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Waverley

Treat Mama Right!

Though technically every day you show you care (right?!), treat mama right this Mama’s Day with some TLC in the form of Good Food! Brunch or dinner, a picnic in the park, we’re here to help you treat mama like the hero she is.

MamasBrunch_WebOur chefs have crafted a light, fresh, spring menu that is sure to wow, featuring our Shrimp Louie with Oregon bay shrimp, butter lettuce, avocado, and cherry tomatoes with creamy Old Bay thousand island dressing. Pair it with our new, house-made Wild Salmon Rillettes with lemon and aleppo pepper, and our seasonal Quiche Maman with asparagus, Marin French “Petite Breakfast” Cheese, spring onion, and fines herbes. View the complete Mama’s Day menu here, available in the Markets and online for delivery May 5 through May 8.

Our bakers have whipped up something truly special for the truly special mamas in your life, the Creamery’s new Tarte aux Fraises. Made with peak season, farm-direct strawberries and almond frangipane, studded with pistachios, it’s a decadent and unique treat.

To complement this colorful spread, our cheese team is featuring brunch-friendly cheeses, like Marin French Cheese’s Petites (on sale now for only $3.99), plus an assortment of favorites like Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam and Fromagerie Onetik’s Tomme Brebis Chevre.

Gifts for mama? We’ve got some great Good Food ideas:

  • DIY Strawberry Shortcakes: Give mama a sweet treat, plus get the ingredients delivered to your door!
  • Gorgeous farm-direct flowers: Our florists will be creating custom bouquets in front of both Markets Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8, 9am to 5pm; or, order farm-direct flowers from Instacart for delivery within an hour.
  • Seasonal Craft Cocktails: Our friends The Bon Vivants have created two beautiful, seasonal gin cocktails perfect for brunch or a day in the sun.
  • Handcrafted Chocolates & Truffles: Our Grocery Team has brought a collection of beautiful, handmade confections, truffles, and more so you can wow with chocolate.  Highlights include Chocolate Moderne’s Champagne Chic (chocolate-covered bonbons with double chocolate ganache in a champagne truffle), and Recchiuti’s Classic Truffles (traditional French-style rolled truffles).

StrawberryShortcake_WebFullSizeRenderMothersDay2016MixedBouquet


Jason Rose

New Dips & Dressings for Sunnier Days

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our new seasonal dips as well as three new, house-made salsas, and the debut of our house-made salad dressings. Our chefs have been tasting and testing to bring our guests peak season flavors and new classics, just in time for beautiful spring weather and al fresco dining.

LabnehPeaHummus (6)Our house-made Labneh is as rich as it is creamy, made with Straus whole-milk yogurt that is strained for 22 hours to drain away much of the whey. It’s then topped with extra-virgin olive oil and beautiful za’atar for flavor and texture. It’s the perfect dip for crudité and pita bread or chips, amazing with spring lamb, excellent with grilled salmon (chef’s tip: fold in some chopped dill), and lovely in the morning smeared on toast with honey and crushed hazelnuts. As versatile as it is delicious, it also serves as a savory sandwich spread or a creamy salad dressing (just add lemon juice and a touch of vinegar).

Our new Pea Hummus showcases the peak season flavors of spring peas, combining English peas and snap peas with garlic, tahini, mint, and lemon juice for a seasonal take on traditional chickpea hummus. We love it with grilled salmon.

Beyond dips, our house-made salad dressings are now available by the bottle including our classic Lemon Vinaigrette, our Miso-Ginger Vinaigrette, and our Caesar Dressing. Your salads won’t be the same!

HouseMadeSalsaTrioFinally, we’re introducing three new, house-made salsas to spice up your kitchen: a Roasted Tomato Salsa with tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapenos, akin to a classic “salsa mexicana,” a Tomatillo Salsa made with tomatillos, avocado, cilantro, onion, and jalapenos, and finally, Irma’s Salsa, a mole-esque salsa with ancho and chipotle peppers and tomatoes named after Chef Eddy’s wife as it is her recipe (chef’s tip: brush Irma’s salsa on fish or chicken, or use it as a sauce for enchiladas). Whether you’re having a park picnic or planning a dinner party, our new dips, salsas, and salad dressings will make the perfect addition to impress your guests!


Trac

Spring Wine Blitz is Back – come taste it!

Our annual Spring Wine Blitz is just around the corner! To tempt the taste buds, we’re throwing a preview tasting at 18 Reasons starting at 6pm on April 21. We’ll be pouring over 25 of our favorite wines to give our guests a taste of our diverse selections. Wine Blitz starts on Monday, April 25th through Sunday, May 1st, and we offer 20% off when you buy 12 bottles or more.

