It’s no Harrods, but…

Posted by Anita on 10.02.06 6:04 PM

Bristol Farms bakery (c)2006 AECAs luck would have it, I’m working right around the corner from the new addition to the Westfield San Francisco Centre — home of the first NorCal outpost of posh grocery Bristol Farms, as well as the foodiest food court this side of The Loft at Bangkok’s Central Chitlom department store.

I decided to pass on the food court for now and take a gander at Bristol Farms. Unlike the L.A.-area locations that I’ve seen, this shop is definitely geared toward the lunch crowd, with passing nods to real groceries. Well, maybe that’s not entirely fair: The butcher counter is fully stocked, albeit with shockingly pricey all-natural cuts of meat. (I’m the bozo who paid $21.89 for 2-1/2 pounds of short ribs, yep.) Cheeses, fresh pastas, a full dairy and dry-goods selection… they’re all here, and I’m sure the folks moving in to those condo-hotels are celebrating having a real grocery nearby. The produce section seemed a little slim for a store with “Farms” in its name, but I suppose you can’t have it all.

I’m not sure if it’s because Bristol Farms has such strong ties to the Southland, but I was shocked to find both Bob’s Big Boy salad dressing and Clearman’s cheese-toast spread on the shelves. Who knows what other SoCal treats are lurking in the aisles?

The pastry and bakery cases are definitely drool-worthy, and the housewares department — across the mall from the main store — looked remarkably comprehensive, if a bit precious. Salad bar, deli, and hot food stations seemed pretty decent, and not terribly overpriced considering the neighborhood. I picked up a pint container of “roadhouse chili” and garnished it with cheese, onions and crackers for just $3.99.

The crowds were still pretty thick, just four days after the grand opening, but a dozen cheerful cashiers kept the queue moving briskly and helpful staff answered questions in the aisles. All in all, a good first visit. And, I have to say: It’s just so damned European to have a grocery store in the basement! Maybe we can get our public transit working, now…

Bristol Farms
San Francisco Centre (Concourse Level)
845 Market Street, Suite 10
San Francisco, CA 94103

lunch, shopping, SoCal



Comment by Rocky

I love Bob’s Big Boy Thousand Island, this place counds like the Irvine Ranch Farmer’s Market but with even less produce.

Posted on 10.03.06 at 1:55PM

Comment by Amy

When I went to the Centre there was a strike going on against non-unionized Bristol Farms. I do want to check it out but I just can’t see crossing the picket line…

Meanwhile short ribs on sale at Mollie Stones this week $3.99 a pound! But yours were probably better quallity than mine.

Posted on 10.06.06 at 10:43AM

Comment by Anita

I wholeheartedly support organized labor but I crossed that half-assed picket line with no qualms. As far as I know, Bristol Farms aren’t union-busting, they’re just non-union. Whole Foods isn’t unionized, either… and yet they’re consistently voted one of the best employers in the country.

I can’t recall where I read it, but another blogger quipped a few months back that unionized supermarkets like Safeway and Albertsons are a huge part of the problem with the state of American megafoods. I have no problem voting/shopping my conscience on this one.

Posted on 10.06.06 at 11:49AM

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.