Pretty Dishes

A Visit to the Kitchen Supply Store
March 1, 2010, 5:08 pm
Filed under: Kitchen Wares

This weekend I stepped outside my comfort zone and worked up the courage to walk right into a restaurant supply store. I had of course done all my research beforehand, making sure the public was welcome and that they didn’t only carry industrial refrigerators. Not a problem at Dick’s Restaurant Supply in SODO: any- and everyone is welcome, and online reviews of the staff and selection are solid.

I walked in expecting to be overwhelmed by an incredible amount of stuff, and even though they do have quite a lot, the main customer space is fairly compact (much smaller than an average mall storefront, for example). They do have a large warehouse doorway at the back of the store, but that leads to the really big-ticket restaurant items.

What I first noticed was the large number of drink mixers, salts, sugars, shakers, and other bar accessories. This is a great place to stock up before a party (almost all items have a bulk discount with purchase of a dozen or so). I look forward to trying some of the blends, especially the Bloody Mary mix.

Then I was drawn to the wall of mixing bowls in all sizes, styles, and materials. Next to those were every baking pan of any width and length you could imagine. And of course the related accessories from cookie cutters to Silpat pads.

I passed rows of salt and pepper shakers, pizza pans, cutting boards, serving trays. The back wall was a glorious collection of all the fun, useful gadgets that make prep a breeze: zesters, corers, brushes, knifes, scales. To the right of that was a wall packed with spatulas, whisks, servers, flatware, and much more. (Yes, I was drooling heavily by this point.)

A little nook in the corner held the standard glasses, flatware, and dinner dishes found in most restaurants. The dishes are a bit pricey because they are really durable (many are chip-resistant), and most are sold in bulk anyway, so they are only practical for a total dinner set replacement. They have a much greater selection of plates, etc. on the website for special order than they do in-store. The flatware they had was quite nice though.

There was a fantastic section with various storage containers. I can imagine many uses for bulk purchases (hello, Costco). This may come in especially handy as I acquire dishes/accessories for use in food photography and need a big, sturdy clear container or two for basement storage.

The toughest part was making my way through the rows and rows of gorgeous, heavy-duty pots and pans. I seem to have a problem saying no to another pan, even though I have WAY more than I could ever use at any given time . . . even when half of them are waiting for a scrub in the sink! I was good though. I came *this close* to buying a cast-iron skillet. But I didn’t.

I made it out of the store having spent just $40 on six items, but I know the damage could have been much worse if I had indulged every “Ooooooh!” reaction I had. Do muster up some restraint if you visit since items are only returnable for store credit.

The hours are limited for the average full-time career person (Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm; Saturday, 10am to 4pm), but I’m sure showing up right at opening (or just before closing) time on a Saturday would be bearable if necessary. I went around 3pm on Friday and it was fairly active with at least a dozen other customers in the store (and not a whole lot of space to move around them). At a peak hour I imagine it’s very difficult to browse comfortably.

I’d also like to visit the Seattle Restaurant Store in Shoreline (they’ve been in business quite a bit longer) to compare products and variety. It’s great to have these additional options to the standard kitchen stores around town.


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[…] For more on restaurant supply stores, check out Behind The Knife’s week-long series, this blurb at Cook Like Your Grandmother, and Pretty Dishes reaction to the kitchen supply store. […]

Pingback by Your Local Restaurant Supply Store | Culinary Tips

Just ran across your post on Google blog search. It sounds like your restaurant supply store experience was similar to mine – blown away by the products and prices. I added a link on my site to your post so people will know what they’re in for. Your truffles look delicious, too.

Comment by Chris

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