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Sep 4, 2010 11:44 PM

Where can I get Imported Groceries in Harrisburg Area?

Greetings All, I have lived in the Harrisburg area for the last several years and have not been able to find a source for Imported Italian, Greek, Central European( Polish,Russian, Etc.), groceries. A recommendation on quality Asian markets. Imported Cheese mongers in the area. Lastly is there such thing as NJ/NY style Hard Rolls / Danish or Italian Bakers in this area. My last source was Mandros Imported Foods in Lancaster, but that's a long way to go. BTW all the posts I've read so far, tell me that you are all an AWSOME bunch of People! Thank you for your time, JJ

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  1. I haven't been there but I heard that an Italian market has opened in Carlisle
    For asian I head down to Maryland and pack away for a year or so. Try Alvera's for
    Italian pastry and bread
    Good luck, just buy a kaiser roll from Giant, fry up some Taylor pork roll and cry
    The lack of supplies has just made me a better cook. When life gives you lemons make Lemoncello curd with local berries

    3 Replies
    1. re: pashibaboy

      Thank you for your quick response,TJ, First where do you hail from, I've been here 20 yrs and most locals don't know T. Pork Roll from Sweet Bologna. First month here went out for breakfast with the Mrs. she orders Pork Roll and Cheese on a Hard Roll, the waitress replies, "What's Pork Roll,"and "Mam we throw the Rolls out when they get HARD." Second, I'm a Culinary Instructor and will be teaching at HACC in the spring, I went there at 33 and had a woman in her 50's and a guy 65, retired Navy, it's never too late. Lastly this keyboard is still damp from me drooling over the pictures from Alvaro's. Thanks again, all the best. JJ

      1. re: Chef Jimmy J

        Hi Jimmy
        Born in Newark, NJ and raised in Orange, NJ and the wife is from Toms RIver. We've been here for 17 years. Take a look at my post for Pomona's. They are closing on Sat and you'll be missing out on a great meal if you don't make it
        If you head to Carlisle, let me know if it is worth the trip. BTW, where are you from ?

        1. re: pashibaboy

          Cool to meet another Jersey Boy, I was born and raised in Piscataway, just down the street from you in PA miles. If you get on FaceBook friend request me at Chef Jim Jankoski. There is more info about me and that's a more appropriate place to chat. If you think of anything else keep it coming. Since your a mr. I'll ask your age. JJ

    2. Welcome to Chowhound! I'll try to add some information to what pashibaboy has already provided.

      Italian: Alvaro's is definitely worth a visit and, starting this month, they will also be open for dinner. They do sell a few Italian groceries (provolone, salami, capicola, etc.), but be aware that what they have is mostly Italian-American, not imported Italian. The new store in Carlisle is Da Emilia Italian Market. There is another new store in Hummelstown called Cielo Sereno Imports. (It is actually the second store opened under that name and under the same ownership. The other one is in Campbelltown.) Finally, there is Nino's, located next to the restaurant of the same name in Camp Hill. I've shopped at Nino's--good standard Italian cheeses and decent charcuterie, as well as a few other imported items. I've not been to either of the new places yet, but plan on visiting the one in Hummelstown in the next few weeks. I'll try to remember to report back on it.

      Greek: Curiously, there is a fairly large Greek population and a large Greek Orthodox church in the area, but there are no Greek restaurants or markets, although there are several restaurants and diners owned by Greek-Americans. There used to be a stand at Broad Street Market in Harrisburg that carried Greek foods (it was run by the guy that now owns Cedars Lebanese Restaurant in Camp Hill), but that closed several years ago. Mandros in Lancaster is probably your best bet for Greek items.

      Central European: There's not a large population in this area, apart from Serbo-Croatians in Steelton and a large influx of Bosnians in recent years, who have settled on both the East and West Shores. A Bosnian eatery--Euroburger--just opened in Carlisle. I don't know if they also sell some market foods.

      Indian: There is Asian Indian Grocery and Spice on the Carlisle Pike in Camp Hill and India Groceries on Walnut Street in Penbrook.

      Middle Eastern: There's a market in Steelton whose name escapes me. Shab's, located on Progress Avenue in Susquehanna Township, also has a market in conjunction with their restaurant.

      Far Eastern: There's nothing like the large Asian markets you'll find in cities like New York, San Francisco or Philadelphia, but there are nevertheless several to choose from in this area. The largest Asian populations in this area are Vietnamese and Chinese, so the markets tend to be top-heavy on items from these countries. I have shopped at Tu Do off of Derry Street in Harrisburg (small and cramped, but it's been around for a long time and has won the loyalty of a lot of Asian locals), at Kim's Oriental Foods on Paxton Street in H'burg and at the market at the Asia Mall (13th Street, H'burg, just off I-83), which probably has the largest selection (again, favoring Vietnamese and Chinese) and sells fresh vegetables, herbs, meats and fish as well as shelf items. There's also a market in Penbrook that used to be called Wing Ho, but now has another name I can't recall. It was primarily a Chinese market, but I don't know if the new owners have altered the product mix. There's a second market on Paxton Street: the Little Saigon Market, which carries primarily Vietnamese foods.

