Downtown Fargo grocery markets not hard to find
By Skyy Lynn Special to The Forum It's been three years now that my husband and I have lived downtown Fargo. When I tell this to people, I wish I had a dollar for every time I hear, "It's too bad there isn't a grocery store downtown." That little...
By Skyy Lynn
Special to The Forum
It's been three years now that my husband and I have lived downtown Fargo. When I tell this to people, I wish I had a dollar for every time I hear, "It's too bad there isn't a grocery store downtown." That little nest egg could subsidize my lavish tea habit.
With that, let's think outside the big-box grocery stores and see what downtown really has to offer. To market, to market we'll go. But first, let me grab my reusable shopping bags and let's take a walk. That's right, we don't need any petrol for this shopping trip.
I start the excursion at 1 p.m. and go out the back door of our building. I cut across the Old Broadway/ NDSU Arts parking lot, past the Plains Art Museum three more blocks. My first stop is at Tochi Products. It's a great store for pantry staples, such as rice, pasta and snacks.
If you have cats, get a few ounces of fresh catnip while you're there.
Heading back to Broadway, I stop into Swanson's Health Products where I pick up vitamins and a few environmentally friendly, household-cleaning essentials. It's rewarding to browse the refrigerated and freezer departments for treats like juices or frozen yogurts, along with a variety of entrées, meats, and vegetarian meals.
Next I make my way three blocks east past The Forum building and cut across the parking lot to the Green Market. I always get a warm welcome here. I listen to the daily specials and order two side dishes to go. Now, I am looking into the deli case and admiring the intricate selection of gourmet cheeses and organic meats. As my cheese selections are being packaged, I choose some garlic basil ciabatta buns from their freshly baked bread assortment.
Two blocks south, I stop at the Fryin' Pan restaurant to pick up their fresh baked muffins. If you're single, I suggest you only buy one since all of their muffins are oversized. And since I'm next door to the Mobil gas station and convenience store, I'll stop in to pick up milk and cream.
Redistributing the weight of my bundles in both bags, I head out three blocks west to the Asian Market. Here I will find the freshest produce with really interesting items. I love the mini-bananas that are 3 inches long and on a stem with a dozens of pods laid out like a yellow fan. The market also carries fresh seafood.
When I make my way to the checkout counter, George, the cashier, is typically there visiting with customers in their native language, smiling and laughing.
Heading back to my condo, I stop at the next block to visit Nichole's Fine Pastry to enjoy a quick cup of gourmet tea and pick up something wonderful for dessert. I relax a few minutes while I think about the evening meal and all the wonderful food I gathered.
My last stop is only two blocks away, to Prairie Petals - a reward for hunting and gathering the last hour and a half. Stepping into the shop, I look around at all of the eye candy; the displays of natural floral arrangements, the unusual floral selections, and the numerous vases displayed on the wall make me feel like Alice in Wonderland, having arrived just in time for the tea party.
The moral of this story: Downtown offers 10 shops where you can buy your groceries. Think of it as in time gone by, with each merchant specializing in certain foods. This is how they still grocery shop in Brooklyn, N.Y., and how the Europeans still shop for meals.
So maybe you go to the market two or three times a week, but part of the experience is savoring the hunt, and getting to know the local owners and staff.
Skyy is a freelance writer and lives in Fargo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .