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Scott Johnston

Kam Sam Supermarket

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I am surprised that there is not a thread on this market. Sam Kam is a gem, not only is it a mini Asian supermarket, but they have prepared foods and a bakery as well. Today I was able to get two large bags of beef bones for a dollar each, good looking pork belly at $2.79 per pound, and a fresh made BBQ Pork Bun for $1.29. Several veggies at good prices (maybe slightly higher than Super H). Take out lunch is rice or noodles and any three items (from 25-30) for $4.50. Friendly folks and it is right next to Bob's Shabu Shabu to boot.

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http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&um=1...156482542862183

I am surprised that there is not a thread on this market. Sam Kam is a gem, not only is it a mini Asian supermarket, but they have prepared foods and a bakery as well. Today I was able to get two large bags of beef bones for a dollar each, good looking pork belly at $2.79 per pound, and a fresh made BBQ Pork Bun for $1.29. Several veggies at good prices (maybe slightly higher than Super H). Take out lunch is rice or noodles and any three items (from 25-30) for $4.50. Friendly folks and it is right next to Bob's Shabu Shabu to boot.

Right in front on the the Pike is Maxim. But the two are so close that you could walk from one to the other- what my parents usually do. Although it's not what it was years ago when it was in Langley Park.

The best thing is if you are there early on a weekend morning and get a box of six pan-fried steamed pork and leek buns. Crisp on the bottom, slightly sweet dough and tasty filling, I could easily eat all six by the time I've hit the MD/DC border. Also live tilapia for rock-bottom prices.

Frozen taro buns and sesame-speckled sweet bread whose Chinese name escapes me at the moment make good breakfasts.

Similar deal to Kam Sam with boxed lunches, but unfortunately the baked goods are brought in from outside. Back in the day they used to have the best fresh egg custards, pineapple buns, and char siu bao. Despite how dirty it was, I was very sad the day the one in Langley Park closed - it was the one place where we would always get all our Chinese goods before all these super stores opened.

Also, cheap watch battery replacement in the shop on the side.

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Right in front on the the Pike is Maxim. But the two are so close that you could walk from one to the other- what my parents usually do. Although it's not what it was years ago when it was in Langley Park.

The Rockville Maxim operated in parallel with the Langley Park location for years, although the latter always seemed larger to me.

More to the point, while I love the convenience of the Korean pan-Asian megasupermarkets, I still need a good Chinese supermarket for the right prepared items and dumplings...the Korean equivalents are just plain different, even if they bear obvious superficial similarities. And even though Lotte stocks a fair number of Chinese-style items, they tend to come from volume brands. Imagine finding an American cheese section in a European grocery, but the only brand was Kraft.

And thus, Kam Sam is useful. Don't forget that their driveway is one-way and you have to use the entrance on the left.

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I don't go much to Kam Sam Annandale because of the expansion of bigger Asian supermarkets....but it is a nice one-two punch with a trip to the VA A&J in the same building.

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I love Maxim. I think their prepared foods are a bit fresher than those at Kam Sam Rockville. It's also funny that 1 sells some things that the other doesn't sell.

I don't like Kam Sam Annandale very much either. I find that their stuff is not that fresh, such as limpy produce or not very good looking meats. I recently bought something from there that spoiled quite quickly (can't remember what), so I was not happy about that. The store is also cramped and parking is not very accessible or easy to maneuver in and out of. However, when it's paired with a meal at A&Js, then it's not so bad.

For the most part, I still like Great Wall in Merrifield, VA for my Chinese stuff. I really like the owners of their food court, and if you call ahead, you can pre-order Taiwanese style rice balls (shhhh, don't tell them I said so). But their you-tiao is just so-so. However, in the summer, they also have shaved ice!

For fruit & produce, I split between Great Wall & Super H. Meat is usually pretty cheap at Great Wall, and I like how you can tell them how many/much you want, instead of buying the pre-packed stuff.

Anyway, I'm just rambling. And Lotte in VA is not good. I was so unimpressed, esp. with Super H nearby. However, they had a yummy Korean cafe nearby, so I guess that sort of makes up for going there.

**Edited because I belated realized that Jake had already said some of the same things! :mellow:

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I still need a good Chinese supermarket for the right prepared items and dumplings...the Korean equivalents are just plain different, even if they bear obvious superficial similarities.

I would add to that the little packaged snacks from Taiwan, various pickles, teas, hot sauces, and fermented tofu. Because of the proliferation of Korean markets, people really miss out on a lot of the little Chinese homestyle snacks.

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love kam sam. The one in rockville is a bit nicer than the Annandale Version, especially for the lunch special where the variety of dishes are larger in Rockville. I generally go for 3 very specific items, lunch special, tofu and pork and leek buns. The pork and leek buns are excellent and I believe the lunch special at either Kam Sam is the best lunch deal in DC area. But the star for me is the tofu. I think they have the best tofu (vs. the korean supermarts). They seem to be fairly fresh and the tofu is the right taste and texture for me.

On top of all of this, having all those chinese ingredients and cooking supplies makes it a great place to augment your shopping.

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I weighted the bones this morning before I put them in the oven. I got 7 pounds for $2 dollars. That is the deal of the day. Safeway wanted $1.99 per pound ($14.00) and theirs were not even cut into 2" pieces!

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Well, my views have changed since up-post of February 2008. Since then, Maxim changed hands to Meixin and their quality has gone down, while Kam Sam's has gone up. So, for the past few years, I have shopped happily at Kam Sam, especially enjoying their summer local farmers' market fruits and produce.

Except, the owners are retiring and have sold the building. So I'm not sure what will be at this lovely location, once the building gets razed, if it does.

The last purported date is last day of May. Currently, all non-produce items are 15% off. But since this was announced in early April, many things have already been cleared off the shelves.

I am very distraught by this news.  :unsure:

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