I needed to visit an out-of-town shop called 'Halfords'; they sell car and bike related things, and I needed some special cream that hides scratches on cars.
Whilst there I noticed that in the same commercial complex was a large Aldi store. I've always been a tad sceptical about the cheaper end of the supermarket spectrum, but threw caution to the winds, donned my mask, and entered.
My first impression was that the actual layout seemed haphazard, with aisles of rummaged junk in between the actual food aisles. It looked as if people had been fighting over something.
I didn't really need anything, but thought that popping a couple of Cod Fishcakes in the freezer could do no harm. We ate them last Friday, and they were genuinely delicious.
Continuing my journey around the store, I came across the Meat section. I very rarely buy joints of Beef; in fact NEVER on account of its price. But I've been hankering after a nice Sunday Roast Beef joint for some time.
My thought process went as follows. 'If I can leave any food shop having spent less that £20, then I'm behaving myself'.
I noticed this well matured Aberdeen Angus joint, and decided to invest.
We've now eaten most of the joint. It was really excellent (but maybe not quite as tender as I'd hoped), and there are a few slices left over for sandwiches. The less than £13 was very well spent.
Will I be returning to Aldi? Well it's not really on my way to anywhere, so probably not. But from that one-off experience I almost wish it was much closer to home. In fact I don't know why they don't open a major store in the town centre.
Aldi Fishcakes: 10/10. Aldi Beef: 8/10.
You must have been on the day that the short term offers arrived!! Lidl is the same, and have Lidl in the Middle...I prefer them to Aldi.ReplyDelete
We have a Lidl in France and I found it very poor. I've never been back.Delete
We have Lidls but nowhere close. I never know what bargain I may find. Its worth rummaging. Though I do have a list of the things they've got that I actually want from there. Irish butter and good filter coffee for a start.ReplyDelete
I've been looking for Kourtaki retsina locally. That brand is hard to find which surprised me. Its the original retsina. I may have to sample another sort.
When I went I had no idea what was on offer; other than it was supposed to be cheaper than my usual store.Delete
How can a piece of beef be described as excellent if it was not as tender as you'd hoped for? Beef first and foremost has to be tender. If it isn't then it is a 0/10.ReplyDelete
Yes, Rachel, but one also needs to take into account the cook's skills, not to say a temperamental oven's quirks - no good to just blame the poor beef for not living up to expectation at point of serving. I know somebody who is perfectly capable of turning calf's liver (next to lamb's the tenderest of all livers) into leather soles. Not, of course, that I am implying that Cro isn't a masterchef.Delete
It is taken as read that Cro is a masterchef and unquestionable. It is therefore only not tender on eating because that piece of beef was not tender and the animal not at its peak when slaughtered. In my book this piece of beef was not worthy of 8/10.Delete
Firstly the beef was delicious, and secondly it was tender, but not like a good rib-eye steak for example. Hence the 8/10.Delete
I have been a Waitrose shopper for about 35 years , but a couple of months ago an Aldi opened about 4/5 miles away. ( near Luton Airport.) I first went in, like yourself ,to have a look, and I now try and do my main shop there.Some items are half the price of Waitrose and perfectly nice....ie their baked beans taste exactly the same as the Waitrose ones and are about 30p cheaper.....it all adds up. I have tried some of their wine ( white) and for £4.49 it is good enough for me to slurp...I am no wine expert!! Add to this the fact that our Waitrose, which is in the centre of Harpenden ,has not been monitoring the car park for over 2 years, means that people can park there all day if they wish, while they go to London to work etc, consequently it is always full and difficult to park for the actual shopper!! So annoying. I could even buy an angle grinder from the " middle aisle" but have so far denied myself this pleasure!ReplyDelete
That 'middle aisle' was a revelation. It really did look as if people had been fighting over something.Delete
Our closest shop is Lidl, we love their fish cakes and get all our fresh meat and fish from them, much nicer quality and great prices.ReplyDelete
I am just back from my weekly shop at a big Sainsbury's. The shelves were very poorly stocked today; I wonder why? Whilst there I noticed some very similar looking 'thick' Fish Cakes for the same price as Aldi (£1.50 for 2), so I shall compare them later. They look as if they were made by the same people.Delete
Monday is day after weekend when most people shop. The shop is likely to be awaiting fresh deliveries. Since when is Monday a day for the weekly shop? I remember when M&S food halls were closed on Mondays.Delete
I normally go on Saturdays, but I was too busy. I shall go again on Friday.Delete
I'm spoiled for choice here. Aldi, Lidl, Consum and three national Spanish supermarkets all within less than ten minutes drive from home. All have extensive carparks, so parking is never a problem. All the stores are less than a couple of minutes drive from one another. My first choice is Mercadona - Spanish with a nod to other nationalities food preferences too. Their fresh meat always seems to me to look that touch more appealing, and the fish counter is excellent. Live crabs and lobsters often on display.ReplyDelete
Aldi is my go-to for cheese - they have an excellent selection of foreign cheeses, as well as home produced. Lidl sells large bags of nuts which I buy regularly and their chocolate selection looks good too...er , not that I buy that very often of course!