Our expert wine team will be on hand at Thursday’s Preview Tasting to help customize a case (or two!) for you. It’s a fantastic opportunity to pick their brains about their favorites this season, and there are still a few tickets left for purchase!

Check out some of the wines we’ll be pouring Thursday night:

Grossot Chablis Burgundy, France 2012

A stellar Chardonnay from Chablis, this is an incredible value from a great vintage in the region. Oysters would be a tasty decadence with this wine. Reg: $24.99 Blitz Price: $19.99

Skylark “Pink Belly” Mendocino, CA 2015

A Bi-Rite favorite, this Rosé is made by local San Francisco sommeliers Robert Perkins and John Lancaster of Boulevard. It’s dry, crisp, and ready for a picnic. Reg: $19.99 Blitz Price: $15.99

Baker Lane Syrah Sonoma Coast, CA 2012

A beautiful Syrah sourced from Stephen Singer’s impeccable vineyards. Black fruits with a spicy savory finish, this is great with burgers and grilled meat. Reg: $24.99 Blitz Price: $19.99

Fredi Torres Priorat “Classic” Catalan, Spain 2014
Fredi Torres is a rising star in Catalan and this Priorat is the reason why. Elegant, complex, and food-friendly are three descriptors Priorat was not previously known for. Reg: $24.99 Blitz price: $19.99


Waverley

Happy Passover from Bi-Rite!

FINALSederPlatewGoblet The celebration of Passover is an ancient and rich tradition, and we are happy to offer wide range of grocery, produce, and butcher items to complete your seder preparations, as well as a complete, house-made Passover menu so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with friends and family.

Our produce department will be featuring fresh horseradish root and organic, curly parsley for seder plates, while our Grocery team has a collection of Passover essentials and guest favorites, like the extremely limited-production, handmade Vermatzah. Made by Julie Sperling and Doug Freilich in Middletown Springs, Vermont, who carry on a 5,000-year-old tradition of baking matzah on an open fire.

BrisketOur butchers are showcasing beautiful, 100% Grass-Fed BN Ranch Beef Brisket for your Passover table. If you’re cooking for Passover, try our Zinfandel-Braised Beef Brisket recipe and shop it conveniently from our online store to have the ingredients delivered to your door! If you prefer lamb for Passover, we have two wonderful lamb producers supplying us with the season’s finest, tastiest lamb.  Learn more about what makes our lamb program so special here.

BlueberryCheesecake_InstacartIf time is tight, our chefs have crafted a complete, house-made Passover menu for your dining convenience, including old favorites and new, seasonal specialties. It wouldn’t be a holiday meal without desserts from Bi-Rite Creamery, like our Flourless Cheesecake – creamy, luscious and topped with the season’s finest blueberries! Our house-made Passover menu will be available in the Markets and for order on Instacart April 18 through April 30, for delivery within an hour.

To round out your meal, our wine team has curated standout kosher wines that go above and beyond the traditional Manischewitz (though we have that, too!).  Try the Domaines Bunan Côtes de Provence Rouge 2012, a full-bodied Cabernet Suavignon with savory notes of black fruits and spice, or the Golan Heights “Yarden” Sauvignon Blanc 2014, a classic Bordeaux-style Sauvignon Blanc from a cool climate site in Israel with herbaceous character and complex fruit.

Short on time? Let Instacart shop for you – find everything you need for Passover from our online Passover aisle and have it all delivered to your door!


Jon Fancey

Perfectly Portable Petites for All!

BiRite-HOLIDAY-2015-Cheese-032Marin French Cheese was began to make cheese in 1865, started by a dairy farmer in West Marin who became well known for providing European-style cheeses to bustling San Francisco. Marin French Cheese is still making cheese over 150 years later – the longest continually operating cheese maker in the United States.  The Bi-Rite Cheese Department is celebrating the beginning of spring by offering three favorite Marin French cheeses for $2 off! Perfectly portable, these petite cheeses make for fantastic park picnics, party eats, or on-the-go snacks.

  • Petite Breakfast Cheese – Marin French’s original cheese from 1865. A little button of triple crème cow’s milk cheese that they refer to as a ‘fresh brie’.  It’s mild & buttery and perfect for any time of the day.
  • Petite Crème – A little round of brie that’s great for picnics or a cheese plate. It’s sweet and milky and pairs well with olives and charcuterie.
  • Petite Camembert – The Bay Area version of a French classic. It’s Marin French’s most robust cheese and fabulous with oysters from neighboring Tomales Bay.

