New Orleans now has its very own Restaurant Depot (1111 South Broad Street). This local outpost of the national restaurant supply chain offers far more than equipment, knives, smallwares, and such: it sells FOOD….produce, meats, seafood, and much more. I finally made it inside:
- The good news: the place is quite fun to visit, and it has a wealth of large-quantity ingredients. Meat prices were amazingly low, and seafood prices were pretty good too.
- The bad news: the general public isn’t invited. You must sign up for a free membership (easily done online), but RD requires you to hold a business license or nonprofit affiliation. Proof of the license or nonprofit status must be presented at your first visit.
Think Home Depot for restaurants, or Sam’s, except with a huge selection of produce, seafood, cheese, and tableware. I managed to buy just one thing: a case of Acqua Panna water in 1 liter glass bottles. (I like the water, and I really like the 1 liter bottles, which get reused in a variety of ways.)
I was excited when I heard about the place and now I’m depressed. I LOVE Panna water. Rouses is the only place I can find it in the city but it would be lovely if I could buy it in bulk. Most of the grocery stores in Miami has Panna is travel size cases. I wonder if feeding a family of 5 two hot meals a day can constitute as a restaurant.
Not only did RD have Acqua Panna, but in two sizes: the big 1L bottles (12 to a case) and the smaller .5 liter individual size (24 to a case). If you’re the person I think you are, call my office and I’ll be happy to go there w/you!