I stopped buying most food in local stores years ago. At the same time, I quit eating out much while in the city where I live. I’ve eaten better, saved lots of money, and have more time to read, write, cook, and run.
Here’s a guide to getting food delivered to your door that trumps by far what you’re sold in most local stores and restaurants. Each of the purveyors sells to high end restaurants around the country, and only recently have they started to make their products available to non-industry consumers.
Poultry. Whether it’s Rohan ducks or Green Circle chickens, you can’t beat D’Artagnan for price and quality. Simply roasted. Learn how to use salt and pepper. Six Green Circle chickens, raised on farms in Pennsylvania, will cost you about $17 each and feed four people with sides of vegetables. http://www.dartagnan.com
Beef. I go to DeBragga or Snake River. Both purveyors sell top grade beef. At DeBragga its prime and waygu-style. At Snake River, it’s only waygu-style. The burgers are a great deal at DeBragga: $19 per pound, and if you’re doing quarter-pounders, that’s $4.75 per person. Steaks, bone in or bone out, with varying prices. Pan sear in butter with lots of salt and pepper. http://www.debragga.com; http://www.snakeriverfarms.com.
Dried fruits. Hands down, it’s Bella Viva Farms. Light years better than anything you’ll find locally. www.bellaviva.com.
Mushrooms. Oregon mushrooms–they harvest, they clean, they ship. Morels, chanterelles, matsutake. Strictly seasonal. www.oregonmushrooms.com
Olive oil. Stonehouse. Unadulterated, untampered with, and packed with fruit yet still lean, California has less bite than Italian oils, but it’s spectacular, especially on raw vegetables. www.stonehouseoliveoil.com.
I also get all my dried pasta shipped from Eataly (NYC), bagels and smoked salmon from Russ & Daughters or Barney Greengrass (NYC), and fish often from Browne Trading (Portland, Maine).
Locally, I get good produce (fruits and vegetables) from Russo’s and Super 88. Fish is first rate from New Deal. Cheese isn’t part of my typical menu so I pick up whatever–Gruyere, Emmental, Ricotta, Burrata–at Russo’s. Savenor’s has good chicken sausages.
You’ll find that the time you save by having food shipped to you will be put to good use.