Last Christmas dinner, Dan cooked a traditional English Roast. The meal planning involved a trip to a local British imports grocery store, Friar Tucks Shoppe. While it was a lot of fun to poke around in Friar Tucks, we spent a ton of money and walked away with a small bag. We declared it a great little place when Dan needs a taste of home, but certainly not somewhere that we would shop with any frequency.
Cut to last night...
We were craving Indian food and decided to try a local Indian grocery store that has an attached casual restaurant, India Sweets and Spices. India Sweets and Spices has been walking distance from my house forever, but having only recently discovered a love for Indian food, it's not a place that I had ever visited.
It was a good find.
The dining area is more fast food, than a restaurant, where you pay at the counter and pick what you want from giant vats cafeteria style. It's cheap, tasty and plentiful. Seriously, I couldn't believe how much food was piled on to our plates.
The combo meal came with a small mango lassi, so it was like getting a drink and dessert in one go. One of the main dishes that I ordered was a vegan curried cauliflower. I love vegetables, but cauliflower is one that I normally avoid. It always seems bland. The way that they had the cauliflower prepared was delicious. I also had a fried cauliflower dish that was great, although deep frying anything normally makes it yummy.
After dinner, we went into the grocery store, which was huge. Dan was delighted to find rows of products imported from the UK. Tons of stuff, including lots of Cadbury! Although more than we would pay in the UK, the prices were far below those at the Friar Tuck Shoppe or Cost Plus Imports. Not only were the prices better, but the selection was easily double. We hit the jackpot!
A nice employee handed us a shopping basket and we started throwing all kind of stuff into it. Admittedly, the only UK product that we bought was Jacob's Cream Crackers. We head to the UK in a few weeks, so we can do our grocery shopping there. Although, with the terrible exchange rate, we might be better off buying our UK treats in America!
Shopping at India Sweets and Spices was a truly international experience.
We bought Marilan wafer cookies from Brazil, tomato rice mix from India, Mutter Paneer mix from India, Tikka Masala from California and pineapple jello from Pakistan. What Americans call Jello, the Brits call Jelly. Initially this led to a bit of confusion in our household, but this morning, I caught Dan referring to the Jello as Jello. Score one for Karen! Apparently they call Jello, Jelly in Pakistan too.
All of that, plus a coconut, came to fourteen dollars! We were very happy with the good deal and fun shopping experience. I'm looking forward to future trips and new discoveries.