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Aug 4, 2010 03:47 PM

Looking for ethnic grocery, near Clarkston, MI

Hello everyone, I am looking for a nice big ethnic (thai, japanese and indian) grocery for my foodie needs near Clarkston, MI. I've heard there's some in Pontiac but I have no idea where. I haven't had much luck finding anything. I have to say I'm new to the area and am not finding much of what I'm used to. Thank you for your time.

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  1. Clarkston is tough. Do you often travel south of there? What types of items do you often seek--lemongrass, miso, garam masala....? There are some good places around Rochester Rd., south of M59 (15-20minutes from Clarkston). Whole Foods in Rochester is even a bit closer, and can sometimes address your needs. Pls offer addit'l info.

    1 Reply
    1. re: vtombrown

      I'm ok with traveling to go get what I need. I didn't expect to see anything in Clarkston. I do go in Auburn Hills and Rochester often so that area is very good for me. I'm looking for fresh curry leaves (I'd be ok with dried if I have to.), garam masala, cardamome pods (black and green) and nigella seeds. That's for the indian part. As for the rest I'm not looking for anything in particular but like having a store to browse and inspire myself.

    2. What vtombrown said.

      There are plenty of ethnic markets around metro Detroit but they are pretty well scattered. Let us know where your travels take you or how far you want to drive/what specifically you are looking for and we can help.

      Pontiac does have one of my favorite Mexican grocers, Carnival.

      But for Asian and Indian, there are lots of ethnic markets on Dequindre, which I realize is a hike from Clarkston, but you can do some one-stop shopping if you plan right.

      7 Replies
      1. re: coney with everything

        I just researched a little bit for ethnic groceries on Dequindre. It would definately be worth the drive. I almost want to move now. :P Maybe make a nice day trip out of it.

        1. re: DirdenT

          Lakshmi foods on Dequindre at 17 Mile/Wattles may well have your curry leaves...the one in Livonia had them when last I wanted them. It is next door to a Middle Eastern market that has amazing hummus and New Yasmeen baked goods.

          1. re: coney with everything

            I will make sure to go have a look in that area then. I wish it were closer but I can stock up. It's not like I need to go there everyday.

            1. re: DirdenT

              Dirden T, Troy-and-neighbors definitely is your kind of area. Take I75 to M59 (east) and then exit south on Rochester Rd. Your first stop is Nino Salvaggio’s grocery. This place isn’t ethnic, by your definition, but they do have nice fresh curry leaves.

              Heading south on Rochester Rd. there are a couple Indian grocers, as well as the RELATIVELY quite good Ashoka Indian restaurant. I’m not an Indian grocery frequenter, but one of the two places in the area is All India's Foods at 4939 Rochester Rd. Though, a bit further south, on Maple Rd (15 Mile Rd) is a cluster of them, such as Balaji Foods at 61 E Maple Rd, and Namaste at 164 E Maple Rd., etc.. There has not been a big consolidation of Indian grocers. They remain many and small.

              Backing up…Just a ways after your first stop at Nino Salvaggio’s, you will hit a good Korean grocer at 5060 Rochester Rd, named Han Mi. Following your way south, you will hit the cross street of Big Beaver Rd (16 Mile Rd.), where you could head east to E-Mart at 2963 East Big Beaver for even more Korean selection, including a lunch counter, too. There’s at least one more Korean grocer between these two stops, but this is not meant to be an exhaustive list…

              For Japanese, it’s Noble Fish, located just west of Rochester Rd., at 45 East 14 Mile Rd. Look at a map first, because Rochester Rd. gets choppy and changes its name along the way.

              For Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese groceries, you probably should take I75 clear down to the 14 Mile Rd exit and head just east to John R Rd. where south of there you will find Chinese groceries at the refurbishing Fuji Market at 31722 John R Rd (yes, I know Fuji is a dumb name for a Chinese market…They used to be the headquarters for a market called China Merchandise, but I won’t go into that story).

              South of there, you obviously will hit 13 Mile Rd. If you continue straight on John R, you will arrive at the up-and-coming Saigon Market, or if you turn left on 13 Mile Rd. you will arrive at Kim Nhung Superfood‎ (facing 13 Mile, but technically at 30925 Dequindre Rd.), which is famous for Thai and Vietnamese groceries. To get a bigger selection, you’d have to head clear to Detroit (Seven Seas) or way over to Ypsilanti (Hua Xing).

              Welcome, and keep in touch!

              Noble Fish
              45 E 14 Mile Rd, Clawson, MI 48017

              1. re: vtombrown

                Thank you very much. I will go have a look as soon as I have some time (and money) to spend. I understand that ethnic means nothing and everything at once. It just means they specialize in certain countries and cultures. I didn't know how to describe it better than that.

                1. re: vtombrown

                  So, what happened to China Merchandise? :) I went there a few years ago when I got back to MI. Each time I've passed the remodeled Fuji it says "coming soon". Are they reopened? thanks!