Whether you try one or try them all, celebrate local cheese this spring by enjoying a Marin French Petite for only $3.99!


Simon

Give Peas a Chance!

When the springtime rolls around in the Bay Area most folks can’t wait to sink their teeth into a juicy local strawberry. After eating California citrus for the past four months, we’re all ready for some delicate sweetness.  Strawberries aren’t the only sweet produce treat that comes with the cool spring weather. This is time to give peas a chance!

Peas are the perfect crop to grow in the spring because they like the cool weather and farmers can get plant them in the late winter so they have a crop to harvest in the early spring.  At Bi-Rite, we love to celebrate Sugar Snap Peas and English Peas throughout April and May when they are eating the best, because they go so well other spring crops like spring onions, green garlic, wild mushrooms, and baby lettuce.

IMG_6554Sugar Snap Peas are the most common peas and much easier to grow than English Peas.  Farmers harvest Sugar Snaps when the peas are crunchy and sweet.  Snap Peas are a great snack for kids since the entire peas and shell can be eaten raw.  English Peas, on the other hand, are a little more challenging for the farmer to grow because no matter how big and beautiful the outer shell might be it all depends on the size and flavor of the peas inside.  If a farmer harvests the English Peas too early the peas inside are too small and if they are harvest to late the peas lose their tenderness and become starchy.  The outer shells of the English Peas are too fibrous to eat, but peas are also a great snack raw. The Produce buyers at Bi-Rite are always shopping around to find the best eating peas because the quality can change drastically from one farmer to another.

Sugar Snap and English Peas are very easy to prepare.  They can both be blanched for 1 to 2 minutes to brighten the flavor and get rid of any starchiness that might be in the pea. It’s very important to rinse the peas you have blanched with ice water to prevent them from over cooking. English Peas can be tossed on top of a salad or risotto and make great puree.  Sugar Snap Peas don’t puree well but chopped up can be used as substitute for English peas when needed. Sugar Snap Peas are great for stir fry and are a lot harder to overcook compared to gentle English Peas. The pea itself isn’t the only part of the pea plant that is a joy to eat – we also have pea shoots and tendrils, which offer the fresh, grassy flavor of green peas and are beautiful in salads, for sautéing, or adding to pastas and risottos.

The kitchen at Bi-Rite is also celebrating this delicious spring crop, with a brand new summer pea hummus in the pre-pack case! It’s delicious and perfect for park picnics. While you might find peas at grocery stores year round,  spring is when they local peas are have the perfect texture and flavor – next time you’re in the Market ask the produce clerk for a tasty sample, and try our Eat Good Food English Pea and Green Garlic Dip recipe to savor the flavor of spring:

English Pea and Green Garlic Dip
Eat Good Food page 118
Serve with crostini or fresh spring veggies as a dip, or spread it on sandwiches.

1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oilIMG_6015
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
Kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper
1 cup chopped green garlic (2 stalks)
3/4 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 1/2 cups English Peas
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano
2 Tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
6 large mint leaves, coarsley chopped

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, a pinch of salt, and a grind or two of black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the green garlic and thyme and cook until the garlic is wilted and fragrant, another 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let cool. Bring a small pan of well-salted water to a boil. Add the peas and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes.  Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.

Put the peas in the bowl of a food processor along with the onion mixture, pecorino, lemon juice, mint and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pulse a few times to blend, and with the motor running, pour in the remaining 1/3 cup oil, blending just until combined. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice as needed.


Simon

Strawberry Sensation

DSC_8332Throughout the month of March it was pretty exciting to see the rainy weather continue, though the rain didn’t bring complete joy to the local farmers and those of us who love local berry crops.  The strawberry fields took a hard hit from the rough weather – most of the fruit on the plants were damaged and the flowers knocked off.  Strawberry plants like to drink their fair share of water, but most of the growers use drip tape and get the water directly to the root systems. Now that this beautiful weather is upon us, April is setting up to be a sensational local strawberry month!

There is an abundance of strawberries in almost any grocery store you walk into this time of year, so what makes the strawberries at Bi-Rite Markets so special? The answer is simple: the farmers who grow them. We are fortunate to work closely with about 12 different local farms that will be harvesting extra sweet, juicy strawberries from April until October – the types of strawberries you usually find only at farmers’ markets and restaurants. Most of the strawberries that are sold at supermarket chains are harvested before they peak in flavor so that they are sturdier and can travel long distances, but farms like Tomatero Organic Farm and Live Earth Farm in Watsonville harvest their berries when the fruit has its most delicate texture, offering the ultimate sweetness.  It’s true that perfectly ripe berries might have the tendency to breakdown quicker than under-ripe berries, but these strawberries are delivered to Bi-Rite within 24 hrs of harvest so our guests can get them home in the looking – and tasting – beautiful.

