Fishing for treats
Blue Bounty Fish & Gourmet Foods3480 Lakeside Dr.
Reno, NV 89509
Over the years, it’s been the small specialty grocery where I could buy terrifically fresh halibut steaks and orange roughy as well as my favorite candy, Violet Crumble honeycomb bars, Australia’s finest export, according to my Sydney-born mother. During my shopping excursions, I was oblivious to any other services Blue Bounty offered. It supplied two of my crucial needs, and that was plenty satisfying for me.
“Do you want to get sandwiches at Blue Bounty?” my friend Pete asked me this past June.
“What? What kind of sandwiches? Blue Bounty makes sandwiches?” I asked, thinking he might be confused about the store’s name.
“Yeah. They have a great deli. My parents get lunch there a lot.”
Since that enlightening day, I’ve eaten three more Blue Bounty sandwiches, and each time I thought, “I need to eat here more often.”
Aside from a good selection of meats, cheeses and breads, the deli offers an array of salads. There’s the three-bean salad, the antipasto and the quirkily named “spicy sea leg salad.” You can also order a variety of olive mixes, marinated mushrooms, prepared lasagnas or fresh mozzarella and feta cheeses.
On my recent visit, I ordered the lunch deal, a half sandwich and salad for $5.09. I got the vegetarian with Gouda cheese on rye and the red potato salad with peas and dill. The rye was soft, chewy and moist; it never crumbled the entire time I manhandled it—a tendency I have with sandwiches. The Gouda was an orange honey color, sliced thin and piled thick; the velvety oiliness of it mingled well with the avocados and mayo. The rich, hearty sandwich also had cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, green peppers and lettuce.
The salad felt equally lush on the tongue. A mayonnaise base held the tubers and peas together, but it was definitely not the overwhelming flavor. Even though a lot of dill was visible, it was the red potatoes and the peas that gave the salad its taste; I added a dash of salt because it was plainer than I’d expected.
Before checking out, I decided to shop around. My sister had asked me to keep my eye out for truffled brie. I thought if any place would have it, it would be Blue Bounty. Alas, the closest they had was the Champignon, a soft-ripened cheese with mushrooms. It was $18.99 a pound. I bought a small pie-sized slice for $6.84. It had a mature taste with an undercurrent of the fabulous fungus flavor.
I also grabbed a jar of spiced fig caramel ($9.99). I didn’t know exactly what to do with it—put it over ice cream, crackers or brie, I suppose—but when I got home and tasted a spot, I was ready to start spooning it straight from the jar.
I thought I was ready to check out, but, next to the cash register, there was a dangerously tempting assortment of chocolate truffles by Joseph Schmidt ($2.75 each). With mushrooms on the brain, I ordered a truffle shaped like a toadstool: white chocolate on the outside and a dark cherry almond chocolate on the inside.
The prices are high, but that’s what you pay for mouth-watering specialty items. I’ll have to limit my trips because I could easily spend a paycheck on fish and extravagant things like coconut syrup, fig chutney and clotted cream.