New Aldi, Parkway Center - Houston

When Aldi first arrived in town a couple of years ago, all the stores were in outlying areas. I made the trek out to Hwy 6 in Sugar Land a couple of times and once down to Missouri City before deciding it wasn’t worth the drive (about 40-45 mins each way, as I recall).

This new one opened a couple of months ago about 20 blocks from me (Bissonnet @ Beechnut) and I got around to checking it out recently. It’s been getting its share of raves and rants on Next Door Neighbor.

First impression - this store is larger. After several visits though, I’m not so sure of that assessment. It may just be that the front end of the store is wide open; instead of being forced all the way down one aisle to the middle of the store, you can head to any aisle you want, including the freezers on the opposite wall, right from the entryway.

The produce section is still small but the produce at this store is much better looking that what I had seen before. It won’t be my main store for produce but I did pick up some excellent strawberries on the first trip, best I’ve tasted in years, and have found lettuce and bagged salads okay. On my latest trip I picked up some organic kiwis but haven’t tried them yet. A side by side taste test of the Aldi Scarlet Pearls grape tomatoes (Mexico) vs. TJ’s grape tomatoes (US) was a clear win for the Aldi product (neither organic).

I have had a thing for sandwiches lately and tried some sandwich slices. Another side-by-side taste test of the Aldi sliced Muenster vs. TJ’s I found them very close but the Aldi cheese was slightly more flavorful.

I was surprised to see some name brand Mexican products - cookies, Valentina and La Tapatia hot sauces, an Old El Paso taco kit, 2 types of flour tortillas (Mission and one other I can’t remember). There are also some Mexican products whose names I don’t recognize and so assume to be generics.

And I saw some Cajun products whose names I didn’t recognize - jambalaya mix, red beans and rice mix, etc.

I don’t remember seeing any of these a couple of years ago but I may have just missed them.

I have mentioned before I live in a part of town devoid of really good grocery stores - I have 2 Walmart Neighborhood Markets, 2 small, older Fiestas, 1 old (though recently refurbished), very small HEB, a Food Town, a Joe V’s and the very expensive Belden’s. I have to drive a long distance for a good HEB or Fiesta much less Phoenicia, CM, etc.

I’m very glad to have this new store to offer some more options close to home.

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I drove to far reaches of Katy to check out their Aldi once. I agree that it’s not worth the long drive. But I do recall that their prices were very good, though the selection is basic. I have seen them outside of London too.

I like Aldi pretty well. I go to the one on Hwy 6 between Westpark and Richmond. I usually go first thing Sat or Sunday so it takes me about fifteen minutes to get there.

I like their pasta, canned tomatoes, milk, chocolate, (especially the sea salt chocolate caramels), chips, cheese and a few other things. I’ve never bought their meat, but do buy a few of their fruits and veggies.

It’s a once every month or two stop for me.

Unlike Bruce tho’ I have a LOT of nearby choices. :wink:

I am really liking having this Aldi near by. I’m probably going 2-3 times per month and it has definitely impacted the rotation. Among other things, I haven’t been to a TJ’s since before my road trip to Colorado in October.

I nearly always pick up some Choceur chocolates; I like the sea salt pita chips - though one time they were very different, tiny little pieces. Look for the packages that look like the contents are puffed pita squares - they hold a lot more hummus (or whatever).

I bought a choice chuck roast there on special a couple of weeks ago. Made a good pot roast. It’s on special again this week again.

Over on eG the Aldi thread raves about the Ambiano appliances. The blender on special this week for $69 is said to be a clone of a $500 Vitamix, and there are supposedly other boards where posters rave about the Ambiano’s.

The wine section, just inside the front door, seems to be expanding. Has anybody tried any of the wines at Aldi?

First trip in a couple of weeks today. A few weeks ago a poster on eG posted that Aldi was going to be offering pork bellies, 12 oz. cry-o-vac for $5.99. It was a couple of weeks before they showed up at her store, plain and in hoisin sauce varieties. There were none at my store. Let me know if any of you see them at your stores.

The 8 oz wheels of brie have returned. They disappeared a couple of weeks ago and another poster on eG said the home office said they had been discontinued. I got the last one at my store.

The Specially Selected Sea Salt Pita Chips that I really like have been missing for two visits now. I picked up the Savoritz Sea Salt Pita Crackers and won’t be buying them again.

There was a dearth of dark chocolate options where the chocolate bars are displayed. That had better be an abberation!

