Thursday, March 3, 2011

Make room Trader Joe's...

...there is a new store in the neighborhood.

Besides the close location and great products, one of my favorite things about Trader Joe's is the size. I love a food store that sells food and not much else. Buying food at Target or Walmart? Not my idea of fun. If I could get my act in gear, there is a farmer's market on Saturday mornings really close. Really, I must get my act in gear.

I was thrilled when there was talk of a Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Market coming into the old Tower Records store down the way. It was all set, and then the economy tanked and a Goodwill store went in instead!

This winter I noticed a new little grocery tucked into a storefront on Fulton and Alta Arden, AKA Food Mart.  I saw all the fresh fruits and veggies piled up outside, just like in New York. When I finally made a visit, I discovered a treasure. It has some of the most intriguing food from all around the world. At first, the layout was a bit convaluted. I still regret not bringing in my camera earlier to shoot the sardines next to the applesauce next to the cookies. They still need to work out some of the kinks, for instance there are cans of fava beans in about 4 different locations. I love favas, but they are all over this place.

The owner is from Kosovo. He is the kind of guy who greets you like a relative when you walk in. It is full of real food that we buy, beans and rice, fruit and veggies, nuts and grains. The prices are great and they carry your groceries to the car! It is so not "corporate."  There are some products that defy the imagination and each shopping trip is an adventure.

Fruit or vegetable? Friend or foe?

Roman lettuce for Caesar salads?

We'll try this when we are brave

For hockey games?

These look so yummy, but what do I do with them?

What is shwarma, and where has it been my whole life?

Roasted garbanzo beans!

French cookies have a bit of a PR problem
Aren't water chestnuts white and come in a can?

Amazing prices on spices

Do they taste the same?

Zergut brand from Bulgaria, reliably yummy

AKA Food Mart

I have become their biggest fan. Once the cashier didn't understand what a couple from Bosnia was asking her. I knew just what they were looking for and walked them to the coffee section. I talk to other shoppers in there and say "Isn't this the greatest store?" I hope they thrive. I may never have to go in a regular grocery store again!