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Ethnic Groceries in KC Metro

Teague May 22, 2009 09:06 AM

Yesterday somebody posted an inquiry re: Italian grocery/deli in KC (Answer: Bella Napoli in Brookside; Carollo's in KC River Market), and I thought that KC ethnic groceries in general would be a good thread topic, as a sort of public service (because, I discovered chowhound in the first place by googling "Vietnamese blood sausage" which ended well even though the sources in LA really didn't do me much good). I've only been in KC for 3 years and am still finding my way around.

I go to Werner's on Johnson Dr in downtown Mission for really good rye & pumpernickel bread from several different bakeries. Their house-made potato sausages are excellent, we bring them to almost every Chiefs game. Hmm, speaking of Werners, some german-style brats would taste good tomorrow at our Memorial weekend cookout . . . it's hard to find brats here that aren't that nasty Sheboygan style (Johnsonville, ick - what's up with that??) http://www.wernerswurst.com/kcstore.htm

I also regularly shop at the 888 Market on 87th St. in Overland Park. It has a pretty decent selection of seafood in addition to all the usual grocery items - they have live fish & will clean them for you (very important!). They're tilapia-sort of fish I think. It's also a reliable source for pig parts (feet, ears) and various oriental greens and broccolini-type vegetables. And duck heads, they seem to sell tons of these. Duck heads look a bit fierce to me, but I see a lot of people buying them when I wait in the checkout line. Anybody know what they're doing with them?

There are several oriental groceries around River Market - does anybody know something about these? I drove by the African market on Main the other day and it looked closed - is it gone? Anyone know another?

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  1. stellamystar RE: Teague May 22, 2009 09:37 AM

    Taste of Russia (near downtown OP) has more of an Albanian flair than Russian. However, they carry some unique items. European Delights ( I think on 95th?) has a deli section for cold cuts/cheese as well as many Russian products.
    Kansas City's Euro Food scene is lousy.
    The Indian grocer by the OP Whole Foods is good for spices and some frozen items.

    I go to the big Asian Supermarket in the River Market. and it's great. A bit smelly but VERY affordable produce. You can get Thai, Indian, Korean, and Japanese products, too. They even have a Mexican section now.. The Produce really is nice - fresh egg noodles, duck and quail eggs, all kinds of peppers..They also have all the kitchen supplies you would need/want. I wish they had a food court.

    If you feel like driving, Brits and Au Marche in Lawrence, KS has lots of food items..
    ONce in awhile Better Cheddar will have some interesting non-cheese items from different countries - mostly English.

    My hubby loves veal brats and those are hard to come by.I think Werners may have them on occassion. We love Polish food too..- we got spoiled living in Chicago!

    3 Replies
    1. re: stellamystar
      i
      inbiz RE: stellamystar May 22, 2009 11:57 AM

      Do they have prepared foods/ready to eat and maybe some tables to grab lunch at Werner's? Somebody was talking about that place the other day. I've driven past, but never paid attention.

      1. re: inbiz
        Teague RE: inbiz May 22, 2009 12:20 PM

        Werner's has a deli & makes sandwiches. They set up a grill for sausages outside in the summer, not sure if that is just weekends. No seating that I have noticed.

        1. re: Teague
          p
          pollymerase RE: Teague May 26, 2009 06:48 AM

          Werner's usually grills 1 type of sausage every day during lunch and then sell it inside at the deli counter. When the weather is nice they have at least 1 picnic table set outside every day, in addition to a table/counter thing with stools that runs the length of the front windows. It's fun to sit, eat, and watch the action on Johnson Drive.

          It seems they only grill a full selection of sausages on Saturdays, but I haven't gotten in there too many times at lunch so they may have more than 1 at lunch depending on the day.

    2. w
      wallyk RE: Teague May 22, 2009 10:23 AM

      Great post. I'm heading over to the sausage house next weekend. Looks like really good stuff.

      1. Teague RE: Teague May 22, 2009 12:42 PM

        Oh, I forgot to mention the Carnecerias. There seem to be lots of these appearing. There's one also on 87th St in Overland Park just West of 888 Market. I don't know what it is called, but I've been buying meat there. The owners are really friendly and speak English (in my experience the butcher usually doesn't). There are fresh tortillas for sale in a plastic coleman cooler chest. They stock frozen Australian lamb legs for an amazingly low price per pound, and I have started liking the thin Mexican-style cuts of meat. They cook really fast, and also make good beef "birds" like my grandma made, rolled up with stuffing and braised. They will also order you fresh local lamb and goat, but the one time I ordered a side of lamb it had not hung (at all), so I think they leave that part up to the customer. It's worth asking, because if it was butchered the day you pick it up you'll have to wait a couple or three days if you want it to be edible.

        I think I was in Taste of Russia once - it was a long time ago, but I remember several types of caviar. I'll have to check it out again.

        1. amyzan RE: Teague May 23, 2009 06:45 AM

          I like the produce at Ambica grocery across 91st street from Whole Foods, off Metcalf. He also has a good selection of frozen Indian convenience foods and items like frozen prefried paneer cubes or ready to cook breads. The place is packed to the gills with bulk goods, too. Ask to sample the snack foods at the front counter. Sometimes, the frying oil wasn't fresh, but when they're properly fried, those snacks are delectable!

