Tag Archives: wegmans

Grocery List: August 15, 2014

2009-04-15 at 14-16-14

Just for fun, I forgot to take a photo of my grocery list. I blame The Kid, who was hanging on my arm as I made the list. You see, we had a very important date this morning. Starbucks, Target and Wegmans. The Paventis know how to party. In lieu of a list, here is a photo of the putrid pink carpet that was once wall-to-wall in my house. It has since been removed in order to showcase the original 1920s hardwoods that laid underneath.

Anyhow, last week was a long week. Evening events and morning vomiting led to a seven days that felt like 10. So, here we are, back on Sunday.

A few requests for this week, dear reader:

  1. The Chain Challenge stands at $325. Get in on the action with a donation to my Walk To End Alzheimer’s effort and you can torment me by having to eat at and review a low- to mid-level chain restaurant. It’s more fun than it sounds.
  2. My partner in crime in The Chain Challenge, Brian Moritz, is seeking votes for an opportunity to present at SXSW 2015. Please take a moment to vote for his project.
  3. Take a spin to the Syracuse New Times and make a couple of nominations for its Best of Syracuse 2014. Because I’m a shameless self-promoter, please offer this blog — blogaldente.net — up for best local blog. And, since you’re already there, please nominate Walk To End Alzheimer’s as the best organized local walk/run event.

I think that’s it. I have a backlog of writing to do, including a review on a neat little restaurant in Sackets Harbor, a recap of my trip to the Cazenovia Farmers Market and a bunch of recipes that have yet to be written. I’d better get to work…


Grocery List: July 6, 2014

Photo Jul 06, 11 56 20 AMThere are (typically) 22 non-holiday related weekdays in July. In a good year, I’m in the office for about half of that. In 2014, I will work 13 days of this month. This is usually the product of a post-school year trip that trickles into July, an extended vacation in Rehoboth Beach, Del. during the middle of the month, and enough service time at my job that I qualify for a metric ton of paid time off.

This week marks the four-day sprint to my mid-month siesta in The Constitution State The First State. Though I’m not looking forward to the drive through Wilmington this year, it’s the week I live for each year. I believe that I have discussed the significance of this trip in the past, so I’ll simply offer links and leave it at that.

A couple of other thoughts before descending into vacation.

  • Attended a wedding for some people that I had never met before. The Wife works with the bride, so it’s not as if I was crashing. I have to say, the food at the Genesee Grande was remarkably good for Syracuse-area banquet fare.
  • My MacBook Pro is entering stage III of a terminal illness. It’s turning five this year which, in terms of laptops, means I’ve made my money here. It’s one of the final 17-inch models sold by Apple, packs an Intel 2.66 GHz Core i7, 8 GB of RAM and was purchased when I was earning money from the content farm. I get very attached to my computers, in the way that some become attached to their cars. I’m going to miss her when she finally goes. Until then, I’ll try not to tax her with too many memory or processor intensive projects and keep the ice chips handy.
  • For all of the complaining I do about Wegmans (TL;DR: I take them for granted and get mad when they let me down.), one of the things they do particularly well is respond to their customers.Last week, I purchased expired yogurt. It’s not the first time this has happened there, but it was the first time I bitched about it on Twitter…

Usually when I complain on Twitter, it’s about United Airlines or Time Warner Cable. Because both of those companies are inept and disinterested at serving their customers, they tend to let my ravings go without response. Wegmans actually responded and notified the store that I would be coming in.

And, sure enough, today when I visited, the front desk was aware of my situation. No questions. No problems.

Grocery List: May 25, 2014


Family Fun Sunday started early this morning with a trip to Wegmans followed by some quality time at Onondaga Lake Park and coffee at Starbucks. Three-day weekends are nice. They are even better when you take Friday off and make them four days long.

Seriously though, quiet weekend here. We bought all of our plants for the 2014 Garden Experiment. Those get planted tomorrow. I made a quick trip to Manlius and visited Side Hill Farmers to pick up the pork belly that would become Saturday evening’s dinner. And The Kid ran herself around until she crashed on the couch during a viewing of Cinderella. Good day, followed by a good dinner with friends, followed by late evening drinks on the neighbors’ deck.

And today? Shooting for a repeat.

Enjoy your weekend. And, while we should remember why there is a Memorial Day weekend, please lay off the slacktivism. If you really want to make a difference, volunteer at your local VA Hospital or veterans home. Make a donation to Wounded Warrior Project, Fisher House Foundation, or Clear Path for Veterans. Help the children of deceased servicemen pay for college. Support the restoration of the memorials on the National Mall.

Be an activist. Do some real good. Don’t just post a picture on your timeline.

