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Beefing up the Selection


It’s just a grocery store but I’ve always had a thing for Western Beef, at least the Ridgewood headquarters. It’s not remotely fancy, I can’t get my Kashi bars or Fage yogurt, just Quaker and Danon, but it’s certainly a notch above Associated or C-Town (Friday the NY Post had a funny full page ad where C-Town price compared a pile of around 25 Krasdale items to the name brands and showed how you’d save like $75).


I was excited this past weekend to see that WB has revamped/reorganized its “ethnic” offerings, which consists of a bounty of Latin American and Caribbean brands with a few Eastern European items tossed in. You’re shit out of luck if need anything Asian besides Kikkoman or Roland duck sauce (in humungous jars). I don’t know that they increased their offerings but they’ve tidied up the shelves, erected mini flags from countries of origin and put signs out front advertising their diverse products. I thought they might’ve actually alphabetized since Argentina was first, but then Peru snuck in near the start of the aisle and all rhyme or reason went out the window.


They also tidied up an entire row devoted the only other foodstuff in existence (besides melon) that I can't abide. Malta is an acquired taste that I just can't acquire. 

TriguisarI couldn’t resist this little Colombian box of Triguisar. I'm sure it is seasoning, though the translation reads "economic dehydrated mixed condiments" that consist of cumin, pepper, garlic, annatto, something they translate as curcuma (ah, turmeric), yellow dye, corn starch and corn rice. I’m not convinced of its tastiness but like the straightforward directions, “it should be cooked with the foods.”

Not only was the Western Beef so bizarrely empty that I could wheel the cart around unimpeded, the same non-crowdedness occurred at Target the same Saturday afternoon. We got a parking spot next to the door instead of having to drive in circles and there were actually shopping carts instead of the usual empty patch of dirty carpet where they’re supposed to be. It kind of freaked me out. Plus, instead of the normal reggaeton blasting at WB interspersed with an angry employee yelling for his keys, soft jazz was lilting from the speakers. New management or something more malevolent?

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