Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shopping notes

inside Balthazar Bakery

In one trip to Englewood today, I shopped at three of my favorite places for food -- H Mart, Balthazar Bakery and Jerry's Gourmet, where I sampled cheese and wine.

H Mart was almost empty, because the street was blocked by police for Veterans Day. I looked over the blue crabs, large Chilean sea bass fillets and fresh fish, then bought a Korean roll made with rice, vegetables and crab (not sure if it is artificial) and wrapped in seaweed ($4.99). I've sometimes heard this called finger maki. I also picked up plum tomatoes, a head of escarole and fresh collard greens. (25 Lafayette Ave., 201-871-8822.)

At Balthazar Bakery, I bought a quarter of the signature pain de siegle (sliced), a large, round, sourdough rye bread with a "B" stamped in the crust ($3.75 for a quarter). I looked longingly at the wonderful fruit tarts and other pastries, but bought none. (214 S. Dean St., 201-503-9717.)

At Jerry's, an employee was pouring Portuguese and Italian wines to go with the free cheese samples, and I tried them. I had hoped to find three complete dinners with wild fish, such as the Chilean sea bass I had recently, but had to settle for farmed salmon and farmed tilapia. The restaurant-quality dinners are only $6.99.

In the back of the store, there were a couple of cases of imported Pomi marinara sauce, from fresh tomatoes, in aseptic packages that don't need to be refrigerated. At two 26.45-ounce packages for $3.99, they were a good deal. Each would be more than enough for a half-pound of pasta. (410 S. Dean St., 201- 871-7108.)
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