      For Korean, there is Choe's in the State Street Plaza in Lemoyne, next to the West Shore Farmers Market. However, if you like Korean food, you should visit Spring Garden Restaurant in Camp Hill. Excellent food, and the owner also sells her own kim chee and other Korean specialties that you can take home.

      There is an Asian market on Trindle Road in Mechanicsburg that is owned by a Japanese woman and so has more Japanese items than the average Asian market in the area. However, I've found things there on the shelves that are close to being out of date, or even expired, so you need to check things carefully before you buy. I believe it is still open, but I haven't been there in two or three years.

      There was a small Filipino grocery in Linglestown that, unfortunately, just closed.

      Cheese: If you are looking for a cheese shop where the staff really knows its cheeses and cuts everything to order, you are out of luck. There aren't any. Mine was the only such shop in the area, but I closed it a little over a year ago. You can get imported cheeses at some of the Italian shops. For a more varied international offering, try Wegmans in Mechanicsburg or Weaver's at the West Shore Farmer's market. Olewine's in downtown Harrisburg (next to Bricco Restaurant) and Breads 'N Cheese in Hershey both have some cheeses, but the selection in both places is rather small. In Lancaster County, the Town Clock Cheese Shop in Gap is worth visiting. Personally, my standards for cheese are very high, and I've found it necessary to order by mail to get the quality and variety I expect.

      Finally, Peggy's Silver Spoon at the West Shore Farmers market sells imported foods from various countries--shelf items, nothing that requires refrigeration.

      Spring Garden Restaurant
      3499 Market St, Camp Hill, PA 17011

      5 Replies
      1. re: cheesemaestro

        Cheese,I am extemely greatful for your efforts, many thanks, the closing of your store must have been a major loss to the area Cheezer's. One more I forgot, any Mexican/So. American around? I shall enjoy following your posts. JJ

        1. re: Chef Jimmy J

          Tres Hermanos at Cameron and Paxton streets in Harrisburg has a little market, as well as being a good taqueria. There is also a caribbean bakery further down Cameron street in Steelton, right near the Halal butcher.

        2. re: cheesemaestro

          UPDATE: Stopped in at Cielo Sereno Imports in Hummelstown yesterday. It's just off the square downtown. Very nice small shop. They bring in bread daily from Marie's Breads in Hoboken, NJ. I bought a long semolina loaf that was excellent and a round Italian bread that we froze, so haven't tried yet. Many other types of bread, plus prosciutto bread and tomato foccaccia that looked awesome and is a definite buy the next time I'm there. They have items from Di Bruno Brothers (a small selection of cheeses and charcuterie that are precut and vacuum packed for them). They also have frozen filled pastas (e.g., ravioli) from Brooklyn. The owner makes her own very fine marinara sauce. I sampled it and then bought a big jar. They are turning the adjacent space into an Italian cafe, but it's not open yet. Definitely worth a visit.

          As for Mexican, I don't cook it at home. I didn't know if Harrisburg had a Mexican grocery, but I searched and found one: Mexican Grocery La Paz on Eisenhower Blvd. I know nothing about it, though.

          I'm not from NJ (nor originally from PA either), but I've lived in Jersey twice: the first time between Trenton and Princeton, and the second time near Morristown.

          Best of luck with your teaching at HACC. I know some of the chef instructors there. They are a great bunch.

          Di Bruno Brothers
          1730 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

          1. re: cheesemaestro

            Thank you for the update, You live in Jersey, then your from Jersey!, the air and water permenantly alter your Genetics. JJ

          2. re: cheesemaestro

            There is a wonderful Greek restaurant in Mechanicsburg pa Hellenic Kouzina.They open at 11:00am. You can check them out on Facebook.

          3. Hi. I know you said Lancaster is a bit out of the way, but if you are still looking for Central European (Bosnian, Polish, Croatian) food, I highly recommend European Grocery on Fruitville Pike. Thanks for the heads up about hard rolls at Mandros. I haven't been in there and have been craving hard rolls from my childhood.

            I found this source online but since it is from F&M, these are Lancaster. Still, my help if you are desperate.

