it one day. We've seen the ads in the newspaper but have never been much less thought about going. I'm first a Kroger guy through and through. Kroger usually has the deals on the things I like and there is a store about two minutes across the highway. Most of the time I check all the ads from the three big grocers (Kroger, Tom Thumb, Albertson's) and compare their prices. If I can get milk and eggs cheaper at Kroger but bread and cereal cheaper at Tom Thumb, I make two different trips. If Albertson's has something to add to the mix, then I am making a third grocery trip. Luckily, Tom Thumb is about two to five minutes down the road and Albertson's is about five to ten minutes away. I love the convenience of where I live.

The neighbor likes to purchase what is considered "premium cuts" of steak like rib eye or prime rib. Most of the time for me, a steak is a steak as long as the taste and texture aren't like the sole of a shoe! A quarter inch thick is just as good as a half inch thick. Now don't get me wrong. I've had really, REALLY good steak that I can cut like butter from restaurants but that's once in a long while, a treat, for me and/or the wife. I'm talking outdoor grilling at home with the family and/or friends.

Anyway, this friend and neighbor said he got rib eyes from Sunflower Market for 40% off. I don't know what that meant in the sense of actual price but 40% off anything is a damn good deal. We planned on getting some rib eye ourselves and checking on other deals but we never made it. We are busy people and Sunflower Market is not 2-5 minutes down the street. It's more like 10-15 minutes south down US 75 to Haskell and then east on Haskell until about a block from Ross.

A week passed and I saw the newspaper advertisement again. I saw that they had $4.99/lb for rib eyes. This sounded like a fairly decent price so I decided, "I'm checking this place out this week no matter what!" The wife and I decided to go during my lunch hour on Friday of that week (that was two Fridays ago).

This particular time they had a few good deals on things like steak, certain beers my wife and neighbors drink, Boar's Head roast beef and a few others. For comparison, the Boar's head deli roast beef was two dollars cheaper than at Kroger as was the beer. I already talked about the steak. At the same time, there were items that were more, sometimes much more, than at Kroger. A dozen eggs was about twenty cents more (organic vs. organic). The bread was about the same (Mrs. Baird's whole grain white). Clementines were about a dollar more per pound compared to Kroger. So, basically, it's just like how I compare the ads from Kroger, Tom Thumb, and Albertson' have to know the prices acros the stores and find which one is best for the products you are wanting to buy.

I decided to purchase the rib eyes. Not knowing totally for sure how much of a deal I was getting, I rationalized by thinking that the rib eye (I bought three for no more than $4.99 each because they were either a pound or slightly under) was just like buying a fast food 'value' meal. If I spend something like $5-$6 on a #1 at Taco Bell, Wendy's or McDonald's, then $4.99 was a bargain on a thick, juicy steak.

After seasoning and grilling the rib eyes like I do a 'cheaper' cut, we decided once again that steak was steak. The rib eyes were great but I've made great skirt steak, fajita steak, and whatever other 'cheap' steak they have at the major brand grocery stores. I will continue to test and investigate price as well as taste of steaks from the many different stores but I don't think a rib eye or prime rib is necessarily the CHOICE steak.

But at a good price, it's doesn't hurt to purchase one and enjoy it...especially if your friends are impressed with such meaningless things.

Oh yeah, the point of the picture. I got a little off topic with the rib eyes instead of talking about the turkey bacon. While we were at Sunflower, I saw this display for bacon. It looked pretty good in the picture even though it said 'turkey.' I thought, "how bad could they mess up bacon?"

I decided to wake up Sunday morning to make breakfast for the wife and kids. I'm that kind of guy. I opened the pack to find the bacon to be sliced in neat little precise pieces. I sliced the pack in half as not to waste the other half if I didn't like it. I figured we could at least use it for baking beans or something.

Longer story shorter: the kids and I agree said, "It tastes alright but we prefer the 'pig' bacon. It's just better because it's crispy and fatty not just crispy like this. The turkey bacon is more like frying Spam but if I wanted Spam, I'd just eat Spam!"

Well said kids. Well said.

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