9.02.2009

A Corner Store Even A Foodie Can Love

Trickling Springs Creamery milk on the shelf at the new Aroma Bakery and Market on U Street NW.

I just downed a glass of cold, rich Trickling Springs Creamery milk that I scored yesterday, off a shelf right beside the Pepsi, from Aroma Bakery and Market. The U Street newcomer (1320 U St. NW) recently opened with a basic deli counter (the tomatoes are local), baked goods, a few fridges full of drinks and some staple items.

But back to the milk. Local, organic milk from grass-fed cows just isn't the kind of thing you see in many DC convenience stores. And generally speaking, save for a few spots like So's Your Mom, the city's corner stores, markets, bodegas — whatever you like to call them — are fairly run-of-the-mill.

But things seem to be looking up — especially if you're a foodie. When Timor Bodega opened at 200 Rhode Island Ave. at the end of 2007, food lovers and neighbors rejoiced over the selection of local meats, dairy (also Trickling Springs), vegetables and more.

Just last month, Cornercopia opened at Third and K Streets SE, selling organic produce, Firehook bread, cheeses, wine, a nice selection of beer, including Duvel and Dogfish Head, and specialty items like gluten-free snacks and almond milk. The store recently announced that it would start carrying Sticky Rice sushi.

These shops occupy the space — and fill a void, I think — between upscale gourmet markets and your basic lotto ticket-hawking corner store.

Back in my neck of the woods, I'll haul my empty milk bottle up to Aroma next week for seconds. I'm glad to have the chance to support a local business and local foods.

What are your favorite convenience stores-gone-gourmet? Think DC's are getting better?

10 comments:

Nichole said...

P&C Market on the West side of Lincoln Park on the Hill is also an excellent example of this sort of "new" corner store. They stock meats from Polyface Farm, an amazing selection of cheeses and wines, and Mariage Frères tea - among many other amazing things.

Maddy at FRESHFARM Markets said...

Polyface Meats, and a bunch of great products are also being carried closer to our 'hood at Timor Bodega on 2nd & Rhode Island NW.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but Aroma is a terrible 'bakery'. The milk might be great but there is nothing in there but one basket of stale bread next to one of the cashiers. Why is this place called a bakery?

Anonymous said...

Sadly I can't think of one. I think DC is getting better but seriously when it comes to the local "neighborhood" type of deli/grocer, it has nowhere to go but up. I have never seen such a large city that is so underserved in this regard. It is one of the things I really dislike about this town and one of the reasons I find DC hard to love. Oh yeah and the sirens...

Anonymous said...

I love Timor! Their Ice cream is also phenomenal and the owner stocks a great (and reasonably priced) wine and beer selection. With they'd spruce up the exterior of the building a bit and I think it would attract a lot more customers who might not realize the wonderful experience that awaits inside...

Amanda said...

To Anon #1 - Give 'em a chance. They just opened and it doesn't even seem like they're fully stocked yet. I hear they plan to install ovens for baking.

Anonymous said...

Windows Cafe/Market at 1st and Rhode Island NW is a decent corner shop. The owner is very friendly, and they always have an appealingly international and random assortment of wine, beer and snacks. At the sandwich counter, try the Southwest DC on their bakery-supplied bread. Veggies aren't always great - stock up at the Bloomingdale farmer's market on Sundays instead.

Anonymous said...

I do love DC but agree with Anonymous #2, this city is just pathetic when it comes to neighborhood deli/grocery stores. Every block in Manhattan seems to have a small or medium-sized grocery store selling beautiful fruits and vegetables, fresh flowers, baked goods (including bagels--jeez, tell me where there's a decent bagel in DC, please) and other good stuff. I miss the old Lawson's store in Dupont Circle. There's been nothing like it for the past decade.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant Larimer's, not Lawson's !

holykemp said...

how much was the milk?