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Sep 1, 2009 09:47 PM

Tell me your favorite places to "foodie shop" in the DFW area, or thereabouts. Farmer's markets, natural markets, specialty stores, etc..

I work at Central Market so that's a given, Whole Foods, Sprouts and Natural Grocer I know about. Tell me some of the little known gems! The cheaper the better, but not necessary, I do love a good gourmet shop, whatever the price! I am really just trying to get to know my area better. I live in Carrollton but I am willing to travel for an interesting find. Cheers!

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  1. I spotted a cheese shop this weekend while at Zinsky's (with Missy Chowchick). Malto Formaggio is at Preston Royal and stocks about 300 cheeses, and will have up to 350 by holiday time.

    The Sottocenere al Tartufo is a creamy Venetian cows milk cheese speckled with truffles. Yum. Try a sample at Formaggio (pic 1).

    There is a location now for Formaggio in Highland Park Village that pairs wines with cheeses. Amazing place and is now on my circuit.

    I love driving to Deep Ellum on weekends, visiting the Farmers market, but like to cut across the freeway to visit our friend, Paula Lambert, at the Mozzarella Cheese factory. Fresh cheeses made on location. Classes available. I remember when Paula (pic 2) was in a stall next to the spice merchant, Kurry King. She actually gave me wonderful advice that got me making cheese at home and on my farm.

    Also in Deep Ellum is home to Rudolph's Meat market. A real butcher shop, making real cuts, and sausages. Prices are wonderful compared to Central Market.

    For fresh seafood, TJs, located across the street from Whole Foods on Preston, is pretty decent. However, I was at a barbecue a few weeks back speaking with a new friend and he is from south Dallas. He mentioned a seafood market there where everything was wonderfully fresh and cheap. i also like to go to the FRESH and CHEAP Super H Mart for seafood and a huge selection of fresh kim chi. They also host a grand selection of vegetables at awesome prices. Located in Carrollton at Old Denton and Bush.

    For a hardware adventure I like two places. Sur la Table off Knox (high end everything hard good related), and Ace Mart (wholesale everything in the hard goods department).

    Last for me but not least (for now) is World Food Warehouse at 13434 Floyd Circle behind TI. Literally the mecca for all things middle eastern, including fresh breads, vats and vats of olives and fetas (pic 3).

    Hope this helps a bit.

    3 Replies
    1. re: DallasDude

      El Rio Grande for most Mexican items, Super H-Mart for Melona bars and most of my Asian food stuff (lately their seafood has been woefully bad...smelled awful). Jimmy's for Italian pantry ingredients. Rex's Seafood when I can't make it to TJs. PK Winery when Rick used to work there. He used to always point me in the direction of really good, affordable boutique wines. The Asian Market off of Legacy for some Chinese stuff that I can't find at Super H-Mart. Eatzi's and Empire for bread (yes, Dallas Dude...I can't argue with you about Eatzi's breads). Kuby's for butchering. Doughmonkeys was my go to dessert place. Since they closed down, I do all my own baking. When I'm not too lazy Scardello's (thanks LH for pointing me there), but I am usually lazy and just pick up cheese from CM. Also, I shop at Northhaven for my herbs. I just go p/u interesting looking herbs and keep them on my porch till I'm ready to cook. Lots of selection at NHG. I don't usually buy the cut herbs at CM. The cut herbs cost is about the same as the live and you have to use them right away. Way more selection to go to NHG.

      Lots of good industrial cooking equipment at Elliot's for cheap. I buy almost all my kitchen supplies exclusively online, but for inspiration, it's Sur la Table.

      Need to try Word Food Warehouse. I usually get my Middle Eastern ingredients at Phoenicia in Houston.

      1. re: jindomommy

        Ahh Jindo does love me after all. I was so trying to think of Empire last night, but I was at work late and my brain was scrambled (as opposed to the regular soft boiled or slightly shirred). What Elliot's and what do you fond there other than what I would think would be cast iron skillets?