            Cultural Centers/Gift Stores/Non-Perishables

            * 10,000 Villages, 240 N. Reading Rd. (Route 272), Ephrata, PA ph: 721-8400 (Fax 721-8431)
            * Bethel A.M.E. Cultural Center, 512 E. Strawberry, ph: 393-8379 (Fax 396-8382
            ) * International Groceries & Gifts (Asian, Indian & Pakistani Foods), 147 Rohrerstown Rd, Regency Square Mall ph: 299-2152


            * Addisu Ethiopia Grocery, 1027 Dillerville Rd # 3, Lancaster, PA 17603-2647 ph:(717) 291-1542‎

            Asia/Pacific Islanders

            * Asian & Spanish Market, 24 W Clay St, Lancaster, PA 17603 ph:(717) 299-2331‎
            * A.K. Kanji, 908 Main Street., Akron, PA 859-4561
            * Giant (Asian and Hispanic Food), E. Walnut & Broad St, or on Columbia Ave. ph:299-1199(Walnut & Broad) or 291-9678 (Columbia Ave.)
            * Lemongrass (Thai), 481 Lincoln Hwy E, Lancaster, PA 17602-1482 ph: 295-1621
            * OHM Indian Grocery, 1343 Fruitville Pike, Lancaster, PA 17601-4001 ph: (717) 397-2540‎
            * Rice N Roll‎ (Philippine) , 215 N Franklin St, Lancaster, PA‎ - (717) 672-0502
            * Viet My Oriental Food Market, 548 N. Franklin St., ph: 393-0338

            Europe & Middle East

            * European Grocery Store, 1345 Fruitville Pike, Lancaster, PA 17601-4001, (717) 397-4620‎
            * Habibi's Middle Eastern Baked Goods (Restaurant & Groceries), N. Prince St. (across from Coe Camera Shop)
            * Mandros Groceries (Imported Greek, Italian & Specialty Foods), N. Charlotte & Lemon St. ph: 397-8926

            Latin/Southern Hemisphere

            * Asian & Spanish Market, 24 W Clay St, Lancaster, PA 17603 ph:(717) 299-2331‎
            * Giant (Asian and Hispanic Food), E. Walnut & Broad St, or on Columbia Ave. ph:299-1199(Walnut & Broad) or 291-9678 (Columbia Ave.)
            * Cocina Mexicana, 47 N Prince Street, Lancaster, PA 17603, ph: 393-9193
            * El Pueblito 1027 Dillerville Road, Lancaster, PA 17603, ph:393-9411
            * Super Bread Colombian Bakery, 47 N Queen St, Lancaster, PA 17603-3838 Ph: (717) 299-3005‎

            Also, our Stauffer's of Kissel Hill carries a wide selection of imported cheeses and international foods, including Bosnian goods. Imported cheeses are also at S. Clyde Weaver's. They are at the farmers' markets, but there store in East Petersburg is great. Good imported chorizo and an olive oil and vinegar bar.

            Spanish Market
            320 S Lime St, Lancaster, PA 17602

            Prince Street Cafe
            17 N Prince St, Lancaster, PA 17603

            Super Bread Colombian Bakery
            47 N Queen St, Lancaster, PA 17603

            4 Replies
            1. re: aekbooth

              OMG I AM SO SORRY! I mislead you, Mandros does not have Hard Roll, or least they didn't 10 years ago when I lived in Columbia. Mandros did have a flavorful French bread they kept frozen, this they claimed was a custom item a Millersville Bakery made for them, I never followed up to find the bakery. I hope you didn't get your mouth set for these, I TOTALLY understand the disappointment in central PA's lack of Hard Roll production. My daugher and I have been working on a recipe and will be testing as soon as I can get my oven fixed. Something this CRITICLE I will share. Thank you so much for the info, lots of improvement to the Lancaster foods scene, I will have to get about $500 together and make a run south. Dino and Bill at Mandros are awsome! I miss their Dad and Mom, those two could keep you in the store for hours with samples and food trivia from the Old Country. Please accept my apology, JJ

              1. re: Chef Jimmy J

                No problem. But I'd love the recipe when you get it tweaked. I still have to get to Mandros. I go by it at least once a week and have never stopped in. Thanks!

                1. re: aekbooth

                  You might want to try this, I haven't tried the recipe but will now that I found it
                  This is a great thread for us NJ/NY transplants

                  1. re: pashibaboy

                    Holy smokes T, I spent hours just on the kaiser roll thread and it's associated links. An incredable recommendation, I'm afraid if I open the other link I won't have time to play with you guy's over here! Thanks, JJ Aekbooth you gots to check pboys links!

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. I am looking for a source for Fargo empanada is frozen in packs of 12 usually. Need the kind for baking, not frying. It anyone has seen them around, please let me know. I have not even been able to find a South American grocery store in this area!