Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Free bread at Jerry's in Englewood

Customers hoping to shop at Jerry's Gourmet in Englewood found it closed today.

But there was bread for the taking in three large bags outside the exit.

Editor's note: On Wednesdays, I spend several hours in Englewood, where I volunteer at the hospital and then enjoy visiting some of the small city's great food stores.

A rare sight in Englewood today was an empty parking lot at Jerry's Gourmet & More on South Dean Street.

When I stopped by around 4:30 this afternoon, only one car was parked there, and two or three other people drove up, saw the store was closed, shrugged  and took off.

A woman seated in the parked car said she had stopped to send e-mails from her smart phone, not shop at Jerry's, which is known for its restaurant-quality takeout, cheese, wine, hundreds of Italian food products and lots of free samples.

I had just driven the few blocks from Balthazar Bakery, where I purchased a crusty baguette -- still $2 -- and a dozen assorted dinner rolls.

At Jerry's, I had hoped to pick up a container of Italian olives with whole garlic cloves for only $3.99 a pound. 

At the entrance door, I saw a small printed sign saying the store would be closed today and would reopen on Thursday (Jan.3)

I haven't stopped at Balthazar Bakery since I went on a no-bread, no-pizza diet.

Balthazar's incredibly crusty baguette still is only $2.

I made a rare visit to Balthazar Bakery to pick up bread for my growing teenage son, who mentioned how much he missed its baguette and dinner rolls.

The retail and wholesale bakery opened in November 2002, but getting out of its parking lot was a nightmare for many years, because vehicles parked at the curb blocked drivers' view of cars racing down two lanes of twisty, one-way South Dean Street.

Today, I was able to use a mirror the bakery finally put up on a telephone pole near its exit to see approaching traffic.

My dinner salad from the Garden Cafe at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center includes sun-dried tomato, beets, tofu, soybeans, mozzarella cheese, peas and beans.

The salad bar in the Garden Cafe at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center is a terrific source of sun-dried tomatoes, which have become a favorite ingredient in omelets and frittatas.

I bought sun-dried tomatoes in oil from Costco Wholesale for years, but began using the oil-free ones from the hospital after I became a volunteer. 

The salad bar was $5.93 a pound, and a 12-ounce cup of vegetarian lentil soup was $1.92.

Sun-dried tomatoes in open-face egg-white omelets, above and below.

I also use sun-dried tomatoes with whole organic eggs from Costco.

After I leave the hospital on Wednedays, I get to make the rounds of the great food stores in Englewood, including Jerry's, Arirang Kimchi, H Mart and others.

The Korean supermarket on Lafayette Avenue has finally repaired the exit that had been torn up and left unpaved for many weeks.

The new exit at H Mart in Englewood on Dec. 23. For years, the drainage grate was sunken and the pavement broken, which was a real problem on rainy days.

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