Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Shopping at Central Market

Central Market
HEB Food-Drugs #/546
320 Coit
Plano, TX 75076
Phone: 469-241-8300
Store Hours: 8 a. m. to 10. p. m.

Central Market is the essential place to shop. It is a grocery store like no other.

Entering, you will go through the produce section. Fresh produce is not something on the periphery of the store. Instead it is important. There are fresh vegetables and fruits organically grown from all the right places. We like the bananas and the Brussels sprouts. I've never seen such a varied selection of potatoes. The precious little fingerlings of infinite variety are fun to select. They taste delicious. The artichokes are outstanding.

After winding through the marvelous displays of fresh fruits and vegetables, you will find yourself in the meat market and fish market. Let's check the leg of lamb. I love it! If you are not traveling too far, buy one. (Or perhaps you should buy a cooler.)

My favorite part of the store is the section deep inside the store where you can weigh spices and put them in your own bags. I love the spices, as well as many of the other food items there -- coffee, nuts, candy, peanut butter, honey, cereals, flours, meals – displayed in an endless array. Sounds expensive? No. Actually these items are less expensive than prepackaged items. The curry and the chile powder mix are the best. We usually select a big bag or two of Wasabi peas (dehydrated English peas coated in Wasabi and horseradish) to munch on the way home and for days to come. We like the flax seed, which are incredibly delicious and noted for their salubrious properties. If you lose us in the store, look here. We stay here about an hour.

Did I say what my favorite section is? It is the bakery. Our favorite bread is the white chocolate apricot. We eat it toasted or straight out of the package. Don't miss the most delicious item in the store
being made by expert cooks on the spot – tortillas. I like the little golden ones with sun-dried tomatoes and flecks of pepper in them. When I pass there, I admire these and the ladies usually hand me one to cram into my starving mouth.

What I really like most in Central Market is the selection of cheese. Along the walls there are coolers with every kind of cheese imaginable. What makes this section special is the station in the middle of the floor where someone is making mozzarella cheese balls in olive oil and garlic. Buy a jar of these and serve them on very special occasions. When you pass, the cheese preparer will give you a morsel. My advice: go there first and pass the section several times as you shop. The taste is splendid.

There is a section of sausages and prepared meats. We usually select the hot Italian sausage, the bratwurst, the JalapeƱo cheddar sausage, the salami with JalapeƱos. By the time we arrive in this section, which is my favorite, the shopping cart is too full to hold anything else.

And there is a deli section. Since we have already filled our cart, we don't buy things here, although it is the most intriguing food in the store.

On the way out, we will pass through the florist's section, where the flowers are unusual and inviting. By the time we arrive there, we are loaded with food. There is no more space in the car to place flowers.

You owe it to yourself to shop at Central Market at least once in your life.

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