Author Topic: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area  (Read 15010 times)

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Online Pete-zza

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Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« on: February 12, 2006, 11:35:47 AM »
I was recently bemoaning the fact to foodblogger that there are not many places in the Dallas area to find good pizza ingredients. Well, things are looking up. Recently, I discovered Jimmy's Food Store, at 4901 Bryant St. (at Fitzhugh), in Dallas (214-823-6180). I had heard of them before as a potential source of Italian foodstuffs (as a result of an intensive Google search), but a fire destroyed the store and it has taken about a year for Jimmy's to come back. And it has come back bigger and better than before.

I visited Jimmy's yesterday to see what it has in the way of quality pizza ingredients. Basically, the store's stock in trade is deli meats, cheeses, an extensive selection of wines (strictly Italian), a general assortment of imported Italian foodstuffs, and a few domestic foods, including canned tomatoes (more on this below).

In the deli meats case I saw Margarita stick pepperoni as well as another brand in a stick form whose name I did not note. The store also features some Boar's Head deli meats, freshly made Italian sausage, and various imported salume. For cheeses, I saw a deli slicing mozzarella cheese, which also comes pre-shredded in a bag (I was told that it is a step below Polly-O), Bubulus Bubalis buffalo mozzarella cheese (domestic from CA), the Mozzarella Fresca brand of fresh mozzarella cheese (only in the log form), and a Saint Louis-style Provel cheese. The latter is one I will want to try sometime just to see what the Saint Louis style pizza is all about. I also spotted the Stella slicing provolone cheese in the deli case, as well as imported provolone, Reggiano-Parmigiano, grana padano and several other hard-grating cheeses (including Romano). 

For me, a major find was Stanislaus tomatoes and a few San Marzano tomatoes. The Stanislaus tomatoes are the #10 size and include the Full Red (in whole, diced, puree and sauce form), 7/11s, and Tomato Magic. As best I could tell, the Stanislaus #10s are all $4.99. The San Marzano's are DOP Cento ($3.99 for a 28-ounce can), and non-DOP LaValle, in the 28-ounce can ($1.99) and a much larger can size that looks to be about a #10 can size ($4.99). There are also the LaValle cherry tomatoes in small (very small) and large cans.

In addition to the above, there is a broad and diversified selection of olive oils and balsamic vinegars, anchovies, a broad assortment of Italian pastas, and a few dried herbs. They also make sandwiches using their deli goods, for consumption at a few tables or for takeout. I did not see any 00 flours, although I think I did see some packaged semolina flour.

While I was in the deli line, I had a chance to chat with another shopper. As a long-time customer of Jimmy's, he was of course delighted to see Jimmy's back in business. He also confirmed for me that there are very few Italian foods places in Dallas, so there is not much point in trying to scour the Dallas landscape to find a better place. The store is not especially large or fancy, and it doesn't have the breadth of Italian products that similar stores in other major cities have, but there was a crowd in the place, and they all seemed to be enjoying themselves. The crowd size made service a bit slow but the workers were efficient and pleasant. It will be a must stop for me whenever I am shopping in Dallas.

Peter
« Last Edit: February 14, 2006, 09:51:51 AM by Pete-zza »


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2006, 11:58:56 AM »
After starting this thread, I found an eGullet link that shows photos of Jimmy's, including their chalkboard with some of their deli products, at http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=76639&pid=1079176&mode=threaded&show=&st=&#entry1079176. I also read that Jimmy's supplies sausage to Fireside Pies, a popular Dallas pizza establishment.

Peter

Offline Buffalo

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Re: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2006, 09:05:06 AM »
Pete-zza;
Just wanted to thank you for the information.  I live in southern Oklahoma (2 hrs. from Dallas) and occassionally do make a trip to Dallas and am really looking forward to checking this store out........
Buffalo

Offline Ferd

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Re: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2006, 10:20:39 AM »
I think this is Bryan Street. If memory serves it used to be a Caribbean grocery store about 10 years ago. I guess they've updated...

Also if memory serves this isnt in the best part of town. I will have to make a trip down  there myself soon.

BTW this is a great forum!

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Re: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2006, 12:03:47 PM »
Ferd,

I believe you are correct about the background of the store. When I was there on Saturday, I also noticed some Hispanic foods. Not many, and I suspect that the fairly large Hispanic community near the store buys their foodstuffs from other stores that carry much more in the way of Hispanic goods than Jimmy's. I saw a few Hispanic workers in the store but just about all the customers were not Hispanic. I did not feel unsafe in any way while I was in and around Jimmy's but I would try to park in the few spaces at the front and side of the store just to avoid long walks to the store. Next time I might go on a day other than a Saturday just to get through the store faster.

Peter

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Re: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2006, 02:22:46 PM »
I paid another visit today to Jimmy's in Dallas to replenish some pizza supplies.

