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[PDX] Premier Russian Market: From Vancouver with Love

extramsg | Mar 12, 200501:24 AM

Went to explore a couple places on the stretch of 4th Plain between SR 500/503 and 205 in Vancouver. This section includes a few of Vancouver's better ethnic eateries, including Fa Fa Gourmet and Namaste. It also includes Vancouver's only Indian market that I know of, Desi Market.

That's why I originally went up the street. It was an okay little market. It had very little produce -- some tarot, garlic, onions, okra, and frozen vegetables. But it did have a freezer of Indian breads, most spices in multiple sizes, ghee, big bags of basmati, etc. It also had what seemed like a bigger selection of bagged chaat than I've seen most places. And one other thing I haven't noticed much other places (whippy and trillium can probably correct me here) were house made Indian sweets. Bought some of those. They weren't great, but they weren't bad.

On the way back home, I decided to stop at a Premier Euro Food, a Russian market. I'm glad I did. The people were much nicer than some other eastern European markets I've been to. They had no problem with me taking pictures. (I've uploaded 50+ of them. See link below.)

They have breads, mostly varieties of Rye, made by Ararat Bakery. (I've often driven by Ararat on MLK. Anyone been?) They have the myriad of pickled items you see in such markets, including several jars of pickled mushrooms. They also had several vegetable purees/spreads, canned fishes, rows of candies, and teas. A nice looking cake case, too.

But the real attractions were the meat/cheese case and the fish case. A good selection of salamis and smoked sausasges. Sorry, I can't recall the names. You can try to read them on the cards on my photos. Educate me.

But what I tried was good, especially the salami. As is the case sometimes, the sausages were a little underseasoned for my American tastes. But that suggests to me they may be rather authentic. The salami fit my palate better. (But this is not to say I didn't enjoy the sausage.) There were also bolognas/wursts, double smoked slab bacon, rib bacon, head cheese, and flavored loins. Havartis, fetas, and farmer's cheeses, too.

The fish case contained cold smoked fishes, such as mackerel, trout, and salmon. And pickled herring, of course. Plus dried fishes and one or two hot smoked fish.

The other Russian markets I've been to in the metro area, just a couple, have seemed smaller with much weaker inventories. I'd say this place seems at least as good or better than the German markets in town.



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