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MSP - South of the River Ethnic Explosion

MSPD | May 3, 200605:48 PM

My amazement grows. Granted, the ethnic diversity of Burnsville and west Eagan continues to quickly expand, but the proliferation of ethnic grocery markets ahead of the population growth is impressive.

I've posted before about the half dozen small Asian grocery stores, the three eastern European/Russian markets, the Mexican markets, the Italian deli, etc. within a close proximity of the Highway 13 corridor, but I continue to locate more things to check out.

I finally got a few minutes to check out the "Groceries of the Orient" market at 3101 W Highway 13 (a little ways west of 35W) in Burnsville. Holy cow! It's like a mini United Noodle right here in Burnsville. Lots of fresh veggies and herbs, a gazillion frozen fish, durian (frozen), all kinds of beef/pork/chicken pieces and parts, and a million things that, as always, I wondered "what the hell do they do with that outside of the Iron Chef?"

They have a small case of cooked items (only a couple kinds of fried whole fish, wings and Vietnamese style pork egg rolls today but the guy said they would try and expand in the near future as staffing would allow). He said weekends are better too. Behind the case through the door was a giant restaurant grade kitchen -- this has the potential to become something great some day. The egg rolls were solid but you would have to buy a bottle of sauce I guess...they didn't have any to offer.

I only had 15 minutes to explore, but this is actually worth a trip from far away if you're into Asian cooking. (Not if you live near United Noodle of course).

Next, and I haven't stopped in yet, the Dakota Halal Market just opened at the corner of McAndrews Road and Nicollet Avenue in Burnsville. There's a growing east African population in Burnsville -- maybe this will be the slow prelude to a local restaurant or two down here.

And I recently discovered a very fresh and well-stocked 'dulceria' case and butcher case with several nice looking bakery treats and marinating meats in the Mexican market tucked in the strip mall behind TCF Bank (Nicollet Avenue and Burnsville Parkway...northeast corner of that intersection).

Man, if I were a much better cook, I wouldn't care one bit that the restaurant scene is so shallow down here.

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