Continuing the recent thread for provisioning in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County, further north in Healdsburg some changes are afoot. Ansteads Marketplace and Deli (428 Center St., 707-431-0530) has moved to new quarters, nearly doubling its square footage. Specializing in locally-grown organic produce, it now has wider aisles, more space for packaged goods (natural and organic, of course) and has expanded its prepared food counter too. The selections in the deli case look delicious and Ill be packing a box lunch (at lower prices than Oakville Grocery) here soon to try them out. The new setting has shed its hippy-dippy ambience and taken on a well-lighted rural sheen.
The freezer case is packed with organic meats, including grass-fed beef from Marin. Fresh organic Rosie chickens are delivered daily from Petaluma. The massive yogurt section abounds with Nancys, Pavels, Straus, Brown Cow, Redwood Hill goat, and others. I did a taste comparison between Redwood Hill and Brown Cows blueberry yogurts and decided that goat yogurt is not for me. Not so healthy and new to me was the Studebaker Cheese Cake (P.O. Box 2038, Boyes Hot Springs, CA 95416) from Sonoma Valley available as a 6 oz. naked single serving for $3.99. Labeled as all natural ingredients, this is a smooth and very creamy style with a layer of sour cream baked on top in a graham cracker crust.
In the same shopping center, the former Azteca Market and Taqueria is now Los Mares Market and Taqueria. The layout is much the same but cleaned up substantially. The seafood counter has more selection and both it and the meat counter are now in a condition that Id be willing to purchase something. The taquerias menu now has more seafood selections, including campechana cocteles and seafood soups, that Im looking forward to sampling. So far, Ive had a ceviche tostada that was very nice with a brightly limey zing and very fresh tomato and cilantro mingled with the tender white fish. Half an avocado was scooped out and piled in the center, making this quite filling and a little hard to eat out of hand. Also good was the taco de birria de res, filled with tender shreds of beef stewed in a zesty chili sauce and served with a tasty roasted tomato salsa, chopped onions and cilantro.
Signs outside Ansteads former location on Healdsburg Avenue announce that Brunos Market will soon open in that space. Its busy with construction inside and out. According to the sign, this will feature organic produce, an Italian delicatessen, specialty food products, and a fresh meat counter.