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Grocery Shopping and eating in?'s


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#1 jcole

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 09:42 PM

Well we are renting a condo this year instead of going to an AI. Any tips for the grocery store and hints for meal prep would be great. I have read that veggie wash is reccomended for veggies. Any other info is greatly appreciated. Also I know that alot of restraunts deliver. What is the delivery area? We are staying at Costa Del Sol will anyone deliver there?

Oh and is there anywhere I can rent a grill or how much would one cost? I assume Mega would sell them.
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#2 Carey

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 07:13 AM

There's an article in the static section of the website linked under Food in the nav bar at the top of the page that discusses food marketing. it needs to be updated as it doesn't include the new Mega supermarket which is a mere two blocks from the Chedraui. but other than that its still pertinent and gives you a pretty good idea of what is available here.

Pour over the Food and Drink forum. There are a lot of good and very current tips being added there daily and one person posted the website of a new business that delivers from several good restaurants. I think you might run into problems getting them to come all the way out south of Chankannab Park from town, however. That's a pretty long drive and, if they'll even do it, they're gong to have to, fairly enough, charge you extra for that. (Taxis to and from your location to town are in the neighborhood of $20 each way, for example.)

Grills you might find at one or the other of the groceries but if you do they'll be cheaply made and expensive to boot so get ready for sticker shock. Although I cannot imagine that a fancy-looking, new complex like Costa del Sol doesn't provide built in grills. If not, you should talk to property management about providing you with one free of charge. it might just be an old ole drum cut in half with legs welded on it and a grill parked on top but that'll work. I bet they have something nicer, however.

If I was staying at your location, I'd eat breakfast in every day, lunch out most days and dinner in unless I felt like driving all the way into town. Other recourse is to hire a cook who will typically come in and make breakfast and dinner for you. This is also something to discuss with management.
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#3 DanB

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 09:12 AM

Mega and Chedraui are both great places. For the Spanish-challenged, I like the fact that Mega has a team of English-speaking staff that can lead you around the store to help you find whatever you are looking for. If shopping is a adventure for you - exploring and searching thru all the aisles to try to find what you want, either one is fine. Ched has good english signs on their aisles but you can't provide a full list of everything in that aisle on a sign. At Mega, just find someone with a "ask me - I can help" t-shirt and you are golden! Good luck.

We were just on the island the end of February and we found the 'price wars' between Mega and Ched amusing. Each store has a "Our price - Mega's Price" or "Our price - Ched's Price" showing that they are the lowest.
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#4 Charles

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 11:01 AM

In the Mega vs Chedraui comparison, Chedraui is cheaper and often better stocked with our basics than Mega about 95% of the time. Mega must have had a real stretch to put together their lower priced cart or picked out certain items and specially lowered them. Beware of English speaking customer assistants that happen to be time share sales people. Chedraui started that years back and it was often mutually agreeable. People didn't mind hearing their "offers" after they had spent 15 minutes helping in the store, they earned five minutes of listening. Mega it seems has a bit more predatory "assistants". Mega has a better selection of exotic imported items that if you want them, who looks at the price. Mega is the only store to ever carry fresh milk (San Fran twice, but both times sour) and it is cheaper than many boxed milk, but only in whole milk.

To consistently do household shopping, it is a back and forth activity. You can virtually never do one stop shopping and get all your items even among basic items usually available 98% of the time. Shopping is an art, science and with an element of luck.

Price comparisons: Chedraui is cheaper on many items, most things are very similar, Mega can be cheaper on some things, but on some items a big difference is found and Chedraui might be 25-30% cheaper on non-food items.
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#5 TiaTia

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 08:42 AM

Mega has a few English speaking cashiers, advertised as such at their registers. I doubt they are timeshare sharks.

As for being helped elsewhere in the store, I have never been bothered at Mega. Questions asked and answered, period.

~Tia
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#6 divadiver

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 11:18 AM

The I can help you staff at Mega in the orange shirts are primarily employees. You'll see them roams the aisles. The timeshare guys, usually don't go past the checkout areas. They stay around their little podiums.
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#7 Charles

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 11:40 AM

While waiting for my coffee to be ground at Cafe Caribe, I went into Chedraui to scout for items. I bought Svelty powdered skim milk which "everyone" had been out of in the smaller sizes last week. I use Svelty as an example, I can't say everyone, but I did go to seven stores and could only find the giant sized can. That is a fairly basic staple item and sometimes stores still can be out of basic items all at the same time. I made mental note of what Chedraui had on our list. When I finished my errands, I went to Mega to see if they had better quality produce and particular brands. I could find none of the items or brands I was seeking. Their produce selection was poor. I went back to Chedraui and did all my shopping and they had everything.

It can always be hit or miss in shopping and when I have the time I compare both stores. When I am doing comparison shopping, I am primarily looking at quality, not price with the exception of non-food items of which Chedraui is most often vastly cheaper. I think Mega marks up certain items that might appeal to cruise passengers and other tourists, that locals know many places far cheaper. In the old daze when Maxi's was the only game, they were expensive on soda and a couple of other products that could be purchased at your close by family run store. Locals never bought soda there, so they could price it at double. I think somethings are priced at Mega with this in mind. I consider a 25-35% price difference to be significant.

Because of Mega's proximity to Langosta, besides passengers, many crew members shop there. On the rare occasions that I am there when there actually is a boat docked at Langosta, Spanish is often not the predominate language spoken and English will be the most common mutual language for communication. There are many ship crew that speak at least minimal English and dollars are a common currency. Mega will often give change in dollars and Chedraui almost never.