I have been trying refrigerated pulled pork products. The TJ’s isn’t bad but not what I’m looking for (a Texas style sauce??? C’mon T, pulled pork was almost completely unknown in Texas until a few years ago). I had hoped the Aldi/Appleton Farms product would be more to my liking, something more of a Carolina style, with vinegar and mustard listed ahead of tomatoes in the ingredients for the sauce, but it’s cloyingly sweet. I can only eat it with a very generous application of mustard and won’t be buying it again.

I have the HEB product in the fridge but don’t have any hope for it being what I’m looking for. I figured I would probably end up making it for myself or having to mail-order something, which I don’t want to do.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/best-champagne-for-christmas-2016-aldi_uk_582dad0ce4b0c6c8bc14d8ff

Their champagne is $19 and pretty astonishing. Better than famous brands double the price.

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Thanks. Very interesting!

Still no pork belly. Specially Selected Sea Salt Pita Chips are back in new packaging. I picked up a couple of bags because they’re better than what I’ve tried from TJ’s.

I love Aldi and have one just a couple of miles away.

Some faves:

California Ranch Olive Oil, (975 mL for $10)
Canned Tomatoes, Beans, etc.
CHOCOLATE!
Potato Chips, Corn Chips, Tortilla Chips
Milk
Eggs
Cheese
Mustards
Pasta
Plastic Storage Bags
Chunk Light Tuna
A few fresh fruits and Veg, (jalapenos, poblanos, mushrooms, those four packs of “artisinal baby lettuce”)

But except for a whole ham I bought after T’giving, ($3 off!) I’ve never bought any meat

I don’t mind the quarter for the cart or the self bagging. The checkout is way fast no matter how long the line.

It cannot be the "only"place you shop, but the truth is that I like to cook and therefore I like to shop for groceries. I’l go out of my way for good ingredients and Aldi is a great addition to my rotation.

In case you’re wondering, the other places in my rotation are:

TJ’s
HEB
Fiesta
Food Town
Ranch 99
Phoenicia
Sprouts

Not to mention:
Spec’s
Costco
Canino Market
Central Market
and proably a few others

Almost never Kroger or Randall’s despite being a loyal customer of each in the past.

Let’s eat!

Good post, Doobie.

That CA Olive Ranch Everyday oil is good stuff. I’ve bought it at HEB and WM; surprised to see it there and haven’t compared prices.

I keep some canned potatoes on hand and have tried the Mama Casita’s tomatoes and chilies (i.e., Rotel). It was too mild for my taste. Other than that I haven’t tried any canned goods.

I have a problem with Clancy’s Spicy Pork Rinds. Is there a 12 Step group for this??? Sometimes I buy the Veggie Chips or Veggie Straws. The Aldi on 6 @ W. Bellfort had a bigger variety of chips that I liked. I don’t know if it’s just this store of if the whole chain changed what they carry. Lots of potato chip and tortilla chips varieties here and not a lot else.

Tried the eggs once. Great price but I prefer Extra Large so I pass.

Sandwich cheeses - Happy Farms Muenster and Havarti are my favs but others are good. I bought the Specially Selected aged white cheddar block this last time but haven’t tried it yet. For sandwich meats I prefer TJ’s.

I bought the Burman’s spicy brown mustard once when I was taking hot dogs to a party. I didn’t like it at first but it grew on me and I’ve bought another squeeze bottle. Not as good as Kosciusko (?) but Aldi is a lot closer than Spec’s.

A guy on eG raves about the mayo being the equivalent of Hellman’s. I haven’t tried it. I am interested in their Mayonesa con Limon and may try it.

I always get grape tomatoes. Little Salad Bar bagged spinach and butter lettuce are regulars. Also have bought potatoes, bananas, this last time some Pink Lady apples. Also have bought kiwis - very large - not the best tasting I’ve had but the largest.

I like the Kirkwood ‘Never Any’ chicken sausages, especially the ones with spinach and feta and with sun-dried tomato. Other varieties not so much. But I have never bought chicken sausages anywhere before so I can’t compare them to TJ’s or any other brand.

I bought a Black Forest Ham several years ago at the Hwy 6 store, imported from Germany as I recall; the name began with a K. It was very good but wasn’t sliced and I don’t have a slicer so next time I bought a package of sliced BFH. Shoulda looked at the packaging closer - it had water added and was tasteless by comparison.

My current high rotation:
Aldi
HEB - S. Braeswood - very small store, one of the few Pantry stores still open.
WM Neighborhood Mkt - Hillcroft - I’m shopping a lot less here now that Aldi is open and HEB has been refurbished after the Tax Day Floods of last year.

