Friday, July 3, 2009

Central Market (HEB) Blueberry Buckwheat Waffles & a short guide to grocery stores in Houston

As grocery stores go, some of the HEB stores around here offer a pretty decent selection of gluten free fare. The only store I've had horrible luck with is Randall's- at least the one at Shepherd and Westheimer. Even Walmart carries rice noodles, but the last time I was there, that store had zilch. Shame on them.

Anyway, some of the HEB stores carry their store brand frozen waffles... which are gluten free! A store brand making a gluten free option? Radical dude.

I can usually find them right next to the Van's frozen waffles, and I think they're better. They're less dry than Van's, and they are cheaper too! I think I picked up this box for $1.89, while Van's run me anywhere from $2-4. Not that Van's are bad. I mean, a frozen waffle is pretty much a frozen waffle.

But, not all of the stores carry them. I've found these at an HEB in Katy, somewhere around Mason and Westpark Tollway. I've also found them at the HEB at Hwy 6 and Austin Parkway. The last time I was at the HEB in Alief, they didn't carry them.

While I'm at it, let's talk about Kroger. That store has always carried a fairly decent number of products. The one in Rice Village is mediocre- it has a GF section but it's not very big.
The Kroger at Hwy 6 and W. Airport is pretty good. I shop there a lot, and they put their stuff on sale.
The Kroger in First Colony on Sweetwater near 59S is the absolute best. They have an enormous section, and they even have a designated gluten free frozen section. You can find a lot of items there that you can't find at any other store, except for maybe Whole Foods. And even then, I've found things at that Kroger that I haven't seen at Whole Foods.

Target carries mostly mainstream gluten free products- like Chex and a few Amy's meals in their health food section. To their credit, that was the first place I found the Chex when it became gluten free.

Walmart is the same way, but I'm randomly seeing special GF products, like noodles, on their shelves.

Fiesta is awesome. The one in Rice Village has a great GF section, and their ethnic aisles carry a lot of GF options. That's where I initially found the Thai noodle bowls, and they also have CHEAP tapioca and sweet rice flour. I go there to stock up every once in a while. You can always find something neat there.

There's an asian store I went to on Bellaire near the Beltway, and I found huge 1-pound bags of Fiber-J brown rice noodles for 99 cents. 99 cents! I'll have to ask Jen about that one.

Of course, I wrote about Ranch Creek Natural Foods earlier.

I think I've covered it, but I might have missed something. Hopefully this will help someone!


Amy Green said...

I have noticed the same things at Wal-Mart - they have started to carry many gf products, many of which I see at Whole Foods and Central Market. :) I don't eat much from a box because I can't eat sugar either but I like to know what's good and what's not - thanks for the review.

Anonymous said...

ohhh. i haven't seen these before....i try to stay clear of central market b/c i always spend way too much $$$ but i'll be on the lookout at HEB :)
thanks jen!
-erin @ glutenfreewithapurpose

KBC said...

I love those blueberry buckwheat waffles! They were one of the great finds when I moved to Texas last month.

On the subject of other grocery stores, the great thing about Wal-Mart is that they label gluten-free on their store brands! I make a point of supporting brands that explicitly label so I buy generic all the time at Wallyworld (and save money in the process!).

Also, if you are ever out College Station/Bryan way check out Village Foods. They have the best gluten-free section I have ever seen anywhere, period. A full aisle of products plus 3 sections of the freezer cases, and more products throughout the store. It's worth a trip.