Thursday, November 08, 2012

express line

A new conglomo-market area opened down the road from our house: a somewhat urban version of the outdoor malls you've seen pop up about America in the last decade. This one, The Mosaic, is anchored by an elevated Target, but surrounded by more high-end stores, restaurants, boutiques, a killer independent movie palace, and a MOM market. I'm here to talk about MOM.

There's a MOM down in Alexandria that we used to hit every few weeks for the really good stash of quality foods and whatnot. Unfortunately, after moving to The Hilltop the drive became too long and MOM became nothing but a distant memory, until now. The new store is bigger, with wider aisles, and (for now) far fewer customers. Word of mouth will eventually bring the hordes to the better store with its great parking. And, since you're wondering about my list of greatest grocery stores/markets of all time, I feel I'd be delinquent in not at least giving you a passing glance at my list. You can thank me later.

MOM - the new store is fantastic. I shop there, I'm happy....while shopping.

Central Market - I've only been once to a single location somewhere in Dallas (University Dr.?), and it's stunning. I remember walking in and thinking I'd found paradise.

Waitrose - All about England. For some reason this fairly benign English endeavor always felt comfortable and holds great memories, for a few reasons. This is where I shopped when I first started to actually cook - real life cooking. I also used to always stop by X's house for a coffee on the way home.

Trader Joe's - Yeah, pretty obvious, but I hold them in high esteem for this specific list of quality items: nuts, cheese, wine, and some frozen stuff. It can be a tough shop, but they are worth inclusion.

Wegman's - Right, I used to laugh at the Wegman's prosetlytizers, even after I'd done half the store on my first visit. (They are really only located outside the Beltway here so it's a special trip - and a special $400+.)  This place is spectacular - from their own brands to high-end product. Loads of ready-to-eat stuff, great deli, great bakery...great around.

Byerly's - The upper Mid-west doppelganger to Wegmen's. Well, not quite, but close. Once again, a great selection and a place where you won't have to leave and stop at some other store for that last ingredient.

Wild Oats - I was pretty sweet on them before they were sucked up by the Whole Foods empire. In particular, the store in Reno served as my base while I continued to learn how to cook during my three-year cooking internship out West. I really love hitting the Wild Oats, TJs, and the International Market on South Virginia St.

I'll skip my specialty shops for now. For now.

The 51 drove up to Baltimore (Towson) today to visit Goucher College. I was hugely impressed; Laurel was stoic. Go figure. We decided at 9p last night to not do NYC this weekend - too much stress for the residents, and a Nor'easter to boot. We'll give it another shot in December.

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