A new, clean H Mart grocery in Annandale
Another H Mart grocery store opened up in Annandale earlier this year and today was the first time I was in the area when I needed to pick up some things. It's like the H Mart in Merrifield, but smaller. Not as many household goods, cosmetics, or rice steamers. But the seafood area is clean and spotless and almost smells like the sea with pretty tanks of live swimming things. Clean floors, clean cases, clean ice. For a while I've had to defend the H Mart (and Lotte) seafood on occasion claiming, "oh, it's not that bad." But sometimes, yeah, it was that bad.
There's also an attractive ready-to-go section with prepared entrees and sides and kimchi. They promise, "they're just like Grandma makes." (Which they might be if my Grandma happened to be Korean.) Cheap fresh fish and pork and produce and Asian staples. What more could a person want?
It's just inside the Beltway, on Heritage Drive, a few blocks south of Little River Turnpike, Route 236.
H Mart Annandale
Tel : 703-914-4222
7885 Heritage Drive
Annandale, VA 22003
Store Hours : 8:00 AM ~ 11:00 PM
This is in my neighborhood, but I'm usually heading in or out from the other end of the 'hood and just stopped in for the first time today. Great deals on the produce, probably 1/3rd the price that I would pay at Giant or Safeway, and quality as good or better. They also have a pretty solid, if smaller, selection of Latin foods, as there is a large South American population in walking distance from this location. Biggest drawback is the small size combined with the fierce determination of the women manning their carts through the aisles. I almost got mowed down twice!
Seafood dept. is also gorgeous. Probably 10 live tanks (dungeness, lobster, geoduck, fluke, eels, blackfish, etc.) and the on-ice fish looked very good as well.
Enormous selection of frozen gyoza, shumai, and bao that I'm going to have to work my way through to figure out some favorites. Also liked the variety of rice paper wrappers to experiment with in the future -- some plain, some with dried shrimp incorporated, sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, etc.
The kimchi must be pretty good. It's sold in gallon buckets and I saw quite a lot of it heading out the door in others' carts.