What to get at Super 88 (lunch and groceries)?
My sister (vegetarian) and I (non fish-eater) are planning a trip to Super 88 in Allston for lunch at the food court and to pick up some groceries.
I'm really eager to try the Bahn Mi. Any other recommendations.
And what about groceries? What is a particularly good deal at Super 88, or especially good there, or not available anywhere else?
I did do a search, but I didn't find much information on what specifically people like to buy there. Thanks!
I second the rec for Ken's, though you might want to be careful to check if there's one your sister can eat-- ramen is almost always made with pork broth, it's usually not a very veg-friendly format. Banh mi is a good bet too. (Actually, all the food stands seem to have their following)
If you cook veggies, it's a great place to stock up on leafy greens like ong choy, pea shoots, etc. (They do need careful cleaning) Also basil, hot peppers, fresh bamboo shoot, stuff like that.
I usually get most of my cooking sauces and seasonings elsewhere, but beyond veggies, some super 88 staples in our house include jufran banana ketchup, youtiao (chinese fried dough, in the refrigerator case near the tofu), datu puti vinegar, barrio fiesta brand shrimp paste, little dried shrimps, soft dessert tofu, vacuum packed turnip cake and taro cake, rolled rice noodle, and I'm sure lots of things I'm forgetting. I guess neither of you is looking for fish, but I was excited to find that they recently started carrying frozen milkfish!
The bakery section often has a little selection of goods from Yi Soon bakery-- or, you can walk over to Yi Soon and sample the goods directly :) (It's across the street and back towards Harvard a bit) . The cookie aisle is also lots of fun. I generally try to avoid chinese cookies these days (they tend to be incredibly high in hydrogenated fats), but am occasionally a sucker for some cookie rolls (roll cookies?). Good prices on Japanese cookies and candy, though the selection is a bit limited if you're looking for something in particular. I like the big vats of mini gel snacks, too.
Things that require care: their frozen goods are often kind of old and freezery, esp. in categories like southeast asian things. I *do* recommend the frozen taro custard (thai), though-- it's the one they serve in Dok Bua, I think. I also often pick up frozen mochi balls, which can be boiled for a nice dessert
One thing that I look at every time I'm there, but have never figured out what to do with: the bags of enormous ringing (singing?) snail chips. They seem to carry them very consistently, so I have to think there's a market for them! Anyone?
(They live in exactly the spot where I'm somehow convinced a different household staple of ours that they don't carry *should* live, so I'm constantly eyeing them :) )
You can always buy a durian, warm it up, crack it open and hide it under the seat of a friend's car.
I buy some of their prepared foods. Tea-smoked eggs, what they call vegetarian goose (tofu and mushrooms) and spicy dried bean curd (not very spicy but delicious). They also have the normal chicken feet, gizzards and sliced pig ear, but your sister will not go for that.
They have a lot of candy. I buy haw (hawthorn fruit) in various incarnations, including flakes (like Necco wafers) and "sandwiches." They have a vast assortment of dumplings in the freezer - some are vegetarian. They are currently out of my favorite steamed mushroom buns.
Lots of canned and jarred goods mostly organized by country. I buy a couple of varieties of Vietnamese fish sauce.
In the food court, Indonesian food is good. I love JMP, the Indian place. Actually, all the places are pretty good.
Speaking of candy, don't miss the Kasugai brand fruit gummies! The flavors are wonderfully intense, and the flavor descriptions are a hoot to read:
"Every drop of fresh apple juice, carefully pressed from the reddest
apples, shinning in colors of the cheeks of a snow-country child,
is yours to enjoy in each soft and juicy Kasugai Apple Gummy."
(I'm not making this stuff up.)
Aside from picking up bulk herbs for next to nothing (huge packages of mint, basil, etc for $1.50) I always go crazy on candy at Super 88. My staple is Hi-Chews (think a cross between Bonkers and Starburst but where the sum of the parts makes it 10x better than either of the original). They also have this candy "whislters" in strawberry and "milk" flavor that are surprisingly tasty and really annoying to friends/family... they make a really loud noise. Just pick up anything that looks interesting.
Other things to pick up: oyster sauce, soy sauce, chili sauce, packaged noodles, etc.
Nice post another adam, some stuff I will try for sure. The dim sum inside the super market has a few nice items. I like their steamed pork bun and sticky rice in lotus leaf; everything else is a bit crude.
In the food court the Indonesian stand is pretty good as is the roast meat stand and the dim sum stand.
In Super 88 I also get fresh and dried noodles, green veggies (already mentioned) and fruit. They have one of the best tofu selections in town; I really liked the mock lamb tofu they had. On the candy front I love the sesame seed candies they have.
When you are there I would definitely stop at Yi Soon a few blocks away for dessert as well.
Yi Soon Bakery
112 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134
Lots of responses about lunch, so won't repeat.
Super 88 tends to have great deals on some staples, especially rice. There are also a number of items that cannot be found in megamarts. Based on the dietary restrictions you mention, you may wish to try some of the vegetarian "meats." Items like vegetarian "chicken" and "duck" are made from different types of bean curd and, although they don't closely resemble their quoted inspiration, can be very good in dishes calling for meats.
Beware that many of the frozen items (dumplings and such) that appear that they may be vegetarian may not be. Read the ingredients if they're in English.
I make fresh spring rolls with tofu, shrimp or chicken depending on the guests...you don't have to go to 88, but everything you need is right there -- specifically: rice paper wrappers (dont get the extra thin), vermicelli noodles, and thai basil... as well as hosin sauce and chili garlic sauce
recipe sorta here, use it as a base to fit your own tastes, but thai basil is a must: (http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...)