So, mum was in town, she has wheels and we decided to go our and re-stock all the south asian groceries that got left behind when we moved west. Top on the list were lamb for curry, whole baby mango pickle and Hydrobadi pickle, a nice aged basmati rice, toor dal for sambhar, split urad dal and crushed parboiled rice for making dosai and fresh methi and curry leaves. We were encouraged when we read the article last week in Willamette Weekly on the south asian grocery stores in the area.
We chose to go to World Foods because they were closer, had a tandoor oven (we wanted a stock of naan for the freezer) and were selling custom cut Anderson Ranch free-range organic lamb for under $4/lb. We were also very excited to see kaboobs and chaat advertised in the window when we pulled into the parking lot on Sunday. Alas, they were closed and it looked like they were permananently closed based on what we saw inside (very little on the shelves, the freezers standing empty and open). There were no signs up so I have no idea if this is a permanent or temporary thing.
We decided to drive on to Bazaar since the article said it was really large. We were picturing something like a Patel Bros. grocery store. It is perhaps large by Portland standards, but not really that large. There are about 6 short aisles. There was a minimal amount of fresh produce (3 or 4 things), a good selection of basmati and par-boiled rices, all the basic dal you could want and a case with sweets flown in from New York. There were no fresh methi or curry leaves, I found a packet of dried methi leaves, we'll see how it does. We had to settle for chopped mango pickle, the whole baby mango one is sometimes hard to find. They had a Hydrobadi style pickle as well, in a brand we weren't familiar with. The snacks were all past their expiry date so we passed on those. They also had a little arabic food section but all of it looked very old so I didn't bother. They were also selling halal meats and it looked like you could rent bollywood movies as well, but we didn't investigate these options.
We're going to check out the last store in the article, India 4U but we're wondering if there is any other place to buy south asian groceries that the Weekly overlooked.