        1. re: DallasDude

          Well DD...hard to argue about darn good bread. Elliot's Hardware has got great aluminum commercial cooking pots, cheap kitchen supplies and jamming equipment (everyone was out of the 1/2 pint jars this year). The price points are good for basic stuff like measuring equipment. It's kind of hit or miss, but pretty cheap.

    2. If you're into tea, The Cultured Cup, near Preston and NW Hwy, is a great place.

      1. Kuby's in Snider Plaza for German. Jimmy's food store for Italian. Goody Goody on Greenville for liquor. And don't forget about Eatzi's on Oak Lawn. Empire Baking Company on Lovers lane for bread.

        1. Carrollton Plaza Supermarket for all things Thai and Vietnamese (for those of us in Denton county). Seafood can be bad on somedays smelling up the place.

          Hong Kong Super Market in Dallas (Walnut and Audelia) for the harder to find items.

          I personally like Scardello Artisan Cheese over Molto Formaggio. I think the knowledge about the cheeses that Rich has is better. I know both are great especially for Dallas but I think the more artisnal cheese can be found at Scardello. If you are there ask Rich for a Rolf Beeler cheese. You will swear by them after you try them.

          For a bakery and close to Carrollton there is La Spiga in Addison at Midway and Lindberg. My personal favorite is Ravelin in Denton on Elm and Prairie. They should be able to acommodate all your needs. WARNING: Stay away from the croissants they are addictive.

          Super H Mart is okay if you are really into Korean cooking. They have most of what you are looking for but from what I have encountered they usually aren't the cheapest. I do more Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese cooking than Korean (for the sheer fact I don't have time to pickle and I don't want to pay dearly for that convenience).

          Mozarella Co in Deep Ellum is alright if you need an Italian style cheese. I really can't tell much difference in most Oaxacan vs Mozzarella's. I do like the goat cheese wrapped in Hoja Santa though.

          Meat Markets I really don't have a favorite as I can't afford the higher prices (just being honest). I do like Kuby's though for their sausages especially the weiners and the landjager. I grew up on Nemecek Bros. in West on what was called the West Specials (now they are just weiners) wrapped in Mrs. Bairds bread. Another favorite for us folks in Denton county is Metzlers on Londonderry as they carry most of the Fischer's sausages and products. If you are up for a short road trip you can make Muenster in 2 hrs from Lewisville. It is worth it for the fresh ring brat alone.

          I hold off from World Food Market anymore (had a restaurantuer in Irving tell me stories) and go to Zituna for my Middle Eastern fare. I like the olives at Zituna and I actually found Shanklish I needed for a simple salad. The fresh breads are all made in Arlington at International Food Store on S. Collins. I like that for the kenafa dessert.

          For all of my spices I actually take the trip down to Houston and stockpile at Phoenecia Specialty Foods. Best price on whole spices I have found in the state.

          I usually go to the vegetable/fruit source (whatever it is) to the actual grower/farmer. The farmers markets have become clogged with people who have very little knowledge on what to look for or care where it comes from or how it is grown. Also I look for high quality, local (or close enough)and grown organically.

          1 Reply
          1. re: LewisvilleHounder

            We checked out Scardello Artisan Cheese (on Oak Lawn) today, and it was great. The guy that helped us was so knowledgeable. It was a great education in cheeses as well as a great tasting of a variety of cheeses. We will definitely be back. They have wine, too. And classes (a Cheese 101 class that we are going to try to take).

          2. For Asian, I like the new Saigon Mall at Beltline and Jupiter as it is close to my office. Their fish is the best I have found in town from an Asian market. Redfish,Red Snapper, Catfish, craps and shrip. All good. Many time have live sea bass. Live Maine Lobsters for $10.00. I find all their staples so much cheaper than the grocery store or other markets. Their produce is really good and cheap for: Shitake Mushrooms, Herbs, Chiles, ginger, garlic ect........ They also have a food court which is kinda fun and cheap. There is a Lee's Baguette shop that freshly bakes bread and makes Bahn Mi.(just ok) Baguette is good, however.