Friday, April 16, 2010

Expectations vs. Reality

Richie and his lovely and charming dental tech got to talking about food during a recent appointment and she gave him a brochure for a grocery store that imports Spanish delicacies.

La Espanola Meats, Inc., 25020 Doble Avenue, Harbor City 310-539-0455

From a visit to their Web site, I expected a big, beautifully decorated store-- (gleaming jars of goodies in charming woven baskets, Italian flags hanging from ceiling beams, pretty/handsome clerks, Spanish words floating gently through the air.

Reality is: it's located in an industrial area. Doble Avenue was hard to find and when we did, we almost missed the "grocery store" because it's set off of the street, surrounded by a tall chain-link fence. We parked in their small lot and walked into "the store."

Sweets on our left, wines on our right. Steel shelves held a great variety of goods -- marmalads, box mixes for paella, custards, canned goods, a meat counter, a refrigerated wall filled with cheeses. Boullions in beef, chicken and fish flavor...

We browsed and bought: a marzipan fruit bar which is flat chunks of pineapple/ apple? surrounded by marzipan. It's good, but a little bit goes a looong way. $5.79 Praline Tiramisu which is a bar of strips of solid tiramisu between rows of chocolate was $5.79 Both of these desserts are the size of a huge chocolate bar. We got a bag of "mini artisan tapas bread sticks" for $3.49

They do carry the fabled Iberian ham, but we just looked at it. It's $45 for 4 oz. It's also marbled with wide bands of fat. By the time you separated fat from meat, you'd have maybe $15 worth of meat.

Some of the labels on the canned goods made me wonder if they were bought on the cheap in Spain and shipped over. A can of lentil soup was $3.49! Reminds me of a souvenir shop in Charleston. Their can of she-crab soup was $4. So we went to a supermarket and bought the exact same thing for $1.79.

In summation: if you are longing for Spain and rich as Croesus, this is the store for you! Mangia buon!(I think)

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