Tuesday, December 22, 2009

In Englewood, don't forget the food

Gimchi, a very common side dish in Korea

I headed for Palisade Avenue in Englewood yesterday to buy a Christmas present for my son, but I made sure I didn't leave the city without stopping at three of my favorite food places.

On the way there, I hit the kimchi factory on Englewood Avenue that has been my source for spicy cabbage kimchi (photo) and side dishes for about a decade. I bought a 64-ounce bottle of mahk kimchi ($9.99) and a small package of sesame leaves in a sweet-sour sauce ($3.99).

After I picked up the present, I headed down South Dean Street to Balthazar Bakery for two of their signature baguettes, still $2 each six years after the place opened, but couldn't resist an artful, 7-inch pear and hazelnut galette ($6.50) that I'll save for our Christmas dinner.

Back in the car, I continued on South Dean to Jerry's Gourmet, where the lot overflowed, so I parked on the street. I picked up three $6.99, restaurant-quality dinners for tonight. Mine had three Italian favorites in one container -- chicken francese, eggplant parmigiana and sausage with onions and peppers, plus a little pasta and string beans. What a great meal, and all it needed to make it complete was some of that great baguette and a glass of red wine.

Also yesterday, I stopped at Costco in Hackensack to get more organic spring salad mix ($4.49) and bought a boneless Australian leg of lamb, split in two, for $3.99 a pound. This lamb is free-range and grass-fed. I also picked up two loaves of  Kirkland-brand 100% whole grain bread for $3.99.

Today, I found the small Christmas ham I was looking for at Whole Foods Market in Paramus. This applewood-smoked petite ham from the Niman Ranch is vegetarian-fed and nothing but meat -- no antibiotics, no growth hormones, no preservatives ($7.99 a pound). I also got three types of organic beans ($1.09 each) and a six-pack of Red Stripe, the Jamaican beer, on sale for $6.49.

In the seafood department, wild clams from Sandy Hook Bay cooled their heels on ice, but I didn't wait around for a dozen because the single worker had several people to wait on before me. I would have been happy to select my own, if only there were plastic bags nearby.

Arirang Kimchi (Gaboh Inc.), 191 W. Englewood Ave;
Englewood, 201-503-1314.

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