I pay little attention to who is what with regard to English speaking assistants, but some of those stationed in the front are time share sales people. The biggest complaints I have heard is preying on a spouse waiting while the other shops. They have a large number of tourists there, but time share potential targets are a minority of the English speaking customers. They have to sort through locals and cruise passengers to pick out their potential suckers.
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#8 jcole

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 04:33 PM

I have read several posts saying that the beef is really tough in mexico. What do you guys do to marinate/tenderize your steaks before grilling and what kind of steaks do you get at Chedraui or Mega?
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#9 Carey

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 05:19 PM

I have read several posts saying that the beef is really tough in mexico. What do you guys do to marinate/tenderize your steaks before grilling and what kind of steaks do you get at Chedraui or Mega?


Tough but tasty. The sterling brand I think it is in the center butcher cases at the Mega are more or less US quality -- more tender and I think about the same price you'd pay in the states. You can have ribeyes cut to the thickness you want and they're good. Maybe not melt in your mouth Nebraska beef or anything but flavorable and you won't lose a tooth trying to eat them.

Otherwise your choices are to get the 1/32" thick milenesa cuts and fast fry or grill them. this is perfect for fajitas. Take about 30 seconds on a side with a hot grill or pan. Other choice is to stew the meat back to the stone age.

Mega is easier to buy meat as there's seldom a line. and they have more of those American type products.
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#10 MexFan2

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 05:27 PM

Last week while checking out at Mega, one of the timeshare sharks, in orange Mega look a like shirt, was actually standing behind the cashier and slowing check out. I complained to Commercial Mexicana, Megas owners, on the website and they replied that they are investigating with store management.
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#11 Coz2wonder

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 06:14 PM

At Ched's I buy Fillet Mignon. or Fillet de Res (think that's correct).

I buy the whole piece (about 4 to 5 fillets per slab about which I cut into 2 inch thickness). You can also have them cut it for you, but there can be a line as mentioned.

It tastes better (to me) then I have been able to find at Mega for fillets.

When I do purchase T-bones, I marinate mine in Italian dressing then stick in frig. If you let it marinate at room temperature, you will end up with steak slop...ugly.

Oh, you might want to bring some reusable shopping bags, less plastic in our landfill :D
Enjoy...
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#12 jcole

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 10:05 PM

ewww never marinate meat at room temp. im gonna bring zip locs from home for stuff like this
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#13 jcole

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 05:07 PM

Ok I will be in Coz on Saturday and need to know what everyone does for sandwich bread. I have read that fresh breads tend to last only a day or two as they have no preservatives. what do you like from the bakeries or from mega or ched?
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#14 Linkslady

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 05:16 PM

I've yet to find any "soft" loaves of bread but they do have several choices. Bimbo is the hardest IMO. We prefer to get the soft "rolls" at Mega in the bakery section and they last a few days. You put them on a silver plate and take them to the counter and they'll price them for you for check out. We use them for sandwiches vs. sandwich bread.
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#15 jcole

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 05:52 PM

ok thanks i assumed rolls would be better than loaf bread
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#16 jcole

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 06:13 PM

Are there any cant miss items at the stores that are not available in the US? Where is the best place for fresh fruits and what fruits/veggies are your must haves in Coz?
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#17 ez_stop1

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 10:46 PM

One thing you need to know whichever store you choose to shop at: always tip the person who bags your groceries. I usually give them my change. Don't know what their wages are, but I do know they can probably use the tip & most are very appreciative.
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#18 Carey

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 07:44 AM

Are there any cant miss items at the stores that are not available in the US? Where is the best place for fresh fruits and what fruits/veggies are your must haves in Coz?


Can't miss items not available in the US (or easily available). Tortillas hot off the 'chines. Available at all groceries and many little tortellerias around town each of which have their own formulas.
Mexican cheeses like Manchego and oxcaca.
Cilantro in huge fresh bunches always available.
Avocados and limes cheap, cheap cheap.
Small yellow mangos
Goat cheese caramel candy

Chedraui has by far the best produce. If you need it ready to eat that day -- like avocados for guacamole -- go to el mercado before 1 PM. It will cost a few pesos more but they invariably have produce that is ready to use that day. There's a booth behind el mercado that has the juiciest oxcaca cheese. Go to the back of the market on the Avenida 25 side where you'll see the ladies selling masa (tortilla dough). Turn left and walk back into this section of the mercado about 30 feet and you'll see the very small little cheese shop on your right.
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#19 mslf500

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 10:14 AM

We are going to try this service on our trip next month for groceries. He's not quite set up yet to handle groceries, but we have been working with him developing shopping lists and things that need to be addressed to make it a viable business. (I have no business interest in this.)

They do restaurant deliveries to various locations. You might be a bit too far south to have it still be warm.

www.telollevamos.com.mx/

If this can be put together, it will be a great asset to the island's visitor's who are staying at private residences and condos.
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www.CozumelCondominium.com
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#20 mike_s

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 10:50 AM

I was always leery of eggs in czm b/c they store them at room temp. I got over that real quick this past trip as we finally brought down a small ele skillet for our apartment. Nothing beats tour own egg and chorizo tortas @ home to start your day ;o) Speaking of Chorizo. There are many different brands and packaging at the Pelican. Prepacked, soft case, spicy, mild, and finally the stuff that is not refridgerated and linked together and hanging in the delimeat section. FUD brand is the hanging stuff and it is KILLER! Great taste, adds some flavor to eggs, not to greasy. You still have to take it out of the casing to cook it but man it is good good good. Throw some diced up onion, cilantro, and peppers into the mix and kick it up even more. No more Super Hit #3 for this guy ;o)

I say get a cheapo pan and make some killer chorizo and egg tortas (sammiches) with some of the bread linkslady talked about above.
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