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[PDX] Lily Market & Thai Groceries (and Pho Thien)...

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[PDX] Lily Market & Thai Groceries (and Pho Thien)...

ExtraMSG | Dec 28, 2004 03:57 AM

When did Lily expand? It's been a while since I've been there. I usually just go to one of the Vietnamese markets for my Thai groceries. Lily is probably 3 or 4 times the size since I was last there. They had everything crammed together before, but they still have expanded their selection quite a bit. It looks like they expanded into the building behind them perhaps?

Huge Thai fish sauce selection. (Wall of fish sauce pictured below -- and that's not all of them.) There must be forty kinds. 50 lb bags of glutinous and jasmine rice, plus several other Thai rice varieties, including sweet rice packaged by Lily Market.

Produce looked decent. Some things were dodgy, but all the basics were there. They still carry curry leaves. Cheap basil.

No kaffir limes, even frozen. They have leaves, of course, both fresh and frozen. You can even purchase a nine year old tree for $70 to use as a fragrant house plant.

Meat and fish selection, especially fish, could be improved. Basically, you have to get fish fried or frozen. The better Vietnamese markets all trump Lily.

Best canned/jarred selection of Thai goods I've seen. Lots of pickled this and that. Plenty of curry pastes.

Didn't see ant eggs as the guy at Marisa Thai Xpress had said would be at Lily.

They had some prepared goods, like sesame and rice balls. The fried bananas (actually plantains, I think) were fairly tasty when warm. In the back it looks like they'll be cooking and selling food to-go. Asked them how long until they'll be doing that and they said sometime next month. Hopefully they'll do some interesting things.

In the freezer they had both tocino and longaniza for the filipinos, I assume. Plus, they make their own Lao sausage and sell it in ziplocs.

Some interesting seafood in the freezer, but they need to store it better. A lot of the items looked like they were heavily crystallized and probably freezer burned. The vacuum packed stuff looked much nicer.

Lily Market Oriental Food & Gifts
11001 NE Halsey
Portland, OR 97220 - 3052
(503) 255-0448

Went to Pho Thien on Glisan and about 100th afterwards. Straight-forward, a bit boring, menu with mostly pho. But the pho was decent quality with good body for the broth, though a bit bland. All the meats were available and the offal bits weren't a bit awful. Tripe was chewy but not bad tasting. Tendon was edible. Fatty brisket was tender. Etc. I have a hard time distinguising good pho from great pho, but this seemed good enough. Nice salad rolls, too, btw.

PS: Still can't find good Vietnamese in Vancouver. I only know of three places, two in my neighborhood, Green Papaya and Pho Ton, both of which are two of the worst I've tried in PDX. Then there's this total dive on 4th Plain near Andresen that wasn't good enough to go back to, especially since it would take me longer to get there than to get down to Pho Oregon, Pho Hung, or Pho Van. But, if anyone knows of good Vietnamese in Vancouver, please recommend. At least I'm walking distance from Arawan for Thai.

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