Weekend Find

Late season heirloom tomatoes at the newly-opened H-E-B in west Houston at Bunker Hill and I-10.

These beautiful babies were going for $5.99 a pound when I visited the much-ballyhooed new H-E-B on Saturday afternoon.  The bins were heaving with at least a dozen varieties of tomatoes: Aunt Ruby's, Golden Grapes, Armenian, even what looked like Black Ethiopians (which are -- incongruously -- from the Ukraine).  But even though there were three bins full of the sweet-fleshed jewels, there was nary a tomato left when I went back the next day.

I didn't go home empty-handed, mind you.  That would be physically impossible in a nearly 128,000-square-foot grocery store.  This new H-E-B -- which is a strange but inviting hybrid of Whole Foods, Central Market and your run-of-the-mill H-E-B -- offers everything from alligator meat to freshly-baked naan bread.  I made out with some ridiculously cheap and fresh sockeye salmon and a six-pack sampler of Real Ale, one of my favorite Texas microbrews, and hope to get back next weekend to give their freshly-made chorizo a shot.

--- Katharine Shilcutt

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