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  1. Just went to this for the first time and liked it a lot. Their produce selection was not as extensive as the Lotte in Chantilly, it's more akin to the produce in a smaller HMart, but what they had was in good condition and some (including the lotus root) looked very fresh. they had fresh durian too (though it was the stinky kind). i think the selection is more exclusively chinese than some of the other asian markets, for example there were very few indian vegetables (no tindora, etc, though they did have a few karela). they had a huge selection of tofu products though-skins, noodles, pressed, baked, mushroom, five spice, spicy, etc. and a lot of different types of fresh noodles including wide hand-shaved shanxi noodles very similar to panda gourmet's hand pulled noodles. (now i just need to figure out how i can replicate those spices!). they had a lot of products like bings that i haven't seen at other markets. they also have some food stalls-including a taiwanese one, a sichuan one, and one with roast ducks and chickens-- a bakery, a ten ren tea, and a deli where you can buy dim sum by the piece. the hotpot we got was tasty, and while my husband said the dim sum was only ok, the scallion-stuffed pancake we got was very good. one fun thing they do is that when you check out, for every $20 you spend you get $1 in 99Ranch money that you can use at the bakery or the deli, so after you do your shopping you essentially get a free treat which is fun. they had a good selection of dry goods as well. the produce was limited enough that this won't supplant our trips to lotte or the larger HMarts, but they had enough unique items that we'll definitely be adding this to the rotation.
  2. My wonderful +1 and I decided we'd skip our usual trip to Super H and go to Wegmans because a co-worker had told her how wonderful it was and what a marvelous shopping experience...etc, etc, ad infinitum..first, it took 20 minutes to find a parking space within a short cab ride to the door. Secondly, we had to dodge a huge number of flying Loudon valley cart drivers who were obviously getting ready for the Monday morning commute and demolition derby and then we went looking for food we like to eat. Ever try to find tofu in Wegmans? It's in the organic food section...why is it in the organic food section? It's the only tofu they have. Now, I don't know about you, but we're used to being able to select from 5 different types of tofu from 10 different tofu makers. We're not vegans but tofu is very important in our (Asian) diet. Next we went looking for tomato sauce...needless to say, things were placed in totally non-related areas, and the layout of the aisles left a tad to be desired. Maybe Wegmans is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it was the first, last and only time we have gone there.
  3. Whenever I drive down Kalorama and pass 17th st, there is a big sign that mentions a new Harris Teeter and that the website is www.citadeldc.com. The website has info about sending letters & emails to the appropriate government peeps to make the store happen and says if its goes through it would open in the second quarter of 2006. I can't say that I've ever been to a Harris Teeter, but I live a few blocks away and would definitely be interested in another grocery store opening. Does anyone know anything about this, and whether or not its gonna happen?
  4. Can't find a topic for Great Wall in Merrifield, VA so starting one now, please merge if there is already one. I have long been a fan of their steam table food. I am a big fan of steam table food, in general, working class food at working class prices. The Chinese steam table is at the furthest corner from the entry to the grocery store. There you will find some of the finest authentic Chinese food in the area at an unbelievably low price, $5.99 for rice, three generous toppings, and soup. One of the best bargains for food in this area. On the weekends the selection is even better than during the week. I would estimate more than 20 kinds of toppings for the rice. As I understand it, in China, according to author Fuschia Dunlop, food is "fan" which is rice, and toppings, and meat = pork. When you eat at Great Wall, this appears to be right on the money. I am a big fan of the vegetables, e.g., bok choy, gai lan, Shanghai cabbage, spicy eggplant, Buddha delight. They are also generous with servings of ma po tofu, lion head meatballs, and many other things I cannot identify by sight, many containing combinations of chicken, black beans, and pork belly. My current favorite is tofu skins with pork belly. Savory and satisfying. The steam table food is served by lovely Chinese maidens who understand finger-pointing quite well, and appreciate and remember a generous (a dollar or two) tip sufficiently to be more generous the next go round. I am usually the only gwailo ordering when I do, and they do seem to remember me. Whether or not they do remember me, they are very nice Chinese maidens, and deserve to be treated well. They work hard. They also have in that corner various barbecued meats, including whole duck, chicken with head on, and whole pig, all chopped to order. The duck comes with the real duck sauce, with is a broth redolent with spices and heavy on the five spice seasoning. The men who cut up the meat are all Hispanic gentlemen, who also understand finger-pointing quite well. Very interesting to watch the interactions between the different nationalities seeking meat and the Hispanic men chopping it on the humongous chopping boards. This is separate from the steam table food, but the payments are at the same cash register. Also many kinds of dim sum, although I am not a fan of dim sum, personally, and thus, never order it. Also separate from the steam table food, not sure whether you pay at the same cash register or not. If you go for lunch during the week, it appears that many of the customers are local Hispanics who appear to be laborers. On the weekend mostly Asians. Point, receive, pay, and eat. Such is life in the great Melting Pot. Except, of course, that we don't melt.
  5. Good Fortune opened today, and is now the largest international supermarket in Northern Virginia at 44,000 square feet - perhaps this is the shot in the arm that Eden Center needs (and it needs one badly).
  6. I am so thankful to whoever turned me onto the My Organic Market chain as an alternative to Whole Foods. The first time I tried it was sometime this winter when I went to the Arlington WF in search of apples but all I found were soft bruised things for $2 a pound. My stop at MOM's (near Cheesetique) turned up wonderful organic apples in great shape, at about $1.29 a pound. It's certainly not the gourmet food experience that WF is, but if you're looking to buy a week's worth of organic produce for under $30 and Trickling Springs milk in a gallon jug, this is the place to go.
  7. Has anybody else heard that Eatzi's in Rockville has just closed with only 24 hour notice to its employees? Happy Thanksgiving. And others too.
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