Read my MIL's copy of the latest Monthly, an East Bay tabloid size magazine that comes out - you guessed it - every month. In the issue was a rather long article on the Grocery Outlet. Seems that the place, while selling dented canned goods etc., also sells pretty good wine in cheapo labels, closeouts from upscale food places, and "test runs" of new gourmet products. The article mentioned a low-sugar fruit preserve that sounded interesting. I'd had no interest in exploring this place until I read the article. Now it sounds like a kind of bargain bin Trader Joe's, where you might possibly find gold if you show up regularly. Such hunting is not my style - inefficient use of my time these days - but it seems worth a try at least once. The writer claims to have spotted Narsai David in the 4th Street (Berkeley) store, buying wine. The Grocery Outlet is a nationwide chain that began in the Bay Area. It originally sold dented and almost out-of- date cans from local food processors (where have all the peach factories gone? Sun Microsystems, Xylinx, Auto Row, I suppose) In another food and equipment note, The Monthly also interviews the founding chef of the new Fourth Street restaurant in the old Ginger Island location, Christopher Somebody. Restaurant will be called Eccolo. He's a Chez Panisse alum. When asked about kitchen equipment, our chef said he has little use for food processors or other fancy stuff at home. No George Foreman Grill? the interviewer asked. "No", the man answered. His favorite piece of equipment is his cast iron pan. It costs 15 dollars, will last forever, and does everything. "I will be buried with my cast iron pans," he says. I'm collecting these accolades for cast iron. Just a pet obsession right now.