I’m writing today about something my pal Dave Wayne has long sung the praises of (pardon that awkward grammar) – a great resource for vegetarians & vegans & even meat eaters who prefer hormone-free meats – Figueroa Produce. It is located at
6312 N Figueroa St • Los Angeles, CA • 90042
just north of York – in a corner mall with one toe in Highland Park & the other in Eagle Rock – across the parking lot from a ubiquitous & DEPRESSING .99 cent store. This is a counter-intuitive location for a supermarket of this kind. The community is largely Hispanic & almost entirely low income. Maybe the Eagle Rock – Highland Park corner is key? Both Eagle Rock & Highland Park are trying to be the next Silverlake (think hipster) – with Eagle Rock having a substantial edge – but what’s up with hipsters? Are they rich? They actually CAN afford to buy the next size up (or three) in a skinny jean (which they desperately need) – but rather – opt to keep wearing the ones I can only assume they grew out of 150,000 calories ago because they like male muffin tops & that awful extra crotch area that is created when they are too fat to pull their pants up to the appropriate position? At least hip hop kids who CHOOSE not to pull their pants up have UNDERWEAR ON beneath their defying-the-laws-of-physics-low-slung jeans – so we are spared any unwelcome information about their nether regions. Hipsters actually cannot physically get their jeans up anywhere near the hip zone, strain their top button in a spot just below the pubic line creating a good four inches of crotch air in the upper-thigh area & another good four inches of ass-crackage revealed if they – God forbid – decide to squat.
Anyway – are these fuckers wealthy enough to regularly purchase vegan cheeses and pastured eggs & hormone & antibiotic-free meats? Because somebody is keeping this place in business and I don’t think is is the Mexican & Guatemalan communities in there buying heirloom tomatoes, vegan egg yolk substitute, gluten-free flour & vegan chipotle sausage.
But I digress. Figueroa Produce is a very friendly, community market selling high end products at FAR better prices than Whole Foods or my arch nemesis – Gelson’s. They sell no alcohol or cigarettes but they have a whopping selection of specialty flours & grains (gluten-free and otherwise)
Sorry these are blurry. I always feel so suspicious-looking when I’m photographing inside grocery stores. Not sure why. And look at the refrigerated cheese section – with its nearly overwhelming selection of vegan dairy & meat items:
Yeah! You can’t see it well here but that is, in fact, NACHO TEESE!!! And they carry both raw milk & cheese AND actual pastured eggs!
Pastured eggs are eggs from chickens who live like they did on Green Acres – out on PASTURE – foot loose & fancy free. There is no Federal definition of free range and if you think cage-free or free range means ANYTHING REMOTELY HUMANE is going on with the chickens – watch this VIDEO on Youtube. It shows you a hundred free range chickens who – after doing their time as egg layers – got rescued by a sanctuary to live a happy life til their natural deaths. Please look. It isn’t gruesome – like slaughterhouse footage. It just shows you how DEEEEEEPLY emotionally & physically scarred these poor birds are – and these are the “lucky” ones. Factory farmed ones with no nod toward humane conditions create far worse results. I can’t get these chickens out of my head – so – I was gratified to find there WERE humane alternatives. They cost more – but so do jeans not made by children in sweatshops. Where you spend your money creates the world we live in. Who you give your money to is a large part of your own morality. Six pastured eggs cost $5 – but the chickens are treated in a genuinely humane way – so there is no blood on your hands. A more than fair trade – if you ask me. And the more other egg (dairy, meat etc) producers see that there are people who will pay more for a kinder product – the more kind product gets produced.
Stepping off the soap box – I continue. There is a large MEAT section here –
but I did not inquire as to the sources or kindness factors related to the contents. I don’t eat meat – so I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time. There was a separate case with organic meats that said they were antibiotic-free – and there was seafood in there as well as – like – bison etc.
I saw a sign advertising HOMEMADE vegan sausage, however, and that intrigued me. I inquired & was told that they were not currently available as the maker was tweaking the recipe. A super friendly deli hipster offered me several samples of Daiya vegan cheese and some vegan sliced chicken & vegan sliced bacon. They came in big square blocks, like cheese, and got sliced on the deli slicer like any other deli meat. The faux chicken was good, the faux bacon was sorta chemically. Then I was offered some jalapeno grilling cheese which had been pan fried & was served with a fresh basil leaf on top. OMG!!! I nearly bought every package they had in stock. This shit is ridiculous!
I bought a half pound of sliced Daiya cheddar for $4 and some shredded vegan mozzarella – to attempt a vegan pizza. It looks grey & less than promising but – I’ll try anything once. Kinda.
Figueroa Produce also has – believe it or not – fresh PRODUCE!
It seems pretty standard but the HUGE heirloom tomatoes were only $4 a pound. I think Gelson’s charges you $4 just to look at their heirloom tomatoes – but maybe I’m exaggerating. I’m not sure if everything they have there is organic or not but if I had to guess – I’d say probably. They also had an interesting selection of bulk spices which I neglected to photograph.
They sell a brand or two of high end dog food & other staples. I found these curious items there:
Ew! Sweet potato jello. In a can. Gross. And zero-calorie jam!
They have $13 Salted Caramel ice cream – which I have had and it is awesome. Basically – they have a tiny selection of the staples and a huge selection of the exotic (meaning vegan or gluten-free blah blah blah). If you have special diet needs – Figueroa Produce just might be the place for you. So break out your high school jeans & squeeze your fat thighs half way into them, don an ironic & hideous Christmas sweater & head on over to Figueroa Produce. And BE SURE to ask someone to let you sample the Goddamn grilling cheese. You are gonna shit yourself. And not to worry – as you will have lots of room for it in your gapping crotched pants.