          We also use the Oriental Market at 103rd and Metcalf (on the right side of the shopping center.) Their produce is better in summer, when they buy cucumbers, melons, squash, sesame leaves, etc. from local growers. Unfortunately, all the meat and seafood is frozen, but there are some good products. I wish they had someone local to make panchan, but it all seems to come from Chicago and is expensive. Does anyone know of a Korean grocery or caterer who sells side dishes? I am spoiled by the Korean groceries in southern California. It was so easy to have a good spread while there.

          4 Replies
          1. re: amyzan
            v
            vsoy RE: amyzan May 29, 2009 12:49 PM

            I think I got kimbap from Joong-Ang Oriental Market at 7800 Shawnee Mission Parkway. They had it up front near the register. They may very well have the spinach side dish and others, but I don't remember.

            1. re: vsoy
              amyzan RE: vsoy May 29, 2009 09:48 PM

              Yeah, I stopped up there last weekend and found a few prepared items that the Oriental Market off Metcalf doesn't seem to have. My favorite was really simple--bellflower root in spicy pepper sauce. It was also somewhat more reasonably priced there, so I will have to go more often. I noticed they had fresh rice stick with roasted soybean flour up at the registers, too!

              I had hoped when Oriental Market expanded into the space that was Irv's Deli, they would start making panchan in the new kitchen space. So far, they only seem to use the slicers for meat, and package up produce there from larger boxes. Maybe there are permits required, etc that makes the expense prohibitive? Does anyone know Overland Park's policies? I've heard they police kitchens quite stringently.

              I still crave octopus salad, multicolored seaweed salad, marinated cucumbers, crunchy, chewy bracken, potato omelet and all those other delicious side dishes I bought at Zion Market in San Diego...sigh.

              1. re: amyzan
                v
                vsoy RE: amyzan May 30, 2009 07:34 PM

                Actually, I was in Oriental Market today around 4-5pm and there was a woman making kimbap in that new section of the store. She was setting up and probably making some for the dinner rush.

                I also make a trip around the corner to the Super India Emporium and they had a wide selection of frozen and ready to eat, easy to mix meals. People were super nice.

                1. re: vsoy
                  amyzan RE: vsoy Jun 1, 2009 07:04 PM

                  The kimbap is encouraging, thanks.

                  I'm not looking for frozen heat and eat meals or mixes, as most of them contain allergens for me. Maybe some other hounds will find that useful? I've been in SIE, but haven't found their produce variety as good as at Ambica up the street.

                  It's difficult to find prepared food that tastes good and is of good quality here. I'll keep an eye out for the kimbap lady...

          2. v
            vmarker RE: Teague May 25, 2009 10:45 PM

            My favorite store is a Price Chopper near 56th and Roe. It is much like the mexican grocery's in the Chicago area. I know it is not what many would think of a typical ethnic grocery, but seriously it is like NO other PC I have ever been to. I drive from the south east side of Lee's Summit just to go to the store and get fresh tortilla's, meats, produce and anything else that looks like it will make me happy. I can't go all the time but man is a trip when I can.

            2 Replies
            1. re: vmarker
              Teague RE: vmarker May 25, 2009 11:08 PM

              Yeah, Price Choppers seem to be pretty good. I haven't tried that one, but the one at Metcalf & 75th also has a good variety of products, mostly concentrated on south american/mexican. Good butcher selection of the odd parts I like to cook. I have never seen fresh tortillas though. I usually go to the Price Chopper on 87th & Antioch in Overland Park, but the butcher is not as good - I fill in with the carneciera and 888 Market that are down the street. But at least Price Chopper doesn't have those awful gas-filled packagings of meat that keeps them pink (after being cooked, too). I hate that, and I think the flavor and texture suffers..

              1. re: Teague
                v
                vmarker RE: Teague May 28, 2009 10:27 AM

                Oh if you have not had the fresh tortilla's then please venture to the one I gave. It is awesome. They have both flour and corn. They have so much stuff. Like I said because it is so far I don't get to go much, but if I could I would shop there ALL the time. LOL. The ones you listed are really far away. But we might give them a shot when we are on that side of the city. I totally agree with that gas filled packaging...just makes the meat taste so FAKE!

            2. m
              mattyboy RE: Teague May 28, 2009 07:21 PM

              El Norte bakery and restaurant for all things Mexican. Fresh tortillas , chicarones pastries etc. Its located on Independence Blvd. and serves Burritos and sandwiches on Sat. Al Habashi for Halal meats and any type of seasoning , Middle Eastern and some East European products. It is located in the city market.

              1. j
                jhojati RE: Teague Jul 1, 2009 06:17 PM

                Try Tehran Market in Overland Park. Some of their items can be expensive, but they do offer some good items. If you're closer to City Market, the Middle Eastern store there stocks rice and other grains, nuts, fresh baked bread, etc. for a fair price.

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