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Ethnic stores, bakeries, markets Willimantic

t
TheFamine May 27, 2007 06:09 AM

Hi all.

Recently. (yesterday!) relocated to Willimantic CT. I'm looking for any info on Asian or Ethnic supermarkets (similar to Super 88) in the area or within a 20 mile radius. Also, if anyone has info on 'ethnic' bakeries, (be it Russian, British or just EU in general) it'd be a great help.
Already found a 'Co-op' here in Willimantic, but its very overpriced..

Thanks in advance.

  1. s
    silente Jun 7, 2007 08:25 AM

    Welcome to town! The bright side re: food options is that you instantly have a common topic of conversation/complaint with your new neighbors. Oriental Groceries on Rt. 6 across from Walmart has asian groceries. There is a Polish place on Main St. with some baked goods, frozen pierogis and imported foods (I regret to say neither fresh nor notable.) La Petite France bakery in Stafford Springs about twenty miles to the west has quality baked goods, available at the Coop on a schedule (I think most of their fresh bread comes in on Saturday?) For fresh bread available locally we rely on Chabaso, based out of New Haven, but available at the Willi Stop&Shop and at the Mansfield Big Y in the bakery sections. They frequently sell out at either location. There is a Mexican bakery on Main St. a few doors down from the Windham Arts Center (and opposite the library) which has delicious flan and other desserty things (look for freshness and avoid bread and fried stuff unless you like corn flavored donuts), and a Mexican grocery on Prospect St. (not all the cashiers speak English, but it usually works out). The larger farmer's markets in Coventry (Sun.) and Storrs (Sat.) carry some more interesting things. Glastonbury, 20+ miles away is a more affluent town with more food options, as well as Hartford and West Hartford. Our survival strategies have included stocking up on things when we travel out of the area, investing in our own garden and cooking more. Good luck!

    3 Replies
    1. re: silente
      s
      silente Jun 7, 2007 12:51 PM

      Oh! I meant to also mention The Fish Market on Main St. in Willimantic. Excellent fresh fish, a few delicious prepared foods, and some simple but incredible take out meals made to order.

      1. re: silente
        t
        TheFamine Jun 15, 2007 11:01 AM

        Thanks for the info - will be trying the various suggestions. Already tried the fish market when we first arrived, and the fish takeout was delicious.. Explored the Polish place, and agreed, its not that awe inspiring - still, it has a couple of nice oddities which are useful to have access to.
        Will be trying the various farmers markets in the area, hopefully starting with the local Willimantic one on Sat morning..

        I'm rather curious - given the American focus on the aesthetics of food (of how things 'look') - to speak to some farmers at the farmers markets and ask what they do with their ugly and 'unsightly-looking' fruits and vegetables.
        know there's a big tendency towards standardizing of veg and fruit - even with 'organic' produce - but this means there's a percentage of crops that aren't sellable, because they don't 'look' as nice as what people are used to.
        It'd be useful to find out what the various farmers in the area do with their produce that doesn't meet organic market/supermarket 'visual' quality controls. Usually its thrown away, turned into fertilizer, or fed to cattle. Its always a good way to get very cheap fruit and veg, if you're happy with odd-looking produce (which most consumers aren't)..

        1. re: TheFamine
          w
          wiggles Sep 2, 2007 06:31 PM

          Welcome to the area! For a great Asian supermarket head to A. Dong in West Hartford. It's a haul but worth it. Upon entering one is greeted by some fresh roasted duck (which is to die for, as well as a bakery that cooks up treats such as melon cakes, curry meat pies, and various steamed buns) It's also has a fish market (the guys will cut up your fish for you, and of you want a tilapia, you can take your pick from one of the live ones in the tank), fresh produce (asian eggplant, bittermelon, yard long beans, etc), and an entire aisle devoted to noodles (everything from pancit to dried spring roll wrappers). It's run by Vietnamese and their fresh food offerings reflect that....you can pick up a Viet-style sandwich or one of the other various meals-to-go which include fresh spring rolls and rice noodles flavored with mint, peanuts, and pork (mmmmmmmm!) Sometimes they have some Filipino baked good including pandesal and ensaymada as well as various flavors of sponge cake. They also offer various Asian household items such as woks, melamaie plates, and paper goods. Take the Elmwood Exit )exit 40?) off of I-84 West and head East on New Britain Avenue. On the right it's in a plaza called the Shield Street Plaza.

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