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JayBassin

Chinese groceries in Maryland?

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My go-to Chinese grocery store recently went Latino and Korean. Maxim's and the "International" grocery across University both went 100% Latino, and the Aspen Hill oriental grocery (Han Ah Reum) is now 100% Korean. Any recommendations for Chinese (Cantonese, Sichuan) groceries in the Silver Spring-Wheaton-Takoma Park areas?

edited to add name of Aspen Hill store.


Edited by JayBassin (log)

He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau

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Han Ah Reum in Wheaton (Georgia Avenue, about a mile past the downtown Wheaton area) has every Asian grocery item I've ever looked for, plus a few I haven't. Have you ever been there? It's really large and nice and they play fun 1980s pop music to boot.

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My go-to Chinese grocery store recently went Latino and Korean. Maxim's and the "International" grocery across University both went 100% Latino, and the Aspen Hill oriental grocery is now 100% Korean. Any recommendations for Chinese (Cantonese, Sichuan) groceries in the Silver Spring-Wheaton-Takoma Park areas?

Jay, I still mourn the loss of the Oriental Market at Piney Branch and Univ. They were the only place with a wide selection of teas, ceramics and about anything else you wanted. LA Mart just doesn't do it justice and neither does Han Ah Rheum. I do get our vegs and fruit and HAR though. There is a place east on Univ across from Patel Bros. Indian that I haven't checked out. Woods

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Han Ah Reum in Wheaton (Georgia Avenue, about a mile past the downtown Wheaton area) has every Asian grocery item I've ever looked for, plus a few I haven't. Have you ever been there? It's really large and nice and they play fun 1980s pop music to boot.

This must be the place my folks go to...I remember being hysterical over the music they were playing when I was there! There is a HUGE Asian population in the Rockville area as well, and I know that there are tons of stores there. Will ask my dad to chime in with his favorites. Stand by!


"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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YOU "GOTTA" COME TO ROCKVILLE!

THERE ARE TWO FULL SERVICE CHINESE MARKETS , ACTUALLY WITHIN A

BLOCK OF ONE ANOTHER.

ON 355 AKA ROCKVILLE PIKE/HUNGERFORD DR/SOMETIMES FREDERICK RD

THERE IS ONE

THE OTHER IN JUST ONE BLOCK NORTH ON NORTH WASHINGTON STREET

WE HAVE AN LARGE ETHNIC CHINESE POPULATION HERE

IN ROCKVILLE, WHICH MEANS WE CAN HAVE OUR WHATEVER AND EAT IT TOO.

SORRY I CANNOT CALL EITHER BY NAME, BUT IF YOU'LL CALL ME - I'D MEET YOU

AT A CONVENIENT LOCATION AND SHOW BOTH OF THEM TO YOU.

TED TASK

301-947-6677

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Han Ah Reum in Wheaton (Georgia Avenue, about a mile past the downtown Wheaton area) has every Asian grocery item I've ever looked for, plus a few I haven't. Have you ever been there? It's really large and nice and they play fun 1980s pop music to boot.

I visited Han Ah Reum last weekend---they didn't have any of the Chinese ingredients on my list, and the "customer service" folks didn't know what I was talking about. All their stuff is now Korean, with some Japanese and Thai and Vietnamese.


He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau

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YOU "GOTTA" COME TO ROCKVILLE!

THERE ARE TWO FULL SERVICE CHINESE MARKETS , ACTUALLY WITHIN A

BLOCK OF ONE ANOTHER.

ON 355 AKA ROCKVILLE PIKE/HUNGERFORD DR/SOMETIMES FREDERICK RD

THERE IS ONE

THE OTHER IN JUST ONE BLOCK NORTH ON NORTH WASHINGTON STREET

WE HAVE AN  LARGE ETHNIC CHINESE POPULATION HERE

IN ROCKVILLE, WHICH MEANS WE CAN HAVE OUR WHATEVER AND EAT IT TOO.