This time I noticed that they did not have the Bubulus Bubalis domestic buffalo mozzarella cheese but they had the imported Cilento brand buffalo mozzarella cheese from Campania. I also saw at least five different brands of pepperoni. I spoke for a while with one of the owners behind the counter and he told me that they carry some of the Polly-O cheese products, and also the Bel Gioiso fresh mozzarella (bocconcini). The provel cheese I reported on in my initial post is made by Hoffman's, which is the supplier to Imo's in St. Louis.

Among the dry goods, I found two different brands of 00 flour, which I either did not notice the last time (although I looked carefully) or they were out of stock when I was last there. The two brands are Barilla ($2.89 for a 1-kilo bag) and Molino Borgo S. Dalmazzo ($2.99 for a 1-kilo bag). Since just about everything on the packaging was in Italian, I couldn't decipher the percent of protein. On my way out, I saw fresh basil, some of which I bought up to use on some pizzas.

Since it looks like the inventory moves and changes with some regularity at Jimmy's, it may pay to call in advance if looking for specific pizza items. But, in general, it looks like Jimmy's has just about everything needed to make pizzas, except for domestic flours.

Peter
« Last Edit: March 03, 2006, 02:54:29 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Buffalo

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Re: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2006, 03:51:19 PM »
Hello Pete-zza;
I will be making a trip to Dallas within the next two weeks and am planning on stopping by this store.  I notice you said they carried several brands of pepperoni.  I am particularly interested in getting my pepperoni to "cup and crisp" and have not had any success with getting Hormel pepperoni to do this.  Do you have a recommendation on a brand that this store carries that will, hopefully, give me what I am looking for. ???
Thank you......
Buffalo

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Re: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2006, 04:58:44 PM »
Buffalo,

Fortunately you asked me your question while I can still remember things.

I recall 5 specific pepperoni brands: Ciao, Margherita, Molinari, Boar's Head and Volpi. You will find the Ciao and Margherita brands in the left-most of three meat/cheese cases at the back of the store. One of our members, Rocky Marciano, who works for a pizzeria in Western NY, swears by the Margherita pepperoni and says that it cups and crisps up because the slices are small (diameter). Another member, 007bond, likes the Boar's Head and says that it cups. You will find the Boar's Head in the middle meat/cheese case, along with the other brands I mentioned. Member scampi says that his favorite pepperoni brand is the Volpi. However, Frankie G., who works in the pepperoni business, says that the Volpi pepperoni is perhaps best eaten raw because it might burn on the pizza. I have tried the Ciao pepperoni (its diameter is larger than the other brands), and found it agreeable but it doesn't cup and char.

You might want to review the thread, Pepperoni Brands, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1822.0.html, which is where I found many of the member observations discussed above.

If you like fresh sausage, you might want to check out Jimmy's version. It is in the right-most meat case in the back of the store. It comes in hot and mild, at $3.99/lb. One of the popular pizza gathering spots in Dallas, Fireside Pies, features Jimmy's sausage on their pizza menu. I bought some of the sausage today but haven't yet tried it.

Good luck. I hope you find what you are looking for.

Peter
« Last Edit: March 03, 2006, 08:32:09 PM by Pete-zza »

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Re: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2006, 08:58:08 PM »
As a follow-up to my last post, I did get to try Jimmy's sausage (the hot one), along with the provel cheese that I bought today.

The sausage has a strong fennel component--more than I personally like.  So, for now I will stick to my regular supermarket brand. As for the provel cheese, I had read a characterization of it somewhere that it was like Cheese-Wiz on a pizza. I'm sorry I read that, because as I ate a pizza with it, I found it to be an accurate characterization. I actually liked eating it better just as is. It reminded me of white cheddar cheese. But, for the price, it is far cheaper to just buy white cheddar cheese. I'm glad I tried it, however, because I had read so much about the product. And the provel I tried is the same brand as used by Imo's in St. Louis. I guess it's an acquired taste.

Peter

Offline cameron

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Re: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2006, 09:07:52 PM »
Peter -

Have you found any retail establishments that sell Stella low-moisture whole-milk mozzarella, either in the dairy section or deli?  I have called every grocery chain imagineable, including Whole Foods and Central Market.  None of them carry anything but Sargento and whatever their preferred deli brand is, along with a managerie of fresh mozzarella brands.  After growing up in Chicago, I am dying here in Texas without high quality Italian food!  I'm about to step up my search to restaurant supply chains.

I've heard Sam's Club carries 5 lb. bags of shredded Stella, but I do not have a membership there.  A friend is going to check for me tomorrow.

My local Albertson's carries 6 IN 1 Ground Tomatoes (only the unpeeled All Purpose variety), but it was on the very bottom shelf and I fear it was long past the date.  I have emailed Escalon to decode the manufacturing code to let me know what the pack date was.

