Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Roaming The Restaurant Depot

I got a chance to wander around the new Restaurant Depot that recently opened on Warehouse Row in Colonie. Before you head over, you should know that the Restaurant Depot is not open to the public. You need a Tax ID number or the proper paperwork from a non-profit to get a free membership. Luckily, I know a few people that have already become members and was able to tag along.



From the outside, the place looks like any other really big wholesale store but there is a very nice covered area so rain and snow won’t get on your purchases while you load up. Since it is a store for restaurants, everything is bulk. Not just bulk, BULK. The refrigerated section is huge and filled with meats, cheeses and produce. Some meats were marked for sale by the piece (whole briskets, packs of pork butt, whole sirloins – like in BJs) but they were also sold by the case which makes sense if you are preparing several hundred portions of short ribs. Most of the cheeses looked to start in the 5 pound range. And it looks like a fresh seafood section is coming. Right now most of the seafood was frozen, but the empty holding tanks looked like they were almost ready to go.

When I was done in the cooler I wondered around the rest of the store. They had some nice looking kitchen equipment – stock pots, slicers, grinder, coffee equipment. Smaller stuff too – spatulas, whisks, peelers, knives. And plates, glassware, aprons, to-go containers, paper/plastic stuff, pizza boxes, the list is very long. Then you get into the dry goods. It is kind of like a supermarket except “gallon” is the smallest size. If they have what you want and you want a lot of it, the prices are good too. For example, the price of De Cecco spaghetti is $1.24 a pound. The catch is you need to buy twenty, 1-pound boxes.

Restaurant Depot is a lot of fun for a food nut to walk around. I went in hoping to find one, specific ingredient and I did. But it only came in 100 or 50 pounds bags.

Guess who has 50 pound sack of high protein pizza flour.

6 comments:

  1. So I can't enter without that tax id? What if I just want to wander and dream?

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  2. It wasn't like Costco, more like BJs.. No one asked for a membership on the way in, only prior to checking out. Seems like you wouldn't have a problem wandering and dreaming.

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  3. but you can't purchase....was hoping to get some equiptment...need to find a friend...LOL

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  4. Don't hold me to this...but my understanding of the policy is that anyone with a Tax ID can get a membership. The business does not have to be considered in the "food industry." So if you run a hair salon, and want to buy some coffee makers and a big box of coffee, you could do it there. If you happened to pick up a huge sack of pizza flour too, they didn't seem to care.

    When thinking about the people I know who would have a Tax ID and an interest in a membership, I could only think of one person and she had just gotten her membership. So far, 3 people I know have memberships there. I actually bumped into one of them roaming the store. You might not need to look too hard to find a friend with the necessary paperwork.

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  5. Also non profits, like the one I work for, are eligible for membership! That include lots of charities, youth groups, and various organizations.

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  6. Absolutely, HumbleBumble. I think there are going to be a lot of people walking around with memberships.

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