Friday, February 19, 2010

An anniversary sale I couldn't miss

Mitsuwa Marketplace ミツワマーケットプレイスImage via Wikipedia

I was out of the inexpensive sake I use for cooking, so the anniversary sale at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater came just in time. Prices are good through Feb. 28. This sale is not to be confused with the Decemeber sale, when just about everything in the Japanese supermarket is 20% off.

You will find some items at 25% off, such as the California sake I use to steam clams and frozen wild salmon or to add to an Asian-inspired noodle sauce. Dry Yaegaki sake is $5.99 for a 1.5 liter bottle -- $2 off. I bought two yesterday. I also bought Hakushika-brand Japanese sake for drinking, $7.99 for a 720 milliliter bottle -- also $2 off.

Unfortunately, sale items are scattered throughout the store and many were gone by noon, when I got there. Three non-sale items: instant ramen with the lowest salt content I could find -- Shirakiku Miso Ramen, five packages for $4.99; three packages of miso soup mix with tofu ($1.99), grilled eel ($5.25) and whole wheat soba noddles ($3.49).

Mitsuwa has one of the best food courts around, and tables have a terrific view of Manhattan and Riverside Church. You can enjoy ramen, Berkshire pork cutlets, sushi and even spaghetti and meatballs. At St. Honore Bakery, where I bought a cup of black coffee, you can get a pan-fried noodle hero sandwich for $1.80, said to be a popular item.

I don't think you can find higher prices than you'll see on kobe beef, raw blue-fin tuna belly, produce and some other items at Mitsuwa. I saw one young man selecting two, small Washington State-raised kobe steaks -- each about a third of a pound -- for about $26 a pound.

On the way home, I always stop at the Trader Joe's just down the road for uncured, preservative-free hot dogs and bacon ($3.99), and drug- and preservative-free Applegate Farms cold cuts, $3.59 for ham and $3.69 for herbed turkey breast. (Fairway Market in Paramus offers Applegate Frams products by the pound, as well as pre-sliced.) I also picked up organic, free-range chicken drumsticks for $1.99 a pound.

Trader Giotto's hand-made, frozen, mostly organic vegetarian pizza from Italy ($4.29) sounded promising, having been cooked in a wood-burning oven. I heated in up for dinner (13 minutes in a 400-degree oven), and it was filling but bland. When I served it to my wife, her reaction made me feel like a waiter in a lousy pizzeria.

Mitsuwa Marketplace, 595 River Road, Edgewater;
201-941-9113. American Express cards not accepted.

Trader Joe's, 715 River Road, Edgewater;
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