cinnamon raisin goodness

Like many, I was a kid who loved cinnamon raisin toast. Slathered with my mom’s prefered I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, I would seriously enjoy some Sunmaid toast. (Note: I had to Google to figure out the brand is Sunmaid. All I remember is the completely red packaging.)

Somewhere along the line, I grew up, and started eating more “mature” things for breakfast (cereal?). But whenever I’d find myself in a bagel shop (mmm, Middlebury Bagel Deli) I’d be drawn toward a cinnamon raisin bagel. With cream cheese.

The first night in Seattle, after we’d pushed ourselves to exhaustion unpacking the moving truck in less than two hours and then hauling everything off the lawn and inside our teeny apartment, Dan and I dragged ourselves down to the PCC market for some food. In my half conscious state, I grabbed some whole wheat cinnamon raisin bagels and some cream cheese. (Also grabbed Cafe Ladro Diablo blend – amazing.)

The next morning, I toasted that bagel in our mini oven and slathered it with what ended up being neufchâtel cheese. Accompanied by a mug of Diablo with organic half and half, looking at the view of Mt. Rainier, I was a changed girl. A Seattleite? Perhaps not yet, but definitely a girl in full-on food snob mode (“um, I only eat artisan bagels with organic neufchâtel cheese accompanied by expensive local coffee and organic half and half”).

A few years later, I’m still enjoying those delicious Alvarado Street Bakery sprouted wheat cinnamon raisin bagels. Mind you, they can usually only be found at AmazonFresh, PCC, and sometimes Whole Foods. Since I usually shop at Fred Meyer, I’ve had to look for substitutes. I was thrilled when a few weeks back I spotted Robust Raisin from Dave’s Killer Bread. I promptly purchased a few loaves (who knew if I’d find it again!?) and went home happy. But it was a serious let down. Why? It doesn’t toast! I’ve never seen anything like it. It goes from fresh bread to burnt outside and soft inside in one toast cycle. It’s no good at all. That, and for some reason my beloved neufchâtel cheese just isn’t the same on bread slices. Not sure why. But it’s just not.

So Dave’s is out. Which is unfortunate, since it’s a great brand – love all their other varieties. (Especially their new “light” breads that have less calories simply because they’re smaller.)

Moral of the story folks – if you’re a food snob like me, and you need a hearty “adult” cinnamon raisin variety, Alvarado Street Bakery sprouted wheat cinnamon raisin bagels are the way to go. Order them from AmazonFresh. Or, on the bakery’s website. Only $2.40 for a package – that’s a steal!

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AmazonFresh

I absolutely love AmazonFresh. I seriously can’t say enough good things. A few months back, at an alumni gathering for my college, I met someone who works at Amazon. He doesn’t even work on anything related to AmazonFresh, and I had only had half a drink, but I still went on and on and on about my affinity for AmazonFresh. But I’m going to try to calm myself for a moment here, and give a more balanced view. And then I’m going to return to looking forward to my groceries that will be arriving on my doorstep before 6am tomorrow morning. Yes I will have a whole wheat cinnamon raisin bagel with organic neufchâtel cheese for breakfast, thankyouverymuch.

PROS:

Convenience – Order from your computer at home or work (shhh!) or from out of town. When travelling, it’s great to tee up a delivery order so your fridge isn’t empty when you get home late on a Sunday night and have work the next day. Last year, my family was heading out to the Olympic Peninsula for Christmas, so we ordered a big AmazonFresh order and had it delivered right when we were packing up the car. The delivery man helped us put the bags in the car right then and there!

Selection – Amazon is regularly adding items so there’s rarely an item I want that I can’t find.

Produce quality – before my first order, the quality of the produce was something I was worried about. I’m one of those annoying people who picks up and inspects every apple before putting it in my bag. You can’t do that online. But the quality of produce is outstanding.

Free Delivery – Orders $75 and above qualify for free delivery. Not hard to meet.

Automatic Delivery & Case discounts – money can be saved when you set up automatic delivery or purchase things in cases. I don’t do this now, but when/if I have more mouths to feed I can see this being convenient. The 10% and 15% discounts would off-set the price difference between AmazonFresh and Fred Meyer.

Great website – Just like Amazon.com, the website is so easy to use. You can save lists for future use, and the site automatically generates things you “might like” which you inevitably add to your cart.

No tips allowed – While some might think it’s weird I find this a pro, I really do. There’s no awkward moment with you and the delivery person where you give them a few bucks. I am sure Amazon pays their drivers well, and the rule is that no tips are accepted.

AmazonNOW items – Amazon has an ever-growing selection of items you can add to your grocery order. (I wish I hadn’t just bought The Help at the UW bookstore for $24.95 or I would add the $13 one from Amazon to my order.)

 

CONS:

Price – My grocery bill with AmazonFresh is without a doubt much higher than when I shop at Fred Meyer. However, it’s no more expensive than Whole Foods or even some QFCs and Safeways. While the delivery is free, the somewhat increased cost accounts for the convenience of delivered groceries!

No generics – part of the reason the cost is higher is that AmazonFresh only carries name brand items. For example they only have Talking Rain seltzer water instead of the BigK generic brand I get at Fred Meyer. And there’s only Silk soymilk, no 365 brand which is the cheapest at Whole Foods.

No bulk – A lot of money can be saved by shopping in bulk at conventional grocery stores.  All the items you need are still available at AmazonFresh, but they are more expensive because they’re packaged instead of being sold in bulk.

Inclement weather – I ordered Thanksgiving dinner groceries from AmazonFresh. Seattle got a snow storm. They cancelled my order. An AmazonFresh truck was stuck on the hill outside of my house. Completely understandable, but still a con.

Item sizes – While the descriptions on the website are entirely accurate, sometimes you’re not sure just how big a 4 ounce block of cheese is. Then you get it, and it’s way smaller than you thought. Your own fault, not theirs, but still a drawback to shopping online.

here starts another blog

I’ve been thinking about starting this blog for a long time. Like most of us that came of age during the internet’s rise, I’ve kind of always been thinking about starting some type of online project. Starting with my early Geocities projects over dial-up internet in our semi-furnished basement, the realm to which computers were formerly relegated.

So yes, as my family and a few friends can attest, I’ve started a blog or two in my day (or three or four?). But none have had a specific purpose. They’ve been lacking cohesion and have thus usually fallen by the wayside. Here, things will be different. (I hope. I’m going to try. Hard.)

I’m starting this blog out of my penchant for four things: eating, drinking, nitpicking, and documenting. Each post will analyze and record an eating endeavor. Whether it be a grocery store, restaurant, or a home-cooked meal. I like nothing better than a good critical analysis of all nitty-gritty details, and that’s what I plan on overanalyzing here. I hope you’ll join me!