Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Cheap ethnic food

You can get certain foods much cheaper at ethnic groceries than at your local grocery or discount store. (An exception to this is that sometimes Big!Lots and Dollar General have discount Hispanic and/or Asian foods.) You can also find foods at the ethnic groceries that you probably will never find in a regular grocery, especially outside of sophisticated large cities.
~One the best Asian stores I've shopped is TAN-A Supermarket at Horsepen and West Broad Streets. TAN-A carries exotic produce, teas, sauces, meats and seafoods, frozen goods and some kitchenware and sundries for very good prices.
Avoid TAN-A on Sundays! Sunday is a mob scene at TAN-A.
6221 W. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23230

~A near-by store is Far East Market, which is on Rigsby Road, just off Horsepen Road, one block from West Broad Street. At Far East, You can get fresh tofu for four cakes for $1.25 or a reusable plastic tub of 10 cakes for $3.25. What a bargain! Even on sale, fresh tofu rarely sells for less than $1.00 a cake! Tofu is healthy food and at this price, is dirt cheap healthy food!
*Far East
6317 Rigsby Rd
Richmond, VA 23226
~There are a couple of other Asian markets, several restaurants, Pho shops and an Asian bakery in that neighborhood.
*Tam Phat Market
6316 Horsepen Road, Richmond, VA 23226
282-1144*Asian & Oriental Food Store
6322 Rigsby Road, Richmond, VA 23226

Shop around at your local Asian markets. Not every store carries the same merchandise and prices for similar items can vary store-to-store in the same neighborhood.
~With the influx of immigrants (legal and illegal) from Latin America, Hispanic markets or mercados/bodegas are popping up all over Virginia. Nowadays you can buy standard Latino products such as tortillas and masa harina at your local grocery cheaper than at the Latino specialty stores, but the Latino stores carry many products that the big chains will probably never carry.

The largest one that I've shopped, Tu Rincon Latin, is on West Broad Street about one block east of Horsepen Road. The mercado carries Hispanic foods, housewares and deli items. Shop here for plaintains, Mexican chocolate, queso blanco and other Latin goodies.
*TU Rincon Latino
6003 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23230
(804) 285-5850

Here are three tiny bodegas that sell some tasty treats:
*Bodega Latina
9020 Quioccasin Road, Richmond, VA 23229
*Bodega Latina
12343 Gayton, Richmond, VA 23238
*Bodega Latina Llc
9042 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23294

~The Richmond Farmer's Market sponsors a monthly 'Mercado' several months a year. The Saturday night Mercado features Latin music, dancing, foods, groceries and hand-crafts.

~Other available ethnic markets are Indian/Pakistani, Middle Eastern,African and Russian.
Although I've not patronized many of the stores, Southside is full of Latin markets and boasts a couple of Asian markets as well.
~The European Deli on West Broad Street and features a deli and Russian and other Eastern European canned and baked goods, meats, cheeses, beers and hand-crafts. Not particularly cheap but they carry food and items almost impossible to find elsewhere.
*Royal Europe Delicatessen
9026 West Broad St
Richmond, VA
346-8878~Three Middle-Eastern stores come to mind:

Danny's Grill is a small deli and carry-out with canned and deli counter foods. Very inexpensive & the deli food is scrumptious.
*Dannys Grill
8905 Patterson Ave
Richmond, VA

2M is a tiny shop with friendly service, great food and canned goods. They have a frequent customer and customer referral discount program!
*2M Mediterranean Market & Deli
Dumbarton Square Shopping Center
7103 Staples Mill Rd
Richmond, VA 23228

I haven't been to MB&D since its re-opening on Quioccasin Road but previous visits found superb food and baked goods. Best variety of Mediterranean foods in the area. They have a drive-thru window. The website is well-designed and includes some great recipes.
*Mediterranean Bakery &Deli
9004 Quioccasin Rd.
Richmond, VA
~ A selection of Indian/Pakistani stores:

*India Foods & Flavor Inc
2745 Hungary Spring Road, Richmond, VA 23294
(804) 346-8678
*Indo Pak Grocery Store
8101 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23294
*Shreeji Supermarket
2757 Hungary Spring, Richmond, VA 23294
*Shreenali Spices
8410 Staples Mill Road, Richmond, VA 23228
(804) 266-4088 ngary Spring, Richmond, VA 23294

~An African market and variety store near VCU:
*African House
902 W Grace St
Richmond, VA 23220

Halal Market on North Meadow Street at West Broad Street.
I've only seen this market from the bus and don't know the days or hours or phone/exact address, but I can safely assume the market is closed on Friday evenings through Saturday. A Halal market is a Muslim market that has been blessed by an Imam/cleric and is similar in concept to a Jewish Kosher market.