                  1. re: kellycolorado

                    Yes, the Madison Hts China Merchandise FINALLY reopened last week, as Fuji Market. The grocery items still are mostly Chinese despite the Japanese name ("Fuji" was taken from the owner's other business nearby, Fuji Buffet). The store has been transformed from good, to very good (still not 100% great). The new lobster tanks are a pretty good deal! I hear this store is way better than it's old sister store on the West side.

        2. The Old Orchard strip mall on Orchard Lake and Maple has what I believe is a Middle eastern grocer. Not sure if this is the etnic you're looking for, but on Haggerty and 14 Mile there is a Eastern European grocer.

          10 Replies
          1. re: Fibber McGee

            There is Filipino Oriental Market on Dixie Highway just across from the Eastern Pearl Chinese restaurant. There is also Shreeji Indian Grocer (sp?) in Auburn Hills. Carnival Market in Pontiac will fit all your Mexican cooking needs, and La Mexicana is also on Dixie at Silver Lake rd. but not as varied as Carnival is.

            1. re: GrueLurks

              Ah that is closer. I will go have a look next weekend.

              1. re: DirdenT

                Alright, today is the day. I'm going on a mega ethnic store touring spree. Spending the whole day going from place to place. I'll be doing the whole list of suggestions. Full tank of gas, full day of fun! :)

                  1. re: coney with everything

                    Hey Cw/E, Have you tried the new Indian place, Athidhi, at 15Mile and Dequindre? I had their buffet, weekend before last, which was decent and PACKED, but I'm more wondering about their dinner menu quality. I still haven't popped up to International (M.E.) Market at 17 Mile to get their hommous, as you suggest, but I'll get there soon.

                    1. re: vtombrown

                      Nope, don't usually eat out on that side of town. My DH is not an Indian fan, so I tend to get my fix at Rangoli, by work. He'll eat Indian when I cook it but not enthusiastically :)

                    2. re: coney with everything

                      Alright, so after 6 hours of ''grocery hopping'' I've come to some conclusions: 1. Troy and surroundings definitely full of awesome. 2. I really don't care if I have to drive 30 - 45 mins to go to a store I love. 3. It's really easy to spend a lot of money on food you don't need.

                      I skipped the closer groceries suggested by some here for the simple reason that I felt more inspired by Troy and it's surroundings. I have to say that even though Nino Salvaggio's was not what I was looking for, it's an amazing store that should be visited by all. I dare you to come out of there with nothing. Fruit and vegetable selection is probably the best I've seen since I moved in the area in April. How often can you get fresh raw peanuts... I love having all the dry beans displayed as they do it. Lots of cheese and meats. Cool bakery section with really nice breads. The dry goods aisles were nice, but not the main attraction. Overall I'd give it a 9/10. I will be going back there for sure.

                      On all the indian groceries I've visited, India Town on Dequindre near 15 mile definately had the best selection. (and the best organization... they're often in a weird order, it's just how it is.) I don't think anyone mentioned that one. It's another one worth a visit for anyone that makes indian food at home. Of course I have not visited every indian store in a 100 mile radius, so there very well might be a better one out there, but so far, they had everything I was looking for indian wise (minus the fresh curry leaves) As for asian groceries (I know, I know, indian is also asian :P ) I loved Kim Nhung Superfood, mostly for the fish selection. I don't know how many times I said ''WOW!''. I will be back later for some. (I will add this important note to any chowhounder hopping from store to store: bring a cooler with ice or have some kind of refrigeration system. I didn't and I had to skip the fish cause I wanted to keep it as fresh as possible) Other than that the store also had a good selection items. I think on it's own it wouldn't have all of what I'm looking for but combined with another different one I'm sure I would be completely satisfied. I did like Han Mi and felt it did complete Kim Nhung pretty well.

                      My next trip will be more japanese oriented as I have not explored that side on this trip. There just so many stores it's hard to keep track of them all. I just talked of my favorites on this trip. I'm sure lots of you have their own favorites. That's what's I love about food; we all like different things which makes it a fun world to explore.

                      I hope this thread has helped others who like me were looking for some nice groceries. Thanks to all who contributed and I will see you on the forums.

                      1. re: DirdenT

                        thanks for the report!

                        Did you find curry leaves @ Nino's? They do usually have them.

                        1. re: coney with everything

                          I honestly did not even look for them. I was looking everywhere and jumping from place to place. It completely slipped my mind. But I can see where they would have been.

                          1. re: DirdenT

                            I get my curry leaves at the grocery store owned by the Rangoli people on Walton west of Squirrel, Spices of India. I eat lunch then head over for curry leaves. My alternate place is the Indian place on Rochester road across from the Target complex in Rochester Hills, India Grocers. I freeze them in a single layer in a ziploc and they last a lot longer (up to a month+).

                            For asian groceries, I also recommend Saigon Market on John R north of 12 mile, especially for vietnamese herbs/veggies. So fresh! I always go mid week.