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Dec 19, 2013 03:11 AM

Alibaba Supermarket in Manchester NH

Has anyone shopped at this new market? I thought I would see a review by now. I miss the good prices and variety of fresh produce and mushrooms at Saigon Asian Market although made it to the remaining one in Nashua a little while ago.

Any recommendations on what to buy there? It's time to expand my menus to include Middle East etc. I've been told I can make my own preserved lemons but would rather buy some. Would like to know if it's worth the drive (45 minutes). TIA

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  1. I have heard about it and thre is a number of new reviews on .
    It sounds fantastic.
    It will be a must stop for me when I get up to Manchester.

    1. It's basically a regular supermarket (like you can find all the same produce, laundry detergent, cereals at other supermarket retailers), with some additional specialty items. I know I saw a local creamery in their milk display. There's fresh produce, but then there's also an olive bar, plus a deli and bakery area, and then a quick-service food counter that also has some Mediterranean/middle eastern inspired cuisine, and American plates, too. The owners also own Spice Center on Maple Street in Manchester.

      1. Overall it was underwhelming. They have some interesting Middle Eastern items, such as spices, cheeses, packaged foods...but I'm not sure I could confidently suggest a trip just to go shop there if it's out if your way. The prepared foods were just ok too. We had a pretty decent gyro that was at least sliced right off the rotisserie, but it probably came to the store in a bag. The "fresh baked" pastries we noticed were sitting in boxes and had been sent from Canada. Overall, I can't say it's horrible, but I would not suggest that you make a 45 minute trip to shop there. Go find those ingredients online.

        1 Reply
        1. re: solargarlic

          Thanks. I ended up there yesterday in the middle of the afternoon due to Christmas errands. I bought a couple of things but I think they have a better selection of Middle Eastern foods at their Spice Center. I bought three jarred products. The hot food section looked closed although there was food out. There seemed to be a lot of things crossed off the menu signs. Underwhelmed is accurate.

        2. I went there, hoping it would be like Saigon Market, it wasn't. What a complete letdown. The prices were not reasonable when compared to local markets, and the people working the counters are NOT friendly to women. My questions were rebuffed and I even had a clerk walk away from me when I asked a question about Lamb.

          5 Replies
          1. re: gryphonskeeper

            Gryphonskeeper, do you have a dark gray Honda SUV? If so, this afternoon whilst traveling a bit of 89 I passed such a vehicle and wondered if it was you :-) The license plate was a clue. (Not directly related to Chow discussion, but when you think you see a fellow Chow Traveler, you have to ask!)

            Semi-related, I hope you get a chance to visit Lana Asian Market in Nashua if you haven't done so already. I suspect they are picking up a lot of the customer base from the now-closed Manchester Saigon Market. The times I've asked for help they have been very helpful. Not a place for fresh lamb AFAIK (or would expect, being Asian and not Middle Eastern), but for alternative/"exotic" foods and ingredients, hard to go wrong there.

            Disappointing to hear Alibaba may not offer all the name conjures, but I'll probably check it out at least once to see for myself.

            1. re: Dave B

              I like Lana Asian Market but I think I like Saigon Market in Nashua better because it has a larger fresh produce department. You need really good directions to find Saigon in Nashua.

              I got help at Alibaba but I asked a female clerk who ended up asking a male clerk. I was trying to buy harissa and nothing said that on the label. I think their Chinese and Thai products are the same carried at Concord Food Coop and not any better selection than you might find at a large Market Basket. If no one would answer questions, I wouldn't go there again.

              1. re: dfrostnh

                Dfrost, do you have those wonderful directions to Saigon in Nashua? I really miss my speciality teas and fresh fish... seriously, it was swimming 1 minute before I bought it!

                1. re: gryphonskeeper

                  Here's the address and phone
                  Saigon Asian Market
                  33 Pine St
                  Nashua, NH 03060

                  (603) 521-6171

                  I put the address into googlemaps for directions from where I'm starting from. I've only been twice and the first time followed directions for the highway. That might be the easiest because of the one way streets. Last time I followed directions from downtown Nashua. Good luck. It's a little tricky. There were still a lot of bahn mi sandwiches on the Sat of my visit. I think they sold out quickly in Manchester.

              2. re: Dave B

                No, I drive a white sedan... but now I am curious about the plate. I will try Nashua.

            2. Stopped by Ali Baba yesterday. I wish them well, but they seem under-capitalized and over-ambitious. I was expecting to find sides of goat and lamb, a gorgeous array of stuffed grape leaves, kibbe and other prepared foods, but the selection was extremely limited. They had a beautiful selection of gelati, all untouched. Lots of upscale, environmentally friendly household products. They send a mixed message - they are trying to be Whole Foods, A-Market and an ethnic market at the same time. Somebody had a vision, but it is a disorienting place to shop.