Durham Ingredient/Tool shopping help, please?
I'm shopping for a Mexican dinner to be held on Sunday, and could use some pointers as to where best to look for a few things. I will need to pick these up either late this afternoon (after 6:00), first thing Saturday morning (before 10:00), late Saturday afternoon (after 5:00), or anytime Sunday before 6:00. I'd strongly prefer to stick to Durham. If some of these should be available at any old Food Lion, or such, please pardon my ignorance and tell me so.
fresh epazote leaves
dried pasilla chiles
a whole, cleaned and scaled fish - snapper, grouper, striped bass or such
And, where does one look for bar supplies like a muddler, extra-fine (super-fine?) sugar, bitters, vermouth? (Can you get vermouth in a small bottle?)
I would recommend the Mexican restaurant across from Church's on Roxboro Road or Compare Foods on University.
Check out Compar Foods on Atlantic Ave in Raleigh. The chiles are in the Produce and the epazote leaves are in the aisle across from jelly. Get a taco at the tacqureia inside - they're tasty. There's a Compar Foods in Durham, too.
I get bar supplies at the Teeter. When I was in the Dominican Republic last week, the bartender was using a bitters bottle as a muddler, so you don't need to buy one specifically.
Compar Foods has the fish, too, but I've not bought them there because I don't speak Spanish well enough. The giant Asian market in Cary has nice fish too.
Now that I've fully read your post, here's the bottom line. Any Hispanic store in Durham should have what you want.
I recommend you go to Galaxy supermarket on University Drive to get your Mexican dinner ingredients. Then go across the street to Capital Seafood to get your whole, cleaned fish. One suggestion, while at Galaxy go to the frozzen food cases and look for packages of various frozen tropical fruit pulp like mango, guava, and guanabana. These frozen pulps mixed with some rum or vodka make wicked cocktails.
For your bar stuff there is an ABC liquor store on the access road to 15-501 after it forks off from University Dr.
ABC's are a county by county thing. They're almost a store by store thing. You can't buy individual airline bottles in Wake but I believe you can in Durham. Some stores have better selecitons of brown liquors, others have a better selection of "exotic" items. It helps to ask the store clerk. Some know who carries what.
I'd go to the Galaxy on University, too. Vermouth and bitters can be found at the Teeter. If you can't find superfine sugar, you can food process regular sugar. I muddle with a wooden spoon. Works.
Thanks, all! Galaxy sounds like the most convenient place to find everything I need, then head across the street for the fish.