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I moved to Denver ten years ago after living close to one coast or another most of my life. Though I miss the jumble of cultures found in port cities, I've found some great places to shop thanks to strong ethnic neighborhoods - they just tend to be slightly more far-flung around here. Thought it might be good to start a forum for people who'd rather drive 20 minutes to the Pacific Ocean market on Alameda rather than pay $7 for a lousy pack of nori at some heath food chain.

Anyone interested in helping compile a list?

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Wish I could offer information for you, but I'll be interested in reading what anyone might have to recommend. We're smack on the bottom side of Denver, so places like Pacific Market are a bit of a hike to get to (edit again - yeah, I'm often too lazy to drive the distance to save any money. :wink:) ...so I usually rely on mail order or area grocery stores and the health food stores. Whole foods has been fairly decent, though $$. Cost Plus sometimes has some hard to find ingredients (the one in Littleton by Southwest Plaza started carrying japanese mayo a while ago).

I know there are a few Indian grocers in the greenwood village/aurora area. I went over to one place quite a while back for curry leaves and it was a hole in the wall...but, he did have some fresh stuff and odds and ends stashed away in there. There wasn't much I couldn't have just ordered and saved a trip, unfortunately...though his bags of spices & herbs were huge. I have a giant bag of dill I couldn't pass up that will never be used up.

Tony's Meats down in Littleton often has good meats and again, odds and ends when it comes to gourmet ingredients. They lean towards the italian as far as selection.

If you have some dirt or room for a planter these herbs do particularily well here:

coriander

dill

mint

basil

lavender

sage

chives

garlic

I put in marjoram last year and planted lemongrass somewhere around here, so we'll see how well those do next year if they pop up somewhere and I recognize them. :smile:

(edit -duh, I just saw you said "ten years ago" - I wrote out my post thinking "recent transplant" - my apologies)

Edited by megaira (log)

". . . if waters are still, then they can't run at all, deep or shallow."

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I go to Pacific Ocean Market as well. Quite sad that the plaza will become a Super Walmart. Last time I was there they had scallops in the shell for $2.99 a pound and blue crabs for I think $3.99/lb. I'd never until then seen scallops still in the shell.

Edited by mtdew (log)
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Pacific Mercantile at 19th and Larimer in downtown Denver, now almost 60 years old, is still a phenomenal resource for Asian ingredients of all kinds.

In Boulder, the Asian Deli/Seafood/International Market on 28th just south of Valmont is okay for basic Asian ingredients (I don't trust it for seafood or fresh foods though).

Marczyk (spelling?) at 17th and Clarkson in Denver is good for upscale ingredients, including aged beef etc.

edit to add: Marczyk is not an inexpensive ethnic source, but a source for high end ingredients.

East Side Kosher Deli (499 S. Elm Denver) for kosher meats (again, not cheap).

Edited by afoodnut (log)
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I go to the grocery on the south side of the Far East Center (Federal & Alameda) quite a bit, especially for mangos in season, other produce like asian greens, fresh water chestnuts, papayas etc. They have crab tanks also for live crab, as well as dry goods. There is a middle eastern grocery (I don't seem to know the names of any of the places that I go to??) on the east side of Colorado about 2 blocks south of Evans, that has good prices on things like bulgar, lentils, spices etc.

There are several carnecerias and seasonal Mexican corner produce stands that have a good supply of dried chiles, tortillas, crema, fresh limes, mangos, papayas etc., especially in the north and west sides of town.

Parisi's, about to reopen at 44th and Tennyson, is good for Italian ingredients--pastas, cheese, rices, salamis, prosciutto.

Aurora does have good Indian grocers, it's helpful for when I want to browse, which doesn't always work so well on line, depending on the site.

I find Marzyks, and most of Denver actually, to be lacking as far as gourmet items goes. There aren't many options, and often no one seems to have what I'm looking for. This is with the caveat that I have trouble forcing myself to go to the southern suburbs, so I don't know if Tony's or Cooks Fine Foods (something like that) in the tech center has a better variety of high end ingredients.

Fred Bramhall

A professor is one who talk's in someone else's sleep

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Just so I wasn't mistaken: I have no objection to Whole Foods, Wild Oats, etc., I just find them expensive. Except for bulk dry goods an bulk herbs, which are a great deal. And I don't mind paying for fish.

So you touched on some of my favorite places already:

Pacific Mercantile: Decent fruits and veg, fish (esp. if you just want a small piece of tuna or the like to cut up yourself for sashimi), condiments, Japanese pickles, tea, rice, etc as would be expected. Octopus and fish roe for my 9-year-old and funky candies the other kids like. They also sell a commercial wok ring that I covet but have no room for in my kitchen. Staff speak very good english which is often not the case at other places.