SORRY I CANNOT CALL EITHER BY NAME, BUT IF YOU'LL CALL ME - I'D MEET YOU

AT A CONVENIENT LOCATION AND SHOW BOTH OF THEM TO YOU.

TED TASK

301-947-6677

Thanks, Ted--very generous of you. I've heard that there are good Chinese groceries in Rockville, as well as in Virginia---but I was hoping for a miracle closer to home. I live in downtown Silver Spring. I may have to trek up the Pike, though.


He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau

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I'm sorry to hear that, Jay. Most of my Asian cooking is fairly pan-Asian, not specific to any one country or region, so I didn't realize they were lacking in authentic Chinese ingredients. I've never asked for customer service anywhere but the fish counter there--just seemed like a bad idea, and I'm sorry you had to find that out for sure.

I'm just being curious now: what ingredients were you seeking that you haven't found?

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The Rockville stores are Maxim (on 355) and Kam Sam (on N. Washington St). Sorry I can't be of more assistance in SS - the only store I frequent in that area is the Thai market on Thayer.


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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I'm sorry to hear that, Jay. Most of my Asian cooking is fairly pan-Asian, not specific to any one country or region, so I didn't realize they were lacking in authentic Chinese ingredients. I've never asked for customer service anywhere but the fish counter there--just seemed like a bad idea, and I'm sorry you had to find that out for sure.

I'm just being curious now: what ingredients were you seeking that you haven't found?

Agree with Jay: the Korean gorceries generally lack the more esoteric Chinese foods I use in cooking. For example, two things I have looked for and even asked for at Korean groceries such as Han Ah Rheum in Wheaton and Korean Korner in Rockville but did not find were dried shrimp that is shell-less (they had only dried shrimp in the shell, which my Korean husband tells me is used in Korean cooking, and which I have never seen in Chinese cooking); and canned sweet red-bean paste (they only had canned whole red-beans in a thin paste, for use in shaved-ice desserts).

That's not to mention the disturbing lack of my favorite, beloved Chinese bakery treats like po lo (pineapple) buns and coconut buns, which are an essential impulse-buy when I grocery-shop! :smile:

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I'm just being curious now: what ingredients were you seeking that you haven't found?

Among other things, I couldn't find Chinese black vinegar (they only had Viet or Thai or Japanese white rice vinegars); Chinese sausage (Maxim's used to have a "deli" department); and fermented bean curd (foo yu).


He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau

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I'm just being curious now: what ingredients were you seeking that you haven't found?

Among other things, I couldn't find Chinese black vinegar (they only had Viet or Thai or Japanese white rice vinegars); Chinese sausage (Maxim's used to have a "deli" department); and fermented bean curd (foo yu).

I've purchased Chinese sausage at the Thai Market on Thayer.


If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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Thank you for starting this thread! Here in D.C. proper, Lee's in Chinatown closed.

Two questions:

Are any of these places Metro-accessible?

Does anyone sell good FRESH water chestnuts?


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I'm just being curious now: what ingredients were you seeking that you haven't found?

Among other things, I couldn't find Chinese black vinegar (they only had Viet or Thai or Japanese white rice vinegars); Chinese sausage (Maxim's used to have a "deli" department); and fermented bean curd (foo yu).

I've purchased Chinese sausage at the Thai Market on Thayer.

Really! I shop there regularly and I never thought to ask. Is it sold frozen?


He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau

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Two questions:

Are any of these places Metro-accessible?

I can only answer this one. Maxim is about 2 blocks from the Rockville metro station. Kam Sam is about one block behind it (through the parking lot and past Bob's Noodle 66, a very good Taiwanese restaurant).

Browniebaker, Kam Sam has a bakery with very good coconut buns, and I am resonably sure that Maxim's carries Maria's Bakery stuff.


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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[quote name=JayBassin' date='Oct 13 2005, 12:37 PM

I've purchased Chinese sausage at the Thai Market on Thayer.