Others on occasion:
Foodtown - Fondren @ S. Braeswood (a former Albertson’s) and on BW8 at Beechnut - formerly Auchan (I miss Auchan). This store has a large seafood market so I prefer to go there.
Fiesta - S. Fondren - looking forward to this being remodeled and enlarged.
Kroger - I prefer to go all the way to the one on Buffalo Speedway over the one on S. Post Oak.
Belden’s - N. Braeswood
Pyburn’s - S. Fondren
I also sometimes hit up the Bellaire HEB (Closing next month) and the HEB Buffalo Market.
Randall’s - S. Post Oak or Montrose store.

Specialty shopping:
Phoenicia
Spec’s
Hong Kong Market,
Super H Mart
Viet Hoa
Indian Spices and Snacks - Sugar Land
Savoy (Pakistani) - Wilcrest

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I’m in NYS and picked this up a couple of days ago … I don’t remember seeing it before
$2.49 for 3 oz, I liked the packaging it was easy to remove the ham without it tearing.
It was on the mild side but was perfect for what I was doing with it. The individual packages
had a pretty substantial variation in texture and color.

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Ran by this Aldi this AM; hadn’t been in a couple of weeks and hadn’t looked at the circular this week because I just wanted a couple of things and knew what I wanted. So of course, I picked up a lot more = impulse buying.

Noticed a large bottle of California Olive Ranch EVOO ‘for everyday use,’ “30% More Free.” The jar is close to a full 32 oz vs. 25.4 oz for the standard jar in my pantry. Still less than $10 altho I can’t remember if it was $8.99 or $9.99. Probably limited time/while supplies last.

I’ve been pretty impressed w/the Happy Farmer cheeses for supermarket cheeses but saw a couple of varieties of Cabot (Vermont) cheeses this time.

This week’s ad features a lot of the Deutsche Koche products on the back page. I didn’t see most of them on my pass through the store but I had bought one of the strudels last time (haven’t baked it yet).

My neighbor informed me the other WMNC on S. Gessner has a new manager and is much better. I’ve found some surprising things there - Southside Market, Shiner Smokehouse and Dickey’s sausages and Plush Pippin frozen apple pies - I used to love those from Sam’s Club when I had a card. Looking forward to baking it soon.

Edit to add: I’m getting a Dickey’s, on W. Bellfort in a new Exxon station. Whoopwhoopwhooptidoo.

What is this? and Dickey’s?

WM = WalMart, (I had to look it up!)

Dickeys is the BBQ chain? Just awful.

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Yes - never been to a Dickey’s but I’ve heard they’re awful. I was poking a little fun at the fact I live in a part of town with few really good dining out options. And also at my less than ideal grocery store options … I have 2 of these Walmart Neighborhood Centers/Markets near me. They’re groceries and pharmacy only, no clothes, sporting goods, tires, etc. But they’re small and since I shop for one I prefer smaller grocery stores for everyday things. Not having to spend 25 minutes trudging all over one of these huge HEB’s or Krogers just to buy a dozen items is fine with me.

Walmart is even trying out convenience stores. I think I’ve read there are some in north Texas.

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I’ve seen these and been intrigued, then saw a positive comment on another board and decided to try them for myself.

I’ve fixed mussels before and had them at restaurants. Nice to be able to have them without having to do the scrubbing. I thought the texture was a little off; whether I over-cooked them or if that’s because they’d been frozen, I don’t know. The garlic-butter sauce was quite thin and not very buttery. I was thinking I’ve never had a preparation that didn’t include wine. Only one little bugger wouldn’t open.

I had an 8th Wonder Rocket Fuel and some crusty bread. Sure wish there was someone at my place who could turn out some good pommes frites. After I ran out of bread, I slurped the rest of the too-thin sauce directly from the bowl.

Not bad for the price.

ETA: I see on the pkg it says they’re already cooked. I need better lighting in my kitchen. Yep. I definitely overcooked 'em.

I think a trip to Cafe Brussels is in order to calibrate my tastebuds.

Be happy to meet you there sometime, their frites are outstanding! And the onion soup is pretty tasty too. It’s been a long while since I’ve been there. And every time I go I say, “hey, there’s Stanton’s! I need to go there some time!” I could see a starter of mussels and frites followed by a Stanton burger! Hehe!

I could handle mussels or Stanton’s - not both!

Not this week or likely next but will let you know if I plan to go.

Aldi (Houston) has some BEE-U-TIFUL Ranier cherries in stock right now.

Raniers are my favorite fruit, are only briefly available every year and don’t travel well, (bruise easily). These are sold in a 1 lb clam shell and are perfect. Sweet and plump.

In the past, I’ve paid $7/lb for them when I’ve found nice ones and at $2.49/lb, these are a freaking steal! HIGHLY recommended.

While you’re there, grab a box of their $0.88 cent strawberries. They’re pretty darned perfect as well.

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