Acacia Mart - Turkish food store
11739 S. Wilcrest @ 59
Tis’ the season for new grocery stores, apparently. This one hasn’t gotten as much publicity as some of the others, obviously. Even though it’s very close to me I wouldn’t have known about it if I hadn’t received an email on my blog.
It’s billed as Mediterranean/European but it’s mostly Turkish and it’s larger than Istanbul Market on Hillcroft. Despite the address (just down and across from Lopez Mexican restaurant), it does not face either Wilcrest or the SW Fwy Frontage road. It is brightly lit and clean on the inside and very well stocked. There’s a section devoted to frozen Halal meats including chicken and lamb pieces, plus sliced bastirma and pastrami. A cooler offers multiple varieties of sujuk plus beef mortadella and bologna. There’s also a very good selection of cheeses in the coolers, and of course Ayran and yogurt. There are rows of Turkish cookies and pastries, multiple offerings of Turkish Delight (Lokum) and other candies plus Nutella and Nutella clones. There is a small produce section and lots of pickles, olives and pickled vegetables (I’ve never seen pickled peas or baby okra before).
I’ve seen packages of yufka in the coolers, a Turkish markook, and Turkish lavash. I’ve never had the Turkish versions of these Middle Eastern flatbreads before and don’t know if they differ from the Lebanese versions but they are some of my favorite Middle Eastern flatbreads, both very good for wraps. There are both chilled and unchilled packages of kadaif, kunefe and baklava.
A couple of caveats: many, perhaps most, of the product labels are only in Turkish except perhaps for the mandatory nutrition labels and packages tend to be large. I didn’t see any jars of ajvar smaller than 24 oz. Packages of dates (from California) and frozen sardines are at least a pound.
I didn’t hear about this in time to attend the grand opening and partake of the Turkish hors d'oeuvr/meze pictured on Facebook and unfortunately you are not confronted with an array like that when you walk in. There’s no simit or bazlava but they do carry sandwich baguettes from Parisian Bakery on the Beltway and they are thinking of adding some sort of snack bar section that would offer more ready to eat Turkish goodies. I hope they go forward with this.
They’re open 7 days a week.
Thanks, a friend of mine will be very interested in this. I'm sure you have been to Daido, the Japanese market on Westheimer? The problem I have there also is that everything is in Japanese and so it's a mystery as to what I'm looking at. The owners are helpful in finding specific items though.
It can be a problem even if it's in English too. I have the problem at Phoenicia, which is very good about English language labeling, and Hong Kong Market. But different cuisines use ingredients I'm not familiar with or use familiar ingredients in unrecognizable ways and I'm at a loss. I take lots of chances on things just based on the illustration on the label, sometimes to great disappointment.
By the way, I was in the same strip center as Istanbul Market yesterday doing my taxes and found to my dismay that Istanbul Market has closed. I do not know if they moved to a different location or they just closed completely.
I will try Akacia Market instead, thanks for the tip!