Really! I shop there regularly and I never thought to ask. Is it sold frozen?

Can't recall, but think so. It was in one of the coolers on the far right wall as you stand in the door. The one on the left, if memory serves me correct.


If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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Two questions:

Are any of these places Metro-accessible?

I can only answer this one. Maxim is about 2 blocks from the Rockville metro station. Kam Sam is about one block behind it (through the parking lot and past Bob's Noodle 66, a very good Taiwanese restaurant).

Browniebaker, Kam Sam has a bakery with very good coconut buns, and I am resonably sure that Maxim's carries Maria's Bakery stuff.

Thanks, Heather! I've been meaning forever to check out these two stores, and now that my new Costco membership takes me up the Pike on weekends, well, I just hope these two don't go Latino any time soon!

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Thanks, Heather! I've been meaning forever to check out these two stores, and now that my new Costco membership takes me up the Pike on weekends, well, I just hope these two don't go Latino any time soon!

You're welcome! I highly doubt they will go Latino - they are always jumping, and this is the area the Post highlighted as the new "Chinatown" a while back.


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Yes, thanks, Heather J Shorter!

I'll try to get out to Rockville some time soon and report back about the availability of fresh water chestnuts. They are common in St. Louis where there is a large and venerable Chinese American community, and popular in Boulder, Colorado among the Birkenstock crowd. The real deal is different than the canned variety, sweet as candy as well as crunchy. I tend to use Jerusalem Artichokes instead when I can find them.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Postscript since my thanks was premature.

I went out to investigate both places today and I am in :wub: THANK YOU!!!!!!

Kam Sam is my favorite of the two, but probably only because I went there first. The place seemed a bit bigger, however, Maxim did carry a few things that Kam Sam did not...and vice versa.

The service at Kam Sam was also endearingly kind, from the first telephone call to the question about qualities of the different brands of fish sauce. (I asked one shopper who was squatting next to me and through her help, I ended up with about seven different men behind the fish counter consulting one another & two opinions: one the most expensive brand, the other a contradiction expressed with greater, persuasive conviction).

In addition to finding oodles and oodles of aisles of enticing packages in both stores, I was really impressed by the produce. Beautiful, beautiful greens. Fresh water chestnuts and bunches of scallions for 39 or 50 cents, top notch watercress for 69 cents, little bags of Thai basil for 79 cents and so forth. Quite a few kinds of mushrooms, including fresh something that looked like porcini, only the cap was small compared to the swollen lower part of the tapering stem. (Possibly the Chinese boletus, but I could swear it was called Oyster something even though it did not resemble oyster mushrooms which they also had.)

Eels swam in buckets. Tilapia swished and peered out of glass tanks. The meat looked pink as the first party dress of the little girl with four older brothers. All except the purple black frozen silken chicken. St Johns and his patron saint Anthony would have had to cross their legs tight, shifting back and forth with disciplined joy to see all the little bitty parts of piggies.

A major shipment arrives at Maxim's Saturday afternoon from Philly, kind of late. Both stores stay open till 8:30 PM and close a little earlier other days, and judging from the crowds, I got the impression today (Sat.) is their biggest shopping day.

And yes, there were lots of different kinds of Chinese sausages to choose from. I did not check frozen foods, but there were packages of Chinese style ones looking pretty authentic from San Francisco.

Oh, and I forgot to check the case with sweets and pastries, but I had a nice folded pancake filled with chives and egg to tide me over as I made my way home.

And passing by, Bob's Noodle Shop was jam-packed at around 6:30 pm. Looked great. This really made up for the morning when I discovered yet another one of my posts had been deleted.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Since it's too late to edit the text above, let me correct one error in fact here:

At the restaurant (vs. store) that I passed, Joe's got the noodles, not Bob.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Inverting the original purpose of this thread:

Is this new Latino market any good?

What about other mercados or bodegas in the area that you recommend, especially for the quality of produce, dairy and meat?


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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