Thanks for the tips on the cupped and charred pepperoni!  That sounds really tasty right now. :)

-- Cameron


Offline Lydia

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Re: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2006, 09:48:25 PM »
Cameron

When Escalon gets back to you on the date stamp, would you post the response. I've been meaning to ask them about, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Thanks
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

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Re: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2006, 09:53:02 PM »
Cameron,

I am always checking out the cheese sections of all the food stores I visit and the only place I know of near me that carries processed whole-milk mozzarella cheese is Wal-Mart's. It carries the Stella provolone cheese in the deli section but not the Stella mozzarella cheese. Judging from this link, http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?catg=535&item=185239&prDeTab=2#A, Sam's apparently does carry the shredded Stella whole-milk, low-moisture mozzarella cheese. However, before going to the Sam's you decide to visit you may want to call to confirm that they actually have the Stella in stock.

I have pretty much given up looking for processed whole-milk mozzarella cheeses in the Dallas area. Instead, I wait until I head north (as I am doing this week) where I can find them quite easily and I buy several pounds, freeze them, and bring them back home with me in an insulated cooler. I have found sources of the Grande whole-milk and the Dragone whole-milk, but I haven't specifically looked for the Stella brand.

If you get an answer on the 6-in-1s, please let us know what you learn. My local Albertson's changed to a low-frills store with a lot fewer choices, but there are other Albertson's not too far from me. 

Peter

Offline cameron

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Re: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2006, 09:59:33 PM »
Lydia,

I already received a reply regarding the dates.

Quote from: Escalon
The second set of five numbers/letters on our can indicates the pack date using the Julian dates.  For instance, the can code FRES3 2065L would indicate that the product is 6 in 1 all purpose tomatoes (first set of numbers) and that they were packed on July 24 (Julian date #206) in the year 2005.  L represents one of our hour codes.

Only problem with this:  My can said FRES3 5H11J.  I'm not sure how to translate 5H11 into Julian dates.  I've emailed them back for clarification on that specific code.  Their website lists the shelf-life of their products at 24 months from the pack date.

-- Cameron

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Re: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2006, 11:08:03 PM »
Thank you Cameron

Here is a link to a freeware Julian Calaendar Spreadsheet with a converter
 http://www.vertex42.com/ExcelTemplates/julian-date-calendar.html

It's still unclear how to translate the letter H in the code, and I don't know what 11 tanslates into for the year either.

Hopefully you'll hear back soon. Where are the accounting majors when you need them.

The 6-in-1's I picked-up at the plant about 8 weeks ago end with 5H07W
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

Offline cameron

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Re: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2006, 01:39:14 PM »
The code is YMDDH...

where Y is a single digit representing the year,

M is the month in alpha as follows:
   A   January
   B   February
   C   March
   D   April
   E   May
   F   June
   G   July
   H   August
   I   September
   J   October
   K   November
   L   December

DD is the day of the month,

and H is their internal hour code.

So my can was manufactured on August 11, 2005.  Not expired after all!  I guess my palate has softened (with respect to tomato acid) after living in Texas for a year!

Offline Lydia

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Re: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2006, 08:23:47 PM »


Thanks for getting info Cameron  ;D

Escalon has been graciously helpful.

The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

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Re: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2006, 06:09:04 PM »
Each time I visit Jimmy's Food Store in Dallas, I either find something new or something I may have missed before.

This time I discovered that Jimmy's carries the Polly-O whole-milk low-moisture mozzarella cheese, which I saw in a slab in the refrigerated cheese/deli case. It is sold in any desired weight. In chatting with the fellow who served me, I also learned that Jimmy's carries a shredded mozzarella cheese from Grande, at $4.99 a pound. I didn't think to ask which Grande cheese it was, so I will have to ask next time.

Often Jimmy's features specials. Today, it was Parmigiano-Reggiano at $9.99 a pound. Now, that's a bargain.

Peter

Offline cameron

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Re: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2006, 08:55:53 PM »
Peter,

Good catch!  It looks like there is another Jimmy's Food Store in Fort Worth, only a few minutes away from where I work.  I'll try to stop by on my way home from work on Monday and see what I can find.  Thanks for the tip!

-- Cameron

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Re: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2006, 09:12:12 PM »
Cameron,

I doubt that the Jimmy's Food Store in Fort Worth (on Sycamore) is affiliated with the one in Dallas. You might want to call first.

Peter

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Re: Sources for Pizza Ingredients in the Dallas Area
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2006, 09:25:20 PM »
Peter,

You are correct.  The Jimmy's Food Store in Fort Worth is nothing but a convenient store.  The one in Dallas is "the one and only".  I did not visit them, but they claimed to carry the Polly-O mozzarella cheeses when I called them on the phone.

I visited Central Market yesterday for the first time ever.  I was very impressed (especially with their produce)!

They carry the Muir Glen tomato products, but no Escalon.  But what caught my eye was the mozzarella cheese at the deli: Saputo.  If I am not mistaken, this is the parent company of Stella.  I am not sure if there is a difference between Stella and the Saputo labels, but this was a very tasty mozzarella indeed.

I wish they would build one of these in South Arlington!  They have one opening in Southlake soon, but Fort Worth is closer to me.

-- Cameron


 

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