Birthday catering at Costco

We threw a birthday party for our 3 yo last weekend, and I was too lazy (or busy), to prepare the food myself. As per someone’s suggestion I just went to Costco and got a platter of veggies, one of cut fruit and one of rolled sandwiches. I algo got a couple of big bags of chips and a birthday cake. The prices of everything were significantly cheaper than at the supermarket – though I didn’t compare sizes. In any case, we had about twice as much food as we needed for a party of 7 children and about ten adults.
The quality of the produce was generally good. I didn’t care for the papaya, but the sweet pineapple was delicious. The sandwiches went over well, though I would have liked them more with baby spinach or arugula instead of lettuce. The most disappointing part (for me) was the birthday cake. The white cake tasted like that from a mix, the chocolate mousse had virtually no chocolate taste, though the cream-cheese frosting wasn’t bad. Mike and others liked it but I wouldn’t buy one from there again. At about $15 for a huge cake, it was a VERY good deal.

safeway free delivery code

I haven’t used now but I meant to do it. Alas, when I’m ready for it, I never know where the code for free delivery is. So I’m copying it (them) here for future reference.
Good up to 4/30/05 – $50 minimun

Ghirardelli Store

The Ghirardelli chocolate factory is actually in San Leandro, not very far from where we live. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live nearby, it smells like melted milk chocolate from across the street. The factory has a little factory store where they sell chocolate squares, bars, broken pieces (like at Trader Joe’s), etc. at apparently lower prices than at the market. I’m not sure because I haven’t actually done the price comparisons. Right now and until Saturday (Oct. 30th) they are having a sale on their chocolate squares, they are $2.50 a pound, half of what they usually are. We’re planning to give them out for Halloween.

Luso Mercado

We saw Luso Mercado appear on East 14th Street, close to the Bayfair Mall, a few months ago. Apparently it relocated from some place else in San Leandro.
It makes sense to find a Portuguese deli in San Leandro, which until recently had a very large and active Portuguese community. Indeed, San Leandro’s other claim to life is to be California’s sausage capital. Many of these Portuguese settlers apparently opened linguiza factories .
I’ve been meaning to go to Luso Mercado for a while, just to check it out and see if they carry Brazilian products as well (they don’t). We finally did a couple of days ago and found that Luso Mercado is, indeed, operated by Portuguese people (they were speaking Portuguese in the shop). The store concentrates on deli products and Port. They have an incredible selection of aged Port. If you’re looking for a ’69 port to celebrate a 35 birthday, you will likely find it here – expect to pay close to $200, however. Their selection of sherry, madeira and other fortified wines is pretty good as well. It takes us five years to go through a bottle of madeira, but next time we run out we’ll certainly go there.
They had a variety of sausages (and linguiza, now we know where to find the real, real thing) and Portuguese cheeses. They also carry many, many cans of canned fish (specially cod), tons of Portuguese olive oil (I’ll try some next time I run out) and assorted Portuguese products.
Luso Mercado Delicatessen
15100 E 14th St
San Leandro, CA 94578-1904
(510) 352-0163