Ithaca Blog

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Food World

Okay, so the title "Food World" is a little large for what we're going to do today.

In the future, on Ithaca Blog, we're going to write about the gamut of good food in Ithaca. Supposedly, Ithaca has more restaurants per capita than any other city in America (I say supposedly because I have heard the same thing about San Francisco. And probably that town in Wisconsin that says it, not Ithaca, is the home of the ice cream sundae, has adopted this claim, too).

So: maybe, maybe not. But we do have a lot of eateries, and a lot of great ones, and certainly a lot of great vegetarian ones. In fact, one culinary claim that is probably indisputable is that Ithaca has the best ratio of vegetarian restuarants to McDonald's anyplace.

Ithaca also has a number of fine food retailers, whose efforts we will explore at length, and often.

But for right now, we're just going to look at a few little things that I like at a couple of our food stores.

1. Bulk cookies at Wegman's. They are cheap. They are good. And you don't have to buy a whole big bag. Whole big bags tend to go a little stale a little too fast, or - the opposite problem - get finished a little too fast. Buying in bulk you can buy 60 or 70 cents worth and be happy as you thwart your natural desire (perhaps I should speak only for myself) towards gleeful (temporarily) gluttony. Try the chocolate chip.

2. Did you ever notice that sponges cost too much? You have to buy a pack of 2 or 3, and they are a little expensive for something you are going to make filthy and throw out. GreenStar Co-op sells individual packaged sponges for 99 cents, and they're good, with a scrubby side on top. They also sell scrubby-rags, two to a pack, for about the same price. Keep that kitchen clean for cheap.

3. Among monthly specials at GreenStar, in August they have quart bottles of Recharge flavored sports drink (natural Gatorade) for 99 cents. Three different flavors. I am drinking the orange right now, but I prefer the lemon. They also are selling an excellent brand of tuna fish for 99 cents. I buy each every time I go in there (and I go in there a lot - my shop, Small World Music, is two blocks away). I have to resist the impulse to tell other shoppers there that if they walk out of the store without those items, they are suckers. Actually, I usually don't resist that impulse. I say it nicer, though.

4. Wegman's and GreenStar both sell one-pound bags of organic carrots for 99 cents. They are a great snack, and an excellent antidote, or at least counterpoint, to cookies.

That's it for now. There will be plenty more to come, as I am an inveterate eater, and a great believer in being cheaper off, and encouraging good food sellers. If you are similar, please check back often.

Stephen Burke
for Ithaca Blog


Marina Tedtofu said...

Steve-go spongeless!! Those little things just suck up germs and grime and let 'em fester anyway!
I have used the same set of cheap washcloths for years now-just rinse out after each use, then throw in the washing machine often. Hygenically, Marina

Stephen Burke said...


I dig, washcloths for countertop surfaces and all. I don't mess around with those smooth, pink or green, soft and fakey sponges, which as you say don't do anything but relocate germs. But I do feel a need for the ones with one absorbent side and one abrasive side. For pots and pans, stove grease and grime, etc. Am I misguided?

Thanks for reading, and for writing!