Top Ten fun food stores
While in Mount Vernon yesterday, I happened to come across an empty storefront at Cathedral and Read streets with a "coming soon" sign out front.
What's coming is Milk & Honey Market, which will sell fresh local produce, meats and dairy, gourmet groceries, artisanal cheese and charcuterie, fresh baked breads and fresh pastas. It will also have a cafe area with coffee drinks, fresh-squeezed juices, smoothies and panini.
The future store -- I'll have more details on that in another blog post later this morning -- got me thinking about all those little out-of-the-way food stores that can be so fun to shop in.
Which brings me to this week's list:
Top Ten fun food stores
I love this no-frills outpost at 2800 Sisson Street, which has local meats, dairy and produce. Prices are cheaper than at lots of places for things like Gunpowder bison ($6 a pound) and Hen's Nest eggs ($3 for a dozen extra-large). The produce selection is quite limited, so I often find myself looking longingly at the fruits and veggies available only to the One Straw Farm CSA customers who pick up their weekly allotments there. But I've picked up juicy peaches in summer and interesting apples in the fall.
This Paca Street Italian deli is always crowded. We go for the olives and olive oil, prosciutto bread, fresh mozzarella, mascarpone and goat cheese. You can get a big log of the goat for about what you'd pay for that teeny supermarket pyramid.
Bigger than Trinacria, but farther from my home so I don't get there as often as I'd like.
5. Salumeria Italiana
This one is even farther from home -- waaay farther, in the North End of Boston, the Italian neighborhood where my great-grandparents settled as immigrants and my grandparents grew up. It is worth a trip to Bean Town. (Salumeria's website is down as I write, but you can read testimonials to the olive oils, balsamic vinegars, Parmesans, and prosciuttos.)
Maybe this is cheating because Atwater's is really a bakery, but they stock local milk, cheeses and eggs. Throw in a loaf of their wonderful bread, and what more could you want?
The quirky name -- it really is "Yours" -- and selection of Indian spices aren't the only reasons to shop at this Catonsville store, at 730 Frederick Road. Owner Sudhir Shah is trying to make a comeback after a robber shot him in the head in November. He can use the business.
8. Halal MeatsAnother Indian grocery out my way, at 5224 Baltimore National Pike. This one has an even larger selection of spices, as well as freshly made samosas.
A Columbia institution in the Wild Lake Village Center, David's caters to the town's original hippie "pioneers" as well as newcomer foodies.
10. Roots Market
It's been a while since I've made it out to this market, with locations in Clarksville and Olney. Now that I see online that they have Newman's O's for $3.99 -- compared to $4.29 at Giant, $4.39 at Whole Foods, and $4.79 at Safeway -- I think a trip is in order.
Produce at Mill Valley General Store. Sun photo by Amy Davis