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Food markets in western suburbs? (nearish Broomall)

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I grew up in Broomall, and my parents still live there. I'm going to be visiting them soon and would like to cook for them a little while I'm there.

For the most part, my Mom just shops at big chain supermarkets, and always has. Out here (Berkeley, CA) there are lots of wonderful local markets to shop at, but I have no idea of what's around my parents' house.

A few things I have in mind are good produce (organic preferred, but I'm flexible), bulk foods, bakeries, cheese shops, fish markets, and Asian (esp. Thai) ingredients. But really if anyone has any recommendations for interesting markets in the general vicinity of Broomall, the Main Line, western suburbs, or even West Philly, I'm curious.

I'll be able to borrow a car from my parents when I'm there, so I can drive a little bit.

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  1. Right near Broomall in West Chester is a roadside farm produce place called Pete's and it is spectacular. They close the first week in November and still have their special Marai corn which I had last night and it was deeeeelicious still!
    They have pies, heirloom tomatoes and their own grown tomatoes which are special.
    It sounds like it is right up your alley.
    Run ... do not walk!
    Then there is the Strafford Farmer's Market on Lancaster Ave. about 15 minutes from Broomall for all kinds of home grown produce. Their iceberg lettuce is particularly fine and fresh (no plastic wraps and all that stuff).
    The place is a paradise for cheeses, meats, bakeries of all kinds, deli stands, flower stands, coffee places, wings, you get the picture.

    1. Gentile's in Newtown Square PA - just off Route 3 on Route 252 is great for produce.

      1. +1 for Gentiles-- a straight up produce stand with great prices and fresh stuff --they also have milk and a small amount of eggs, cheese. much closer to Broomall -- heading west- it's left at the intersect. of 252 and Rt. 3

        1 Reply
        1. re: elmom

          There's an H-mart in Upper Darby for your Asian needs.

        2. +2 for Gentiles, word of caution, kind of like produce junction, some things are not yet ripe , some things are too ripe. they buy bulk, example,,, hard as rocks peaches , in Aug, from georgia or calif when Local Pa or NJ peaches are at their prime.

          1 Reply
          1. re: seagulls1

            If you do go to Gentile's, and if you're looking for really good, freshly roasted coffee, just continue on Rt. 252 a very short distance (maybe half a mile) to Bean and Burlap on your right.

          2. Since you mentioned a preference for organic, I thought I'd make a couple of comments. I also have a preference for organic and around here you might need to resort to a chain for that, The most reliable source of organic is at Whole Foods in Devon. However the Giant in Broomall can have a decent selection. Gentile's has its merits, but I rarely see organic there. I think Pete's, while not organic, is so fresh that it might be worth the drive.

            I also frequent the Wayne (Strafford) Farmers Market (open W, F, Sa). It is very near the Devon Whole Foods so what I can't get at one place, I can get at the other. Rittenhouse Farm's chickens at the Farmers Market are fresh and anti-biotic/hormone free and I think are much better in taste and value than WF. But I think the meat is better at WF. So I bring a cooler and buy some things at one place, put in cooler and then go shop at the other.

            1. Another vote for Gentile's and one for Bean and Burlap. I was to the latter in May and they have the most flavorful decaf I've ever tasted.
              I trust Hill's Seafood is still at Rts. 3 and 252 as it was a regular stop after Gentile's.
              CP

              1. The Farmers Market in Suburban Square(Ardmore) has a great seafood counter, a DiBruno's outpost for spices, cheeses and charcuterie, Lancaster County Meats and a decent veggie stand. Expensive but top quality. Also there is a Trader Joes next to it, and Whole Foods in Wynnewood is less than a mile away. BTW, super nice of you to cook for your parents. I'm pretty sure in most households its the other way around!