The most common strawberry grown in California is the Albion variety; commercial growers love them because the plants produce large, firm fruit and when harvested a bit early they still have the high sugar content. Bluehouse Farm in Pescadero also grows Albion strawberries, but the combination of the perfect coastal climate, healthy, rich soil, and farmers that touch their plants every day leads to extra sweet flavor and a big juicy berry that melts in your mouth.  One of the benefits of working with a bunch of different growers in the Bay Area is that it allows us get a fresh delivery almost every day of the week and to taste how the same variety of strawberries grown in diverse climates and soil can differ slightly in texture and flavor.strawberry_coroplasts_webSwanton Berry Farm, located in Davenport, is a leader in workers’ rights; Swanton started growing organic strawberries in 1987 and has been growing high quality strawberries ever since. One of the things that makes Swanton unique is that they mainly grow the Chandler variety, an exceptionally flavored berry with a delicate and soft texture, not typically seen on the commercial market because they are so delicate. Most of the farmers we work with have a specialty variety or two that they bring us so that we treat our guests.  Oak Hill Farm in Sonoma grows everyone’s favorites, the Mara De Bois Strawberry.  This variety is small and tantalizing with a bright sweet flavor that seems to change from one berry to the next.  This berry usually doesn’t hit the Bi-Rite shelves until mid-summer.

BalsamicStrawberryAnd don’t forget the Creamery! Every year we eagerly await strawberries to come into season so that the Creamery can begin its  production of Balsamic Strawberry ice cream. We only make this flavor when strawberries are in full season and coming to us from our local growers such as Swanton Berry Farm and Live Earth Farms. We roast our strawberries at a low temperature with sugar and organic balsamic vinegar to reduce the water content and to intensify the flavor of the berries. We then add the berries to our organic ice cream base and turn it into this eagerly anticipated flavor. Balsamic Strawberry pairs perfectly with Ricanelas, Basil or Chocolate – look for Balsamic Strawberry returning around April 15! It may just be the beginning of local strawberry season but the flavors are already sensational! Stop by the Markets to taste the freshest, highest-quality strawberries of the season.


Jon Fancey

Cabot Vintage Cheddar, the Bi-Rite Cheese of Choice

CabotVintage_Sticker_StickerIn the crowded field of cheddar choices, Bi-Rite Market fully endorses Cabot Vintage Cheddar.  Masterfully made and matured at the Cabot Creamery Cooperative in Washington County, Vermont, this standout two year aged cheddar has been winning over guests at our Markets for years.  The Cabot Cooperative collects milk from 1,200 small family dairy farms in New England and is a fellow B Corporation that’s dedicated to social and environmental sustainability.

CabotAs a cornerstone of our cheese selection Cabot Vintage checks all the boxes.  Its sharp and satisfying flavor makes it great for snacking or meltingEnjoy it at the park with your favorite charcuterie and beer, or take a hunk home to make a grilled cheese sandwich or omelet for an easy dinner.  You can also find our cheese of choice featured on our favorite Roast Beef & Cheddar Sandwich at the deli counter or in our house-made Macaroni & Cheese in the prepared foods case (available for online order for convenient delivery).

Our cheesemongers will be campaigning for our cheese of choice during April and May in the Markets – stop by and ask for a taste!  One bite will win you over and get you ready to vote Cabot Vintage in 2016.


Jason Rose

New Red Table Meat, Sliced to Order

Slicing cured meats is an art form that takes practice and great attention to detail.  Each piece of meat is different – some are cured longer and are drier and easier to slice, while others are softer and take a little more finesse.  At Bi-Rite, our skilled butchers and deli servers have extensive training and education about our entire charcuterie selection and the best slicing practice for each product.

Abrams_RedTableMeatCo-0077We encourage guests to sample our charcuterie and taste the difference for themselves – we want our guests to feel confident about the charcuterie they’re selecting, and know that not only does it taste fantastic, but it meets our responsible production standards. We hold our charcuterie producers to the same standards to which we hold our ranchers: the meat is pasture-raised, humanely-treated, and sustainably-harvested. We emphasize transparency at every step of the supply chain, from the farm to the curing room to our Markets.

