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The pizza and the panini

Last week I was somewhat horrified to see that my local grocery store had stopped stocking the Lean Cuisine Spinach and Mushroom pizza, which technically isn’t South Beach friendly because of the white bread, but hell if I care because it was delicious and saved me from cooking eggs every morning for breakfast. I’m sure the chickens of the world were grateful.

Someone else in town must have shared my tastes because quite frequently there would be a gaping hole in the Lean Cuisine pizza section where these delicious spinach and mushroom treats should have been, like it’d been hit by Popeye on a rampage. When I did see them in stock I’d usually resort to hoarding tactics and buy 6 at a time. I sometimes wondered if a round of lucky timing would lead me to run into this other unknown pizza lover as they were dumping piles of pizzas in their grocery cart. Alas, I have never come face to face with my pizza hoarding nemesis. I suppose it’s for the best since wrestling in the frozen food section with strangers would probably be bad for my reputation.

Instead of the pizza they had these new panini products, which is just fancy talk for “sandwich,” so I grabbed one. Oh. My. God. I’m going to sound like a corporate shill here, but these are so good that I don’t even care that I can no longer buy my dorky little pizzas. If anything the paninis are slightly better for me because 3 out of 4 of the flavors use sourdough bread, which is a bit more South Beach friendly than the Italian bread. They come packaged with a circular silver “grilling plate” that toasts the bread. You heat up the two sandwich halves, flip them on top of each other and yum, yum, yum. Quite filling too.

Now I’m getting slightly worried because I’m moving in two weeks and there isn’t a Meijer* grocery store near my new place. Will the grocery stores near me stock my latest food paramour or am I going to have to make a seven mile trip north to the closest Meijer to continue this love affair? And what about my other food staples? I hadn’t thought about how moving might screw with my food supply. I hope the grocery stores near me stock my preferred brand of yogurt and cheese sticks. If not, hell, seven miles isn’t that far.

* It’s a Midwestern American grocery story. Don’t feel weird if you’ve never heard of it or have no idea how to pronounce it.

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13 Comments

zara • May 30, 2006 at 11:56 am

Funny about the pizza-hoarding nemesis. :)

I like those paninis, too, and around here (Co.) I have found them in all the grocery stores with no prob…so hopefully they are becoming very common instead of “newfangled” and you won’t have a problem finding them closer than 7 miles. :)

You think meijer’s is weird…my closet grocery store is called “King Soopers”, and it’s a huge chain. I haven’t been able to figure out the naming strategy on that one. Not King “Super” or even “Souper”, but Sooper?? What the hell’s a sooper!?

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Dawn • May 30, 2006 at 12:37 pm

Ahhh….we share the same weakness. I absolutely love the pizza and the panini’s. I think you’ll be safe at your new place. All of the grocery stores around here sell them (CA). After looking for the panini’s forever I discovered an interesting stocking technique. They aren’t always with the lc’s. Sometimes they are next to the Stouffer sandwiches. So keep your eyes out. They like to hide them from us.

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little miss ess • May 30, 2006 at 1:21 pm

Oh how I miss shopping at Meijer. I lived in Ohio for 8 years while I was in grad school and used to drive all the way out to one of the suburbs of Columbus to shop there.

Do you have FreshDirect in your town? You shop online and they deliver? Worth checking out.

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Kyra • May 30, 2006 at 2:38 pm

Well, I can’t say I know what those are – but seven miles is IT??? My closest grocery store is 25 minutes away (without traffic) and the one with selection is about an HOUR. Seriously, count your blessings!! LOL ;)

Now I’m going to try NOT to think about these great pizzas you have discovered… LOL All I need is something else to tempt me… (I will be good… I will be good….I will be good…)

(and about King Sooper’s? I grew up in Colorado… I MISS them!!! I went to the one on 120th and Sheridan since I was about 2!)

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Snoot • May 30, 2006 at 2:55 pm

Meijer’s! I live in New York and have to explain what it is, whenever the subject of “big” or “convenience” or “24 hours” arises. Yes, we have all-night delis, but we don’t have supermarkets where two people can pass each other in an aisle pushing shopping carts. And it may be the city that never sleeps, but I can’t think of a place you can buy a goldfish at 3am (sushi notwithstanding). Everytime I visit my family in Michigan and I am asked what I want to see, the answer is, “Meijer’s!”

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kathryn • May 30, 2006 at 4:22 pm

Moving really can screw up your food shopping. I still travel to the other side of the city sometimes to go to my old fave fruit and vege shop! Sure I can buy fruit anywhere but it’s not the same.

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Nicole • May 31, 2006 at 11:57 am

YES!! THE LC Mushroom and Spinach is my fav! I’ll have to try out this new sandwich you speak of.

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Chris (Diary of a Fatman) • May 31, 2006 at 4:37 pm

Those paninis absolutely rock…but, I feel your pain about the LC Spinach & Mushroom pizzas. I love those ALMOST as much as the LC Margherita pizzas.

Jesus, I’m so frickin’ hungry now.

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Lori • May 31, 2006 at 5:21 pm

Love the paninis especially the beef and cheddar one!

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CactusFreek • May 31, 2006 at 11:08 pm

If you can’t find them at your new supermarket, take in an old packege and ask at the service desk if they can get it in. They’ll take the codes etc off the packet and hopefully get it for you :o)

Congrats on the huge loss too, you are truly an inspiration! I think you are awesome! :o))

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S • June 1, 2006 at 7:52 pm

I am addicted to the panini’s! I don’t put mine together. I eat the slices separate like an open face sandwich and it makes it last even longer.

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logtar • June 2, 2006 at 8:05 am

Your blog is inspiring… I found you via a comment a friend left on an entry about being fat… I will make sure to come back and visit!

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Katrina • June 3, 2006 at 6:36 pm

A fellow Panini fan here:) I am currently on strike against other LC meals– just am so sick of them.

And, I hail from the birthplace of Meijers. My dad has worked there for over 30 years now and I love it. I had better, because I’m not allowed not to!

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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