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ethnic groceries in Rockland?

My daughter's taking the SAT in Spring Valley this Saturday; the location isn't close to my home so I'm planning to stay around the area for the 4 o 5 hours it takes. One task I could accomplish is to visit some ethnic grocery stores to stock up. Are there any good places to hit in the general area? I've got the time from about 8 am to noon or so. I know a lot of places won't be open that early; I may hit the Whole Foods in Ridgewood NJ first (believe it or not I've never been in a WF as we don't have one in the frozen tundra of northern westchester).

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  1. There's a supermarket on Rt. 59 I think it is called International. I have never been there, but I've heard they have a lot of ethnic items for sale. I've seen a few ethnic grocery shops on Rt 59 heading towards Spring Valley, the above one is the largest.

    1. What kind of ethnic? Rockland and NNJ have plenty of Indian, Middle Eastern, Jewish, et al. Anything specific you're looking for?

      3 Replies
      1. re: menton1

        I guess Asian as first choice-- Indian Middle eastern are of interest too.

        1. re: DGresh

          Fil Asian Grocery 32 N Middletown Rd, Nanuet

          Indo Asian United, 180 Route 59, Spring Valley

          BTW, isn't there a WF in Greenwich, CT?

          1. re: menton1

            Thanks for the recs! BTW Greenwich is *way* far away from Croton!

      2. Not sure if this is what the first replier is referring to, but there's a new place on 59 called Old World Market that is very Whole Food-y. Plenty of ethnic staples. Pricey, but prob no worse than WF.

        1. DGresh,

          I'm in Croton too, and I periodically make the trip to Nyack/Nanuet/Spring Valley for food shopping.

          International Market is amazing...plan to spent a lot of time and go ahead and take a chance with all sorts of unfamiliar foods.

          Old World Market is sort of a souped up version of Zeytinia with a lot of great cheeses. You can definitely combine visits to the two places during that interminably long test.

          I've been disappointed with the smaller ethnic food shops I've visited on Rte. 59, but maybe I've just missed the gems.

          You will have so much time to kill that you might also want to have lunch in Nyack. I'll leave it to others to recommend places, but I can attest to enjoying the two places I've been to recently: Runcible Spoon (sandwiches, cupcakes, coffee) and Wasabi Grill (Japanese).

          Weather is supposed to be miserable on Saturday. If I were you, I'd bring a book and plan to hole up for part of the time in some cozy place in Nyack besides the food shopping.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Elisa515

            Thanks for the "inside story" Especially comparing to one of my favorite stores! Re: lunch I'm treating my vegetarian daughter to lunch after the test at Karavalli in Nanuet-- hope that turns out well. And yes, I made a trip to the library for a book, since my original plan of a walk along the river in Nyack looks unpromising now. I will definately hit both International Market and Old World Market. And skip WF unless I'm *really* bored.

            1. re: DGresh

              When you get back, we should start a thread called "what interesting stuff did you buy at International Market? (and what did you do with it?)" I try to go with people know more about cooking (especially Asian cooking) than I do--that makes me try more new things than I might otherwise be inclined to risk. We've really enjoyed the many unusual fresh greens and lots of sauces. You can also get great buys on meat (especially pork) and poultry. I'm not sure I trust the fish, but they sure do have a lot of it!

              1. re: Elisa515

                I had a terrific time yesterday! First, I realized just how many hours I had available (5) so I did make a trip down to Whole Foods, just since I've never been in one and wanted to see what the fuss is about.Frankly, I'm not so jealous anymore. It was perfectly nice, but the produce section didn't bowl me over; it certainly had a wider variety than my A&P but not *so* much more than Zeytinia. Of course I realize WF is organic and Zey. mostly isn't, but that isn't huge for me. It had a nice selection of Italian sodas that my family likes so I stocked up on that. Also bought some Pink Lady apples which I'd heard raves about (they *are* good).

                Then I headed back up to the Food Mart International in Spring Valley. Awesome! I felt like I'd woken up in another country. I bought some epazote, since I've looked for it everywhere for various recipes-- now at least I know what it looks like live and in person. Will try to use it in some sort of bean stew later this week. Bought some little round Thai eggplant- that will go in a "Thai Eggplant Massaman Curry" http://www.ecurry.com/blog/curries/gr... . I bought some Chinese chives and baby bok choy. Big bundles of lemon grass for about one-fourth the price at Zeytinia. THEN I hit the aisles. WoW! I stocked up on various rice, bean thread, and egg noodles, nori and rice paper wrappers (we had spring rolls last night), various rice varieties, sesame oil.... So many wonderful things. Didn't buy any meat as I had hours to go, but was interested to see beef tongue, feet, and pigs heads in the cases. Chicken feet too, but I can get them locally :) Even got some peruvian corn on the cob (big kernal) to surpise my family who will remember it from when we went there last summer. Loved that place! Then hit a couple of the small markets (Indo Asian in Nyack and Fil Asian in Nanuet). Fil Asian was a real washout-- itty bitty; Indo Asian is a small Indian market and not as well stocked as the one I go to in Elmsford.

                I then headed over to Old World Market in Nyack. Elisa515 you pegged it-- a souped up Zeytinia, so not *too* exciting, though I did pick up a selection of nice cheeses.

                Lunch at Karavalli was quite nice; they had a buffet but we ordered off the menu and brough home enough from our two orders to have a light supper for the four of us at home tonight!

                Thanks for the recs!

                1. re: DGresh

                  Thanks for that thorough review. You know people will be reading it for months to come!

                  Was the International Food Mart crowded? I've only gone there on weekday afternoons, have no sense of whether it gets crazy on weekends.

                  Let me know if you'd like to go back there sometime. I'm pretty easy to find (if you don't know who I am am already).

                  How was the SAT?

                  1. re: Elisa515

                    I got to the International around 9, which I believe was when it opened. It was nearly empty then; they were just putting out the fish so maybe people wait a bit. By the time I left around 9:45 or so, it was getting busier, but not "crowded"

                    I guess the SAT went well -- hard to know!