Asian market impresses
I'm only an occasional shopper at Asian markets, and have yet to try the big ones down on Washington Avenue, but I was more than suitably impressed in my visit today to Spring Garden Market at the corner of Spring Garden & Fourth with parking in rear. (If anyone has been to both the Spring Garden Market and those on Washington Avenue can provide a comparative analysis, I'd welcome it.)
The photos only show the produce/meat/fish area of the store; an area just has big holds dry goods and refrigerator and freezer cases chock full of ingredients and prepared foods. I've never seen such a collection of steamed buns! (I brought home Flower Scallion Buns to accompany dinner tonight.)
Although I spotted some Filipino-style frozen items, and Japanese noodles, most of the stock is devoted to Chinese foodstuffs.
I refrained from purchasing protein since my larder at home is pretty full, but I will be back. Nicely meaty pork bellies were selling for less than $2/pound; you could get sliced fresh belly for just a little bit more. The range of pork parts was immense: everything from feet, snouts and ears to kidneys, hearts and blood. In the frozen section was an even wider variety of pork, beef and lamb, some of it pre-sliced: thinly sliced leg of lamb, for example, at $5.99/pound. And if you want to make cheese steaks, they've got sliced rib eye, too.
You want Portuguese sardines for the grill? They have them in the frozen section, whole and ungutted. Probably better than anything you can get "fresh" in a fish store. The long fresh fish counter didn't look bad, with the fish properly under ice. (I do wish they would remove the dead fish hanging out in the live tanks under the counter, though.) The fresh mackeral was about 50-cents cheaper per pound that at the Reading Terminal, and looked at least as fresh.
The poultry was plentiful, too, especially duck at reasonable prices. Almost as many different duck parts as pig parts: tongues, feet, gizzards, etc.
By looks alone, the most of the protein looked of decent quality; I will definitely return for taste tests.