Indy: markets, butchers, and bakeries
I'm moving to indy soon from Lafayette, and I'm looking forward to having access to better ingredients. I'd like to get your recommendations on where to buy unprepared food. I'll be on the near north or near west side, but I'll be working downtown.
Traditional supermarket: I'll probably go to Trader Joes every couple of weeks or so, but its pretty far. Any suggestions on a place that is more centrally located? I don't go to supermarkets much now, except for hot dogs and loss leader meat specials.
Mexican market: This is essential. I probably do 75% of my shopping at one now. They generally have good produce for next to nothing.
Asian market: more produce is better.
Spices: Anything other than Penzey's?
Butcher: Are there any old-school full-service butcher shops in Indy? There has to be someone doing good sausages too.
Bread: I need to find not only good bagettes, but soft sandwich bread. I just can't do a BLT on chewy bread.
Restaurant supply stores: any neighborhood
Beer and wine: I'm into belgian beers, but I've been working on wine too.
Finally, what is the deal with the Indy City Market? Is it a farmers market, or tourist trap? And, what is with the hours? 10-1:30 wednesdays? Are there any other farmers markets?
In addition to napolean's suggestions:
Lee's Supermarket - Lafayette & Kessler (besides the usual stuff has a big array of chili sauces; many Filipino items, etc)
Saigon - Lafayette & 30th (also has a good vietnamese restaurant ) (small fresh whole fish counter)
There are others on the East side, away from you, both Korean (several) and Chinese, most beyond I465. [napolean, were you thinking of the one at Shadeland just below 38th?]
(Don't forget) International Bazaar - just north of Lafayette Mall, just off Lafayette
There is a relatively new Indian store and a Mexican store in the mall-like group at 96th and Allisonville, a little out of your way I guess.
There was a Mexican/West Indian grocery at Michigan & 79th, I think it is still there.
You will find a great number of spices at cheap prices in the Asian/Indian/Mexican supermarkets/Groceries, as I'm sure you know.
My favorite meat counter (besides Goose) is GUANAJUATO Mexican Market and Taqueria at 30th and Shadeland. I know this post is old but just noticed I did not mention it back in 2008. I discovered this place in early 2009, I believe. Some of the best tortas and tacos for the price! The main Saraga on Lafayette Rd. has a sister store on the south side...toward Greenwood, but within Indy limits. Not sure of exact location.
There is also a Guanajuato at 1269 Oliver Ave., west of Lucas Oil Stadium and one at 5210 Pike Plaza Rd. in the Lafayette Square area. All three are excellent if you are looking for very reasonably priced meat with a very high turnover. It helps to know some spanish, though, especially if it's busy.
I returned to Rene's Bakery in Broad Ripple over the weekend. I love this place! They have the absolutely perfect chocolate eclair, just heavenly. There were a couple of other items that were equally spectacular. There were these small one-inch squares of almond pastry, with a layer of sliced almonds on top of an almond paste filling and a short pastry crust, and they were amazing. They also had a banana caramel chocolate mousse layer cake that was delicious. And the usual croissants and breads. A couple of items failed to impress, including an individual portion of blackberry bread pudding that was a disaster, and madeleines that were bland and tasteless, but most of their stuff is really great. www.renesbakery.com
I would echo everything napolean said as well as put emphasis on Kinkaid's, Claus' and especially Goose the Market. Goose also has a good selection of spices and the owners are very friendly (as you would hope the owners of a neighborhood market would be).
If you're into Belgian beer, I assume you're already familiar with Brugge Brasserie in Broad Ripple (if not, go there first!). Kahn's Fine Wines around Keystone and 52nd and the Parti Pak on Stop 11 both have an excellent selection of beers, including many Belgians. J. Gumbo's downtown keeps a good variety of beer on tap and has an extensive beer cellar.
Scholar's Inn Bakehouse distributes artisan breads to most grocery stores, including O'malia's downtown and Goose the Market.
The City Market downtown is a food court more than anything. They have a farmer's market in the summer but it's only open one day each week. There are a lot of farmer's markets around the city that are a bit more accessible. I found a really good listing of them online a few months back but can't find it now. I know there is one at 62nd and Binford, one at 38th St near Illinois and one in Broad Ripple to name a few.
For a general purpose grocery store, the old O'malia's which is now labeled as a Marsh downtown works pretty well. They have a decent meat counter and a good variety of items, though they can be a bit pricey.
Hope that helps... go to Brugge!!
Rene's Bakery--Broad Ripple
Claus's German Market--just south of Fountain Square
City Market has Moody Meats and Constantino's (fresh produce and Italianesque deli)
Goose the Market--near northside of downtown on Delaware (great higher end products with housemade charcuterie with beer/wine cellar)
La Parada Mexican Market--New York Street just east of downtown (basic Mexican staples but lacks great produce at times)
Kinkaid's Meat Market--Meridian Kessler
Fresh Market--opening within a week in Sobro
Mass Avenue wine shop--also beer, meats and cheeses on the east end of Mass Ave.
Saraga International Market--Ethnic megastore has hard to find items on Lafayette Rd.
There's a Korean Market on the east side--forget the name