Pacific Ocean: One of my first jobs in Denver was at a Cherry Creek restaurant - the cooks and I would sneak out between shifts to shop there. It's still like going abroad. Cheap fresh herbs, asian vegetables, an entire isle of noodles...I like browsing through the kitchen equipment (more commercial wok rings - can anyone tell me how to rig one up in the back yard?), amazing barbecue. I go back and forth on the fish there, but at least you can prod and sniff an poke at it (very much unlike Marczyk's). I forget the name of the other place perpendicular to it on the south side, but I've never much liked it there for ill-defined reasons.

Marczyk's: I have it on authority from a good friend that Peter is a great guy. He did give me a free oyster once while I was shopping, so I see no reason to disagree. (I left with a dozen.) I was, however, once scolded by the butcher for touching the shell of an oyster in the case (wanting to see if it would close) which I found annoying. Why have an open case otherwise? I'm sure he had good health dept. reasons, but I do like to get close when I'm paying that kind of coin. So I have mixed feelings about the place. Great cheeses. I continue to go, but don' rely on it yet as a mainstay.

Oliver's Meats on 6th Ave: The best butchers around. They can make recommendations on how to cook/make anything - from demi-glace (you can also just buy it) to pork sausage to fish. Need frog legs? Hog casings? Duck breast that isn't frozen? A $30 steak? The clientelle can be a little snooty (who else can afford prime) but the guys behind the counter are anything but. I couldn't recommend them more for fish, meat, and first-rate knowledge they're willing to share.

Speaking of Oliver's - can anyone remember the name of the bakery across the street? It makes the trip to Olivers worth the dash across sixth during rush hour for the one-two punch.

As an aside - also across the street is Clair de Lune. Ate there once for a significant anniversary; I wanted to like it more. The whole story is great - chef scales down to do what he wants to do as an owner/operator, but I wasn't as impressed as I wanted to be. But I digress...

And I will get the name of my favorite bakery over in Northwest Denver. It's down the end of 32nd St away from Mondo Vino and all the shops. Hands down the best; I believe it's the Denver Bread Co. or something to that effect?

Albertson's on Alameda and Broadway: It's no great secret being a chain, but that's where I tend to gravitate for everyday Mexican ingredients. They do a lot of volume so things tend to be fresh and inexpensive.

For those who don't mind shopping online: I used to live in the Bronx and have fond memories of shopping on Arthur Avenue:

http://www.arthuravenuebronx.com/

I too need to confirm some addresses before I post anymore, since I navigate more by instinct or compulsion. i.e. Komart for stinky kimchee down on Havana - passing Sir Loin on the way - another excellent butcher.

I forgot who mentioned it - looking forward to Parisi's - I haven't really found an Italian place that grabs me yet. Spinelli's on 23rd is good for some things; I do buy all my pasta there.

Thanks for your contributions and I'll look forward to reading more. Is anyone interested in commericial equipment/cutlery suppliers open to the public? I have two - any guesses?

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Marczyk's: I have it on authority from a good friend that Peter is a great guy. He did give me a free oyster once while I was shopping, so I see no reason to disagree. (I left with a dozen.) I was, however, once scolded by the butcher for touching the shell of an oyster in the case (wanting to see if it would close) which I found annoying. Why have an open case otherwise? I'm sure he had good health dept. reasons, but I do like to get close when I'm paying that kind of coin. So I have mixed feelings about the place. Great cheeses. I continue to go, but don' rely on it yet as a mainstay.

I think the owners are nice people also, but I often feel somewhat ignored by staff, and there always seems to be 1 of the 3 items that I went in for that they don't carry, or doesn't look good that day or something.

As far as cheeses, the Truffle on 6th Ave. has a good selection as well. The owners can come off as arrogant, but they are true cheese fanatics and it shows in the cheese.

Oliver's Meats on 6th Ave: The best butchers around. They can make recommendations on how to cook/make anything - from demi-glace (you can also just buy it) to pork sausage to fish. Need frog legs? Hog casings? Duck breast that isn't frozen? A $30 steak? The clientelle can be a little snooty (who else can afford prime) but the guys behind the counter are anything but. I couldn't recommend them more for fish, meat, and first-rate knowledge they're willing to share.

I agree completely on Oliver's--the best around. The bakery across the street is now (as of about 2 weeks ago) called Two Boys Bakery. Before that Nonna's, before that Bluepoint.

I have the same feeling about Clair de Lune--I actually liked the food Sean served at Aubergine better, not to mention it was less expensive and more accessible (more seats, more casual, a little more selection).

And I will get the name of my favorite bakery over in Northwest Denver. It's down the end of 32nd St away from Mondo Vino and all the shops. Hands down the best; I believe it's the Denver Bread Co. or something to that effect?

It is called Denver Bread Company and they make a great levain loaf.

Thanks for your contributions and I'll look forward to reading more. Is anyone interested in commericial equipment/cutlery suppliers open to the public? I have two - any guesses?

United Restaurant Source on Washington St. at about 52nd would be one of them, I'm guessing.

Fred Bramhall

A professor is one who talk's in someone else's sleep

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