This Week's Find: Grocery Outlet 

There's a moment of redemption at the end of every Grocery Outlet trip. After loading your bags with pistachio cheese logs, organic frozen butternut squash puree and Scharffen Berger chocolate bars, the checker will gingerly tear your receipt from the register and utter a heavenly phrase. "Today you saved $54.75," she'll say, handing you proof of your unparalleled shopping prowess--a savings report card to display proudly on the refrigerator.

Though the Grocery Outlet (affectionately dubbed the Gross Out) doesn't exactly dazzle shoppers with its dated '70s facade--a tri-color rainbow peeking out of a giant brown paper sack--it saves the razzle-dazzling for the inside. Shoppers wind rickety carts through aisles filled with you're-never-going-to-find-this-again-so-you-might-as-well-buy-10-right-now steals. Though you will run into a few token bargain grocery-type items--like a giant, dented white can labeled simply "meat sauce"--a large percentage of the stuff at Grocery Outlet is organic, not-expired and totally edible. Frozen Amy's Eggplant Parmesan, anyone? Or maybe you'd prefer a syrah-rose made with organically grown grapes for only $2.99?

While the Gross Out is not a swing-in-for-your-daily-necessities kind of joint, it is a place where you can cavalierly cast your shopping list aside and let yourself be guided by the call of frozen organic tofu pad Thai.

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