We met our newest charcuterie producers, Red Table Meat Co., at this year’s Good Food Awards where they were celebrating a triple victory. The Good Food Awards recognize American craft producers in 13 categories for food that not only tastes fantastic but is responsibly produced.  As the premiere sponsor of the Good Food Awards, our sourcing criteria are deeply aligned with their awards criteria for both taste and sustainability.

Speck+2Red Table Meat Co.’s charcuterie is made from pasture-raised, heritage hogs sourced from six local farms in Minnesota.  We’re pleased to welcome three of Red Table Meat’s salumis to our charcuterie assortment, sliced-to-order from our Delis:

  • Big Chet’s: A Good Food Award-winning finocchiona-style salami, seasoned with black pepper, red pepper, fennel, garlic, and white wine, aged 3 months ($37 / lb).
  • Coppa: A Good Food Award-winning dry-cured pork shoulder, seasoned with coriander, juniper, crushed red pepper, and black pepper, aged 3 months ($35 / lb).
  • Speck: A dry-cured, smoked ham, seasoned with bay leaf, rosemary, allspice, juniper, and coriander, aged 6 months ($45 / lb).

Be sure to ask for a taste of Red Table Meat Co. and our other charcuterie offerings next time you stop by the Delis, also available for online order for convenient delivery through Instacart.


Trac

Saison’s in Season

The term “farmhouse ale” can invoke romantic visions of a beautiful countryside, animals grazing along a country road, or rustic wooden tables where you sit drinking your beer with a hearty stew and crusty bread. Romantic, yes, but that’s pretty much where saisons got their start.

logsdon-farmhouse-ales-533x400Farmhouse ales have their roots in the farmland once known as Flanders, a region that currently stretches right along the border of Belgium and France. Before the Industrial Revolution, agriculture in the area attracted many seasonal workers, better known as saisonniers. Although the crops being harvested were intended for sale, the ales brewed at the farmhouse were not. Farmer-brewers made these beers to be consumed by the laborers, not unlike the ‘family meal’ modern day restaurant owners provide for their staff. In fact, a certain allotment of daily beer was often part of the saisonniers’ entitled pay.

Nowadays, seasonal beers can feel like a marketing ploy, but before refrigeration they were a necessity: brewing conditions and temperatures were only optimal for a short period of time when temperatures were cool enough to prevent spoilage. Beers brewed in cooler months were stored for drinking the rest of the year; they had to be robust enough to last through months of storage (even in hot weather), yet still bright and refreshing enough to quench the thirst of tired farm workers.

These farmhouse ales are also known as saisons, which is French for “seasons.” Classic saisons tend to have distinct hop flavors with bright, fruity aromas, a smack of tartness, and a crisp dry finish. Saisons are very similar to wine in that they manage to be complex and full-flavored, yet delicate and refreshing, which means they are some of the best food partners in the world of beer. The herbal hop flavors, the bready malt, and the fruity, tart qualities created during fermentation each latch onto food and make your meal taste better.

While not located in remote farmhouse settings, many American craft brewers have also taken up the style, and are experimenting with riffs that include funky Brettanomyces and new flavor additions. Savor the season and try some saisons this spring:

DupontleForetBrasserie Dupont Le Forêt | $11.99/750mL
Saison Dupont might be the saison gold standard but we love the Forêt, the brewery’s organic, slightly stronger version. Aromas of blood orange and cinnamon with flavors of vanilla malt, black plumbs and lemon tang. This brewery is credited with saving the saison style when it was near extinction and makes us extremely thankful for that.

PigeonelleBrasseriede la  Pigeonnelle Loirette | $9.99/750mL
The Harddouin brothers started off as beer distributors in Paris, and after years of working with the likes of Cantillon and Dupont, they decided to start making it on their own. They moved into a family property in Touraine and developed a deep love of the beers of Belgium, from the heavily sour styles to the lighter farmhouse ales. They only work with organic ingredients and Loirette is their first beer.  It’s refreshing, creamy, with flavors of bread and white pepper.

PerennailPerennial Artisan Ales Saison de Lis | $10.99/750mL
One of our favorite domestic breweries, Perennial Artisan Ales focuses on using local, seasonal, and organic ingredients in making their ales. Located in St. Louis, their beers are influenced by Belgian farmhouse ales.  Their Saison de Lis is brewed with local chamomile flowers and fermented with a traditional saison yeast strain that imparts fruity and spicy notes. The chamomile adds a tea-like quality that finishes dry, tart, and refreshing.