I just came from Cookin', on a friends suggestion. I had called appr. 8-9 butcher shops & meat companies in the bay area, asking for ground ham. They all had acted like I was crazy, "Ground HAM" they would ask.
Has no one heard of Ham Loaf? Pimento loaf? Pupata (Cuban Meatloaf)?
Finally, I went to find a meat grinder to do the job myself. The small lady behind the counter was very friendly, welcoming me in and asking what it was I was looking for. I told her and she pointed me in the right direction. When I asked if she knew which grinder was for meats/sausages, she came over and picked out a few, meanwhile talking recipes.
As I was paying, she also gave me a few suggestions on how to take care of the equipment to make it last. You surely couldn't walk into Macy's or even Crate & Barrel and have a clerk know how to grind ham, much less give you tips on taking care of a forty year old piece of equipment.
Awful & bizarre experience.
I am usually not a person to give a negative review, but this was one of those jaw-dropping experiences. Yes, people like this do exist. I will never go back there again and suggest to everyone that I know to avoid this store. There are plenty of great kitchen things on Craig's List and eBay.
Let the interchange below speak for itself. Mind you, I was pretty calm the whole time, even when both shopkeeper and her staff guy were attacking both me and my mother.
me: Do you have stainless steel cookie pans?
her: No. Don't carry'em.
me: Um, why not?
her: I just told you, I don't carry 'em. No professional chef would touch one.
me: Why not? They've always worked for me. Is there a particular reason?
her (angrier and angrier, for some reason): WELL, if you want to burn your cookies on the bottom...
me: what other options are there?
her (snapping at me now): Anodized aluminum. Black steel.
me: uh, okay.
I asked her to point some other options out to me, since I've always used steel and was curious about other possibilities, but she just snapped at me that I'd asked her the same question three times and that the answer would always be the same, that she didn't carry steel cookie pans, never would and that *professional chefs* were their main customers and none of them would *ever* use steel cookie pans. I slowly backed away and went to the other side of the store to join my mother.
After thinking about it, I approached her again, and perhaps I shouldn't have, but I felt that I had to speak my mind. I said that I didn't think that I had invited such an attack just by asking for information. She snapped at me again, for "expecting the answer to be yes just 'cause you ask it three times!" and so did her staff guy. My mother tried to stick up for me, too, trying to clarify that I'd simply been asking a question and had nothing against her choices or her stock. In response, her staff guy said a few really nasty and accusatory things that my mother said made her feel physically threatened.
For the record, I've always used steel cookie pans to roast nuts and bake certain types of cookies that need to caramelize on the bottom. I've never had a problem with them. I also, at this point, try not to use aluminum cookware because there's the chance it can leach. The owners seemed completely unaware and disinterested in safety issues with cooking surfaces. On the other hand, I'm always game to try new things. If these shopkeepers had acted differently I might have tried a black steel pan.
Plan on Spending a Few Hours....
Wonderful kitchen wares shop with a kitchy, colorful, and entertaining shop owner.
Not "if you go", but "when you go", plan on spending a few hours at this amazing shop. If you are with someone you love who isn't quite as in to kitchen wares as you are, I recommend leaving them somewhere nearby so you can spend as much time as possible browsing through (without guilt) the endless racks and piles of new, used and vintage wares. The only drawback to this shop is that there is so much to look through, that at times you feel as if you are sure to miss that one treasure due to the overwhelming stock of goods.
When you absolutely positively have to have the exact same egg whisker your Aunt Edna tossed out in 1973.. The word is out amongst hard-core cooks: When looking for unusual kitchen supplies, call on Judy Kaminsky. Every surface is covered with graduated stacks of stock. It's all about quality--and quantity. Items are organized by use and material, so you'll find 43 different garlic presses on one shelf, a towering stack of shining copper cooking pots on another. Plus meat grinders, cookie guns, vintage china, fluted tart pans and much more.
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