My favourite supermarket has been Leclerc. A high-end French shop that is almost un-faultable (?). The charcuterie and fish departments are both wonderful.Delete
We had an excellent joint of Topside Rump for our Sunday dinner yesterday - bought from Lidl for £11.50. It is where I do the majority of our grocery shopping - saving perhaps £500 over a year. Sorry to hear about the paint scratch.ReplyDelete
Mine was very good, but just not as perfect as I was hoping. Still, it was delicious.Delete
Which was it?Delete
The cuts across a cows arse go Rump, Topside, under Topside but before the leg is Silverside. Shin comes from the foreleg and is great for stew. The diaphragm is difficult to find but brilliant for anything like pies or chilli, you only have to slice across it as the muscle fibres are unidirectional. Have fun and use a proper butcher if you want meat.
PS. I forgot it's tail, lots of bones but great dropped in the oven bottom or slow cooker for half a day. With swede and parsnip. One can even make Oxtail soup after one has rummaged about for the best bits.Delete
I guess this isn't welcome news to pseudo foodies but Ho Hum.
Aldi is my first choice, we have two stores in the town. Occasionally Sainsbury's for variety. I recently found that Aldi have stopped stocking egg custards and cheesy thins :-(ReplyDelete
The shelves were very poorly stocked in Sainsbury's this morning. I wonder if the delivery people are on strike?Delete
Aldi is opening a new store just south of where I live, it should open this spring. About 2 years behind schedule. It is on the ground floor of a new apartment building that was nearly finished two years ago, and burned to the ground, and has been rebuilt.ReplyDelete
Sounds like a good thing they didn't open 2 years ago.Delete
A roast can be very flavorful but not entirely tender. I'd say you got a very good buy even if it was not as tender as you expected. When I buy a prime rib roast the cost is $100.ReplyDelete
What I enjoy most is flavour. If a steak or joint is not butter-meltingly-tender it really doesn't worry me.Delete
Interesting, Cro... about Aldi's. We have them here too and some really like them. I've only been in one once and wasn't impressed. But possibly I will try again. We like Central Market and HEB... although you may not have them there. We tried Trader Joe's (which like Aldi's although smaller has the same products but under their name and for less). Some interesting things there, but not enough to do weekly shopping.ReplyDelete
Generally I don't like the cheaper shops, I prefer to pay the price for good quality. Maybe just buy less, and spend the same!Delete
My carer provides me with my main meal and sometimes shops at Aldi - I shall tell her of your Beef recommendation.ReplyDelete
Of the two things I bought, I would recommend the Fish Cakes more. They were very good and only £1.50 for two. Fried for about 4 mins on each side, they were crispy and delicious.Delete
I almost exclusively shop at Aldi. A lot of people sniff at the quality of their things, but really, I don't see much difference at all. I like their produce and it is so much cheaper than anywhere else.ReplyDelete
I really didn't have time to examine everything on offer, but I'm sure most things are no different from elsewhere. Frozen peas are frozen peas, and tinned sardines are sardines.Delete
I don't oven roast large chunks of beef anymore, it always comes out dry, so I "potroast" it in flavoured liquid* until it is so tender it falls apart.ReplyDelete
* water heavily flavoured with tomato sauce and worcestershire sauce and a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste. (much more tomato than worcestershire)
I get a monthly delivery from ASDA of larger/heavy items and an in-person shop (usually once or twice a month) from Lidl for the smaller bits and bobs. My neighbours in the village seem to prefer Waitrose and Sainsbury's - I'm sure they must cringe when they see Mr ASDA turn up here and they wouldn't be seen dead in Lidl or Aldi. There seems to be a lot of needless snobbery around shopping! We have both Aldi and Lidl within 7 miles of us but I have yet to go to Aldi as I've never been able to find it...must get the sat nav out!ReplyDelete