Monday, October 11, 2010

Phoenicia. I like any place where I can buy mung beans.

JR had heard about this place from a truck driver and according to JR truck drivers make the best informants when it comes to this sort of thing. Never one to take things at face value I had to look them up on the internet. I wasn't impressed (mostly because I was tired and not willing to wander around their website trying to figure out what was what) but JR was insistent. We had to go. 

JR isn't all that insistent about anything. (Julie? Tell them how truly mellow JR is). JR usually just lets me make all the plans and he goes along for the ride. It makes for a great working relationship for us. But this time he was adamant.

So Saturday morning found us at the Phoenicia grocery. 5 steps into the front door and I knew I had found a place I could call my grocery home. While not any of the sections were huge the variety was remarkable. They had three types of eggplant in the tiny produce section, for pete's sake.

Tucked in one corner they had a bakery section that featured baklava and spanakoptia. Two of my favorite things.

A small case in the bakery section was devoted to Belgian Chocolates. Seriously, devoted is the only word that should ever be attached to the words Belgian Chocolates. Don't you think?

A full aisle was devoted to dried beans.
I picked up a bag of red lentils and black beans but the green lentils and mung beans were tempting. 

Then there was the crockery aisle. 
What can I say? 
I drooled. 
JR was embarrassed.

Look at all the pretty colors.
Some things were shiny.
I go for shiny in a big way. 

Come to me my pretties.

Not to be outdone.....

The Hookah section.
Any decent ethnic grocery store worth it's salt should have a hookah section.
I always say.
Okay, I never say that.
But, I should because it seemed really at home in this store.

Back to the real food.
Not, of course, that we didn't think that hashish wasn't real food in the 70s.
But, it was never sold in the grocery store and I doubt if it was sold at this one either.
I should have checked.

No, real ones. 
Nuts and seeds aisle.
A whole aisle!
Oh baby!
I'll be back.

Want to know how to pick the best olive oil from a whole aisle of different olive oils?
Ask the couple that are arguing talking in Italian.
I spent $2 bucks more on the biggest glass jug of olive oil I've ever purchased from their her recommendation. Trust me when I say it was totally worth the extra money. In fact, I was going to buy the Costco brand of oil. 
I won't be doing that again.
There are no words for the taste of this oil.

Then there was this:
Pita that makes it's way from the ceiling into the loving hands of the bakery associate. 
Hot and toasty. 
Chewy and warm.
To say I was fascinated is too mild a word.
Captivated is probably a better one.
JR had to push me along or you would have seen nothing but pictures of this contraption. 

There you have a mini trip to the Phoenicia grocery store. I left out the meat and dairy section. Obviously, the meat section because we don't spend any time there but the dairy section (where I do spend too much time and it shows) was too expansive to take all in on the first trip. We'll be back. Back to pick up fresh goat cheese if nothing else. Oh and the green lentils. I need those.
So what did you all do over the weekend?



  1. Nothing nearly as interesting as that. Nick roofed half of his parents rental and then spent the rest of the weekend moaning about how much he hurt. WE also tried to keep warm and dry as it was a blustery, rainy weekend here.

  2. That's a pretty cool looking place. I used to love to go to Central Market all the time and just graze. I loved all the demo stations and the fact that they gave out free samples at the deli.

  3. Yes, the estimable JR is pretty mellow, usually ('cept when it comes to lovin' up the kitteh, but that's 'nother story). That's about the most way coolest market ever! I'll join you in a group drool in the crockery and Belgian chocolate aisles :-)

  4. Hell woman, there must be 30ft of olive oil on those shelves.
    And ta think you had to be dragged to the place. Bet you felt an idiot.

  5. Vandy: I'm sorry to hear that it was cold up there. Try to stay warm.

    Jay: Central Market is wonderful. We take out of town guest there.

    Julie: the Kittah and football. Two things that get JR's blood up.

    Vince: I KNOW! I saw that olive oil aisle and thought I'd gone to heaven. The Italian woman said she had tried nearly all of them. I want to live at her house.

  6. I am sold on the pita bread alone. Now I will make hummus tonight to celebrate. :-)

  7. What a fun store to hang out at. I'd be jealous but you know what I spent my weekend doing-loving on my new little grandson!!!
    If/when I ever get to Houston please bring me there!

  8. Oh, wow. That place is like heaven. I want one!

  9. Oh my. That looks REALLY cool.

    I didn't do much. Had Thanksgiving dinner. Twice.

  10. Holy Cow. That place is uber-cool. There's nothing like that even close to here. Cheers Michele!!