Grocery List: March 23, 2014

03-23-14I pay someone to do our taxes. Today was the day where I make my annual visit to the converted garage of Gus Johnston and his aptly named Johnston’s Tax Service to determine how much extra money I paid the government this year. I should make a better effort of balancing out such silliness as dependants and withholdings, but frankly I don’t care. I would rather get a large sum from the government then find myself owing when it comes down to it. I don’t mind paying income taxes, per se. I could do without the ridiculous property taxes I pay, but that’s not the reason I’m talking about taxes.

Abby took less than an hour to get everything filed. For $100, she got everything filed neatly and nicely for me and helped me figure out how to deal with The Kid’s expenses (Side Note: If you didn’t know, The Kid has Celiac disease. The only treatment is dietary change, so the difference between regular products (say, a 99-cent loaf of Wegmans white bread) and gluten-free products (a $5.49 loaf of Udi’s “white” bread) is deductible.). I did the research; she did the heavy lifting of calculations and whatnot.

Which brings me to my point. Even if I were a certified tax preparer, I ‘m pretty sure I would hire someone to do my taxes. It strikes me as lunacy that people do this on their own, spending as much on software programs like TurboTax as I do with Abby. I suppose if you itemize nothing and have no dependants it is fine, but why take the chance? Spend all afternoon fiddling with things on TurboTax or sitting on the couch whining about people who waste time using TurboTax? Only one way to go, right?

Right? Continue reading Grocery List: March 23, 2014

Grocery List: March 2, 2014

Photo Mar 02, 11 31 21 AM“Well, I have to go to the bathroom.”

(The Kid, in all of her charming three-year-oldness, beings a lot of her sentences with a pensive “Well…” these days. It’s cute because it’s so out of context.)

Standing in the ice cream aisle at Wegmans Fairmount, this was not exactly the news I wanted to hear.

“Are you sure?,” I asked.

“Yes. I have to go to the bathroom.”

I sighed, spun the cart around and attempted to make my way through the extra-long cashier lines, through the congested produce section, and to the restroom alcove. Conversation on this trip revolved around how she was a girl, she had to to the girl’s room and that I was a boy and couldn’t go in. This thought had also crossed my mind, but I thought I had remembered a family restroom in the back of the men’s room. Apparently, I had mistaken the Fairmount store for another one.

The other men in the room were slightly startled by the little girl wandering from the stall to the sink to wash her hands. We got out of there and back to our other business.

I’m not going to spend the rest of this post ranting about how there should be a law passed that mandates family bathrooms in every grocery, discount, drug, and auto parts store in New York (Al Dente’s Law?). When I was single and/or childless, I would use the family bathrooms because they were always cleaner and closer to where I was standing. As a father of a daughter, I’ve come to embrace the forethought shown by companies like Target — which has a separate family bathroom — and Wegmans — which has tucked them in the rear of their gender-specific rooms in newly-renovated stores. So, thanks to them.


I would be remiss not to mention the increase in traffic to the blog, the result of my recent post the food that makes this area special. This was not (necessarily) about what was the best, but about what was important. The Syracuse area has a long, proud immigrant culture: the Irish on Tipperary Hill, the Polish on the Westside, the enclave of Tyrol in Solvay, the Italians on the Northside and Solvay. A renaissance of immigration has brought Asians and African refugees to the Northside and Ukrainians to the Western suburbs. These are important contributions to the fabric of the community.

Much like the staying that “retail follows rooftops,” bakeries, grocers and restaurants catering to these populations have followed. And, the vocal fans of places like Eva’s European Sweets and Bangkok Thai have shown that this diaspora of flavors has been embraced by the community.

I’m just happy to be involved with the discussion.

Meatless Monday: Goat Cheese and Swiss Chard Casserole

2014-02-17 at 18-18-28


When I was in elementary school, there was no President’s Day. There was Lincoln’s Birthday and Washington’s Birthday. As is the case with most holidays, these days served one basic purpose for me as a child: no school. Somewhere along the way, these two days morphed into one federal (not national holiday) called President’s Day. Apparently, this is a phenomenon observed only by some area’s of the country. I’ll let Valerie Strauss of The Washington Post explain:

In the early 1950s, there was a movement led by a coalition of travel organizations to create three-day weekends by moving the celebration of some holidays to Mondays. One of the suggestions was to create a Presidents’ Day between Washington’s birthday and Lincoln’s birthday, which was a holiday in some states. A few states tried the new arrangement, but it was not universally adopted across the country. 

The National Holiday Act of 1971 passed by Congress created three-day weekends for federal employees by moving the celebration of some holidays to Mondays, although states did not have to honor them.

So, today, though the federal holiday is marked on the third Monday in February, there is no agreed-upon name, no universal agreement on who is being celebrated, and the use of the apostrophe in the name is varied: Sometimes it isn’t used at all (as in Presidents Day), sometimes it is placed between the last two letters (President’s Day) and sometimes it is after the last letter  (Presidents’ Day).

