Sunday, December 29, 2019

Gelson's or Bristol Farms - Duking It Out For Most Expensive?

Both are upscale supermarkets.  Gelson's is new to the South Bay (Manhattan Beach) but Bristol Farms (Rosecrans, Manhattan Beach)   has been here some time.

In years gone past, I would go to Bristol Farms for exotica for Christmas presents to family on the East Coast.  Fig jam for Brie and crackers, being an example.  Back in the day when we entertained a hella lot more than today, I always set out chopped liver.  Bristol Farms was reliable for a number of years and then came the day I waltzed in to get some and when I said, "Chopped Chicken Livers was handed  a small bag with - O horrors! -  raw, naked chicken livers!  I thought 25 cents for the contents was very cheap!  Until I opened the bag.  And set a land speed record for getting back to the butcher counter and hysterically handing them over.

In recent years, Dee has liked to join us New Years Eve for champagne and caviar.  And there was none.  Bev-Mo?  Gone and they used to have a whole glass-fronted showcase of it with varying prices.

Yesterday, we decided to have a mini-adventure and go stroll the aisles at the new Gelson's.  If this doesn't strike you as mad adventure, remember that we are old and it doesn't take much in the way of entertainment.

Many were the sights we saw - a wine bar that serves tapas,(get about half lit and then go grocery shopping.  Uh, huh.  Not a good idea.)  a fresh sushi place but most wondrous of all, - a couple of shelves of caviar!  I scooped an ounce ($27) jar and in passing the meat department saw lobster tails for sale - $12 each.  Certainly cheaper than "market price" in restaurants; market price being $40-$45*  

Near the cash register, we found the bakery department.  A lime green frosted cake wearing a lei?  The smaller version - $48; the larger $52.  yes I am talking about one birthday cake.  It reminded me of the 85 Euros chocolate cake I once saw at Ladura's in Paris.

Also of note was the scarcity of customers.  I later read that high prices drive consumers away making for a much faster shopping experience with fewer people out and about and no hanging about at checkout.  Rich people, it was explained are happy to save the time  (snort.) It's much more likely to save the time while the housekeeper is out doing the marketing (and escaping house work..)

One guy in the article  sighed,  "I can always get my ostrich meat at Bristol Farms."

*Our second stop was Ralph's Supermarket where lobster tails were $4 each.  I bought three.  Do the math.  $12.  Sound familiar?

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