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Triangle (Raleigh/Durham) food shopping


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I'm curious about the best places to shop for specialty items in the Triangle.

I know about Southern Season and its wonderful selection, but where are the go to places for locally grown produce, baked items, artisan cheeses, etc.

Also, where are the best ethnic markets? I'm particularly interested in Asian markets, but Eastern European and Hispanic markets are also of interest. As well as any other specialty markets, for that matter.

Thanks!

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I'm curious about the best places to shop for specialty items in the Triangle.

I know about Southern Season and its wonderful selection, but where are the go to places for locally grown produce, baked items, artisan cheeses, etc.

Also, where are the best ethnic markets?  I'm particularly interested in Asian markets, but Eastern European and Hispanic markets are also of interest.  As well as any other specialty markets, for that matter.

Thanks!

The Carrboro Farmers Market has the best selection of produce. They're open Saturdays and Wednesday afternoons.

There's two good Asian markets, and I can't recall the name of either. One is in South Hills Mall (Grand Asia, I believe) and one is on the Raleigh side of Garner on Highway 64.

I think there's a good number of Indian shops in Cary in the Chatham Square area, which is a set of strip malls at the corner of Chatham and Maynard. There's also a German grocer in that area.

The best breads are at Gugelhupf in Durham and La Farm in Cary. La Farm's breads are also available at the NC State Farmers Market in southern Raleigh. This farmers market is open every day and also has some good sources of beef, rabbit, and poultry.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I'm curious about the best places to shop for specialty items in the Triangle.

I know about Southern Season and its wonderful selection, but where are the go to places for locally grown produce, baked items, artisan cheeses, etc

Has anyone mentioned Fowler's yet?

I keep citing it online. I have not been there for a while but as it seems to have a Web presence, I gather it still is going strong.

I used to periodically visit the Raleigh - Durham - Chapel Hill area where food-fanatic friends lived, and we always ate very well. At numerous places both humble and fancy. Numerous. (It led to one of the fatter and more varied of my regional restaurant files.)

And establishments like Fowler's combination shop in Durham. It would have gotten nods of respect equally in New York or San Francisco, in my opinion. At Fowler's, multiple generations offered equipment and ingredients and insightful wines all crammed into one little shop. One time I encountered a senior Mr. Fowler (looking like a philosophical retired baseball pro for some reason, that was my offhand impression anyway) at a cheese counter with a large block of cream cheese, offering samples. I quipped something from a scene late in Thos. Mann's novel Felix Krull about a conversation across a block of cream cheese. Without missing a beat, Mr. Fowler retorted from Buddenbrooks. What more could you ask from a food retailer.

Finally (as you know already if you are an Internet-history buff), public online forums got started at UNC Chapel Hill in 1979 (due to Steve Bellovin and associates). The great-grandparents of forum software like this here -- and establishing conventions that we still use today. (The Kitty Hawk of Internet forums.) An interesting and varied corner of the United States.

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The natural foods thread covers some of what you're looking for, so I wont duplicate that here. In terms of bread, I'd have to put Weaver St. above at least Guglhupf (though the pastries at Guglhupf are outstanding).

I second the Grand Asia call by Varmint. It's really them and everyone else. However, it's a bit of a trip from my Durham home and I've found Asia Mkt on 15-501 near Foster's and Guglhupf to be pretty good in a pinch.

Ditto the Chatham Sq. for Indian food. Pretty much anything you could want.

Best middle eastern grocery is likely Neomonde (at least the one in Raleigh, the one in Morrisville is pretty much just a restaurant and has a much smaller selection of groceries).

Mexican groceries are really pretty spotty. They're all over the place, but none have been consistantly good enough for me to totally endorse. One time you go in and everything looks great, the next time you go by there, the one item you went for looks totally piqued and the shelves are bare. That said, you're likely to have better luck in Durham than most other places and if I had to pick a few, I'd take the one at the corner of Club and Roxboro or Superior up Roxboro another half mile or so. Of course, there's always Miss Tortilla on 98 at Mineral Springs which has a great selection of take away prepared foods (including fresh tortillas) but really lame produce.

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The natural foods thread covers some of what you're looking for, so I wont duplicate that here.  In terms of bread, I'd have to put Weaver St. above at least Guglhupf (though the pastries at Guglhupf are outstanding).

Would you provide a link to the Natural Foods thread. I'm not sure where to find it.

Also, where is Weaver St?

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If you are in Durham, the Durham Farmers Market on Morris St. just a little North of Morgan St. is every Saturday from 8 until noon. There are twenty five to thirty vendors these days and plenty of produce, dairy, meats, and other natural products to choose from. The craft vendors are horrid, but the food purveyors are great. My wife and I go every weekend. Highlights include Chapel Hill Creamery Cheese, Fickle Farm chicken, Randy and Rexanne's sweet potatoes, Miraboo garden's salsas, ohh the list goes on. I find it much less pretentious than the Carrboro market.

Bryan C. Andregg

"Give us an old, black man singing the blues and some beer. I'll provide the BBQ."

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