So, what we’re talking about his a bogus holiday that was brought on by the tourism industry. Great. Continue reading Meatless Monday: Goat Cheese and Swiss Chard Casserole

Grocery List: February 16, 2014

list21614I have no idea what my problem is, but today’s grocery list was not an easy assembly. Usually, this is a 30-minute trip to Pinterest, Serious Eats and The Kitchn to see what’s good. More than 90 minutes after starting this morning’s assembly of the grocery list, I’m just wrapping up and writing this post.

Every time I landed on a site, I would be confronted by the harsh reality that nothing looked good. I have my four nights of dinners — late meeting Tuesday means takeout — but I’m about as excited to make them as I am to go shop for their ingredients. Ideally, I would be at Wegmans by now. Thanks to Sunday churching, 10 a.m. is the threshold of lunacy at my local supermarket. Families rumble down the aisles with the big-ass-should-be-illegal carts or, worse, let their children roam free and unattended. My hope is to sneak out of the house without The Kid noticing me. I don’t think this is going to be a good day to take a 3-year-old to the grocery store. I’ll do my part there, but I doubt anyone else will do theirs.

Enough complaining.

Thanks to a few timely retweets and Facebook shares from New Orleans restaurants, traffic has spiked around these parts. If you are new to Al Dente, welcome. Look around and see what we have done here.

So, a few weeks ago, I discussed taking Al Dente to the “next level,” whatever that means. In the coming weeks, you will see some changes here. I’m nearly certain that I’m going to move this to a third-party host. Of course, this means that I need to make up my mind on a design theme and get going on the look and feel. One of things I’m looking forward to is a better way to organize the recipes I have created and those that I have adapted/borrowed/used from other sources.

There’s no debut date, other to say sooner rather than later (Incidentally, these are the same ambiguous forecasts of dates I use at work and home. My co-workers and The Wife love it.)

Grocery List: January 12, 2014 (and a Dancing Banana) **UPDATED**

Editor’s Note: WordPress will not let me load an image of my grocery list right now. You should know that this week’s list was written on notepaper sent by the U.S. Holocaust Museum as part of a direct marketing appeal. I feel a little weird writing a shopping list on it, but I’m certain that they want me to use the paper, as well as my trip to Wegmans as a vessel to never forget the atrocities of the Holocaust. So, mission accomplished.

Anyhow, since I cannot upload my list, I’ve instead included an image of a dancing banana. Enjoy and you are, in fact, welcome.


And now, a non-grocery list:

Patients at Al Dente HQ, ranked in order of congeniality, pleasantness, helplessness and other criteria when sick:

  1. The Wife
  2. The Kid
  3. The dead squirrel in my side yard
  4. My car
  5. The Wife’s car
  6. Me

It should shock no one (who knows me) that I make for a lousy patient. I get flashes of food poisoning from watching commercials for The Olive Garden. A simple cold reduces me to a pile of whining plasma that cannot muster the strength to get his own box of tissues. The Wife? She’s a champ. She scoffs at sickness, overcame childbirth (by way of Caesarian section) to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Me? As I pointed out last week on Facebook to some friends, I’m really a poor excuse for a man.

I left work on Wednesday afternoon shivering. Now, polar vortex aside, it’s rare for me to be cold to this point. Turns out, my body was reacting to a raging fever. I fell asleep around 4:30 or so, was awoken twice by The Wife and The Kid, and decided that my 103-degree fever was a good reason to stay home from work on Thursday.

Now, I don’t remember the first time I got the flu (and neither does my father, font of information he is). But even in 2002, the last time I contracted it, there was no accurate test beyond a checklist of symptoms. On Thursday, my doctor’s office (specifically the nurse practitioner that I prefer to see) performed a 15-minute test that involved swabbing my parietal lobe via my nose and then, when it came back negative, she drew blood. I’m not going to lie…living in a society where we can test for the flu and vaccinate against it (as well as pneumonia, chicken pox, shingles and your daughter marrying someone with a bad haircut*) makes Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber bearable. Ideally, we would have none of the above, but I’ll take what I can get.

But, the fever and aches are gone (or at the very least the latter are back to their normal, everyday levels). I’m blowing my nose constantly and I’m still pretty lethargic, but the former is the only real tell that I’m still infirmed.

At some point, I’m going to muster the energy to download the photos of last week’s dinners from my camera and try to remember what I made. That was weird too: Whatever viral infection hit me slowed me down both physically and mentally. It’s the primary reason I stayed off Twitter and Facebook for three days. I didn’t want to do anything stupid(er than normal).

In the meantime, I’m back. I have no idea what that means, but I’m here and I’m looking forward to sneezing on others today at Wegmans.

*: Walgreens does not offer this, but I’m told you can acquire the necessary means at your area’s gun shows. A .50-caliber Desert Eagle should do the trick.

UPDATE (January 12, 7:19 p.m.): I was finally able to upload the list. You can sleep easier tonight.