Restaurant Depot

Anything from portion cups, take out containers, and diner style baskets can be spotted on my posts and often cause readers to ask where I purchase these specialty items. Well ask no more! Rindy, her mom Bobi of Bobi’s Bites, and I, way back before school was out, made a big shopping trip to Restaurant Depot in Alexandria, VA. Trips to RD are always coordinated between some friends and I to travel together so that we may split cases of certain items.

You can see that Rindy and I always get into mischief. You may also see in my left hand that I travel to RD with my pocket knife, a very useful tool in this type of store. We also bring boxes, coolers, sweaters, and wear sneakers. Every time I go I am better prepared.

The shelves are huge and piled high. The men on fork-lifts show no mercy and honk ruthlessly until you get out of their way. When I bring my children, I have to sign a waiver saying I won’t sue RD if my children get hurt- it is a very dangerous place for children! They stay at home now. Since it was Bobi’s first time, she was initiated by having to push the very heavy wheelie cart. He-he.

This is where I get those 11 pound bars of chocolate for candy making.

Any plate, cup, bowl, or portion cup.

Any storage containers.


Or pots.

Sometimes we have to crawl under shelves to find lids that match our cups. Many heads are bonked in this place.

The parking lot is filled with gut trucks or roach coaches. Someday I would love to own a taco truck but mine will be pink and green and I will wear Daisy Duke shorts, a push-up bra, and long flowing locks, sell cute cupcakes, Italian meatball sandwiches, and healthy little salads…oh wait, scratch the salads, healthy items may scare away the customers.

Here are some of the things I use from RD.

1. Straws- shakes, chocolate milk, root beer floats
2. Wax paper sheets- layering tortillas, wrapping lunches, lining baskets or bowls
3. Foil sheets- wrapping hot sandwiches
4. Styrofoam meat trays- making cookie platters, great for dessert gift platters
5. Paper baskets- for small meals like sandwich and chips. I get sizes 500 and 50. The 50’s are great for desserts.
6. Wax bags- wrapping sandwiches, trail mix, chips
7. Plastic diner-style baskets- for novelty dinners like fish and chips
8. 9 ounce plastic punch cups- great for parties and wrapping cupcakes!
9. Softspoon- I pick up 2 every time I go
10. Various sized portion cups with lids- great for packing lunches
11. Tasting spoons- love, love, love these. For lunches and little bites.
12. Three compartment dinner tray with lids- when I have to bring a meal for an elderly or widowed neighbor, these are what I use. Great for freezing leftovers too.
13. Bamboo skewers- kebabs
14. Umbrellas- for fancy drinks, to top cupcakes to keep the plastic wrap from sticking, even for the children’s milk!
15. Large take-out containers- Sending cookies to work, neighbors, or friends. Leftovers for company to take home
16. Sword picks- Drinks, sandwiches, snacks, Barbie Doll vs. GI Joe duels

What do you like to get at your local restaurant supply store?


  1. Judy
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 8:01 AM | Permalink

    I live in Alexandria – there is a RD on Eisenhower Ave – I thought it wasn't open to the public. How to you get in?

  2. amy grace
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 8:16 AM | Permalink

    awesome! i love that you showed what you use, what it looks like, and how you use it! very informative. makes me want to go buy all this stuff! (but i wouldn't ever use it like you do, not at this point in my life at least 🙂 )

  3. Robin Sue
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

    Judy- That is the one I go to. You may shop there if you have a business tax ID number. It is free to join and no membership fees.

  4. Lisa
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    Wow, this looks like so much fun. I want to go!

  5. Dawn
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

    man you are SO LUCKY. I dream of going to a place like that to stock up. I need those plastic containers w/ lids that they use for chinese soups.

  6. Grace
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

    um…heaven on earth? i think so. if i had a shopping spree here, i would go HOG-WILD.

  7. Tammy
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

    Oh y'all look like you're having so much fun! I wish I lived close enough to get my own initiation!

  8. Joan Nova
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

    You shop there so often, they put you on the marquee?! 🙂

    Love the shot in the pot!

  9. That Girl
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

    I'm totally drooling over your adventure!

  10. Shannon
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 7:04 PM | Permalink

    wow- I never imagined what wonderful things could be found at a restaurant supply store! There is one 15 minutes from my home- I just may have to check it out!!! Thanks, Robin!

  11. Sabrina
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    Oh, I am so sad I didn't get to go. It is fun everywhere you turn in there.

  12. Amanda
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 9:38 PM | Permalink

    That looks like such fun! We live in a rural area, but we do have a smaller version of this. Not nearly as much variety, but I do pick up a lot of things there. Great post!

  13. EAT!
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 8:12 AM | Permalink

    My shopping pulley cart thing looks much the same as yours. I do add a few items though …

    Lots of Versatainers for packing clients' meals

    Foil pans – half sheets. Great for lasagna, enchiladas etc. to pack in freezer

    Mega box of parchment paper

    Phyllo tartlets – perfect for quick desserts and appetizers.

  14. Rindy R
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

    What a fun day that was Robin! Can't wait to go again!

  15. Sheila
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

    I need to go before school, too! I have a huge list of things and also for the rest of summer camp. Mel had a great idea for Space week and wants to pack lunches in the ready to go containers. I love that store:)

  16. noble pig
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    I go nuts when in a restaurant supply store. I love the paper baskets the best. I use them for everything.

  17. Ingrid
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 10:29 PM | Permalink

    My mouth was hanging open just looking at all the stuff in your photos. You scored!

  18. JennyMac
    Posted August 16, 2009 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

    Oops you meant Alexandria VA. I had to google that one for I grew up in Arlington and never of one. I went to that one in Alex and you can shop there if you are a teacher.

  19. Robin Sue
    Posted August 16, 2009 at 11:17 PM | Permalink

    JennyMac- Yup I meant Alexandria, I get those two towns mixed up! So being a teacher works too-that is good to know.

  20. bobi
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

    Robin, it was a fun day and thanks for letting me tag along and try to slither through those isles with you. That is a once in a life time trip for me but will linger in the back roads of my memory as a profitble one $. Many thanks.

  21. RecipeGirl
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    SURELY we have something like this in Southern CA, right?? I thought you had to have a food industry card to shop in these places though. Lucky you. I'd go absolutely nuts in that place!

  22. Martha
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    I like your comment about wearing sneakers… the first time I went I had on flip flops. Mistake! I ran over my toes so many times with that crazy cart. Like EAT, I stock up on Versatainers for client meals, aluminum pans for cooling meals, love the cheap gray bus pans, and I always browse the utensils for something new. Oh and their 2-packs of instant read thermometers are good.

  23. grahamstravelblog
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

    These types of supply stores are my favorite. I usually get paper containers for packing cookies and candy. I've also purchased quite a few pieces of bar equipment from a similar store. Last year I did a fair amount of Christmas shopping at my local version (which I subsequently moved away from) getting a couple friends geared up with bar stuff.

  24. unconfidentialcook
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    Well…when we go to DC, my husband can take my daughter to the Spy Museum and guess where I'll go? I am so depressed about the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cheesecake–but will probably lose some weight! BTW, please check out my new post; I have a little something for you.

  25. Elle
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

    I so wish we had one of these around here! Oh my gosh, they have everything–I could spend all day there. Love all of your loot!

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