On Saturday, customers trying to enter the parking lot of H Mart in Little Ferry wished they were piloting a boat.
By VICTOR E. SASSON
H Mart customers love the bargains they find at the Korean supermarket chain's Little Ferry store, but can't shake the feeling the space is sorely in need of a makeover.
Flooding continues to occur in the parking lot.
The actual store entrance is one of the shabbiest I have ever seen, and takes customers past a liquor concession.
Customers can easily see the interior begs for the same kind of renovation the Englewood store received more than a year ago.
I once peeked into the Little Ferry H Mart's worn public lunchroom and fled, never to return.
The Little Ferry H Mart appears to occupy half of a much larger building that once operated as Valley Fair and then Value Fair, a collection of small merchants. But they are long gone.
On Saturday, I stopped in Little Ferry for a 15-pound bag of white rice, and also took home mangoes and scallions.
H Mart has sold 15-pound bags of Kokuho Yellow Label, a white rice grown in California, for as little as $7.99.
But the sale price shot up after a drought hit that state. On Saturday in Little Ferry, a 15-pound bag was $12.88.
I also picked up two other sale items, a box of 15 mangoes for $7.99, and five bunches of scallions for 99 cents with a store card.
H Mart, 260 Bergen Turnpike, Little Ferry; 201-814-0400. Open 7 days.
Mangoes from Ecuador were a good buy, but I passed on the 5-pound box of Spanish Clementines, below.
Soft-tofu dinner in Pal Park
After the excesses of our Christmas Day dinner, we wanted a simple meal on Saturday, the one night we eat out, and headed for our favorite Korean soft-tofu restaurant in Palisades Park.
I am still in love with the bold flavors and value of this complete meal at So Gong Dong Tofu & B.B.Q. for only $10, including tax -- soft-tofu stew, a fresh egg, white rice, side dishes and tea.
Perilla Seeds and Oyster Soft Tofu was boiling furiously when it was set down in front of me, allowing me to poach a fresh egg in the steaming broth, below.
|True comfort food: Eating a yolk broken over white rice.|
|Simple decor, with plenty of room for extended families.|
A new superfood
I chose a relatively new item on the place-mat menu, Perilla Seeds and Oyster Soft Tofu, which is $10.99, a dollar more than the 13 soft-tofu stews without the seeds of the Asian Shiso plant.
I ordered the stew "more spicy," one of four levels on the menu, including "no spicy."
Perilla Seeds are said to have twice the heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids as chia seeds.
I couldn't see the seeds in the stew, which tasted a lot like the regular Oyster Soft Tofu I order, but I still enjoyed it.
My wife had her usual, Pork Soft Tofu "more spicy" ($9.99), and we also ordered Pajun, a seafood and vegetable pancake made from rice flour to share ($11.99).
So Gong Dong Tofu & B.B.Q., 118 Broad Ave., Second Floor, Palisades Park; 201-313-5550. Open 7 days.
Valet parking and street parking. Meters in effect until 9 p.m. Side-street parking is free.