Are groceries a hobby?

If you started trying to come up with all the grocery delivery services you’ve seen thrown around lately, I would guess you could at least finish counting on one hand. I tried one and it was fine. It did what it was intended to do; cut out the verb part out of grocery shopping. For list-making people it does make some sense.

But it is not for me.

Chicken7

I love food shopping. When traveling to a new city, grocery stores hit near the top of the itinerary. That’s how I ended up at Central Market on one of my first trips to Austin. Albeit, I was underwhelmed after reading glowing Yelp reviews of the miraculous Central Market. Some bulk tea and perogies made it into the shopping cart but it wasn’t exciting.

Yet here years later I am living in San Antonio. Something is different now. Maybe my heart could just sense that Austin is home to Whole Foods and Central Market was a stranger on that turf. As a part of Alamo City based HEB grocery store chain, Central Market is absolutely at home in the Alamo Heights “neighborhood” (it’s technically it’s own landlocked city – think of it as San Antonio’s Vatican City) here.

And every time we go we love it more.

Chicken6

Bulk spices are one of the main draws. Spices are the spice of life, after all. And bulk candy. And bulk tea. And bulk oil. And bulk corn nuts (Josh discovered his love of bulk corn nuts at Central Market). You’re probably reading this and thinking it sounds like Whole Foods under a different name but CM truly is a unique entity and you are truly wrong.

On Josh’s birthday in March we made a trip to Central Market to buy high quality ingredients for a Swedish princess cake, or prinsesstårta.

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You can see mine is a bit more “princess cookie cake.” There were some issues with translating metric to imperial baking units. But to no fault of the ingredients. While we were at the store, Josh also bought a ton of random bulk spices on a giddy birthday impulse spree.

Last night those translated into a nice chicken dinner. Winner winner.

Seeing as how groceries and the stores that ffeature them are sincerely a hobby for me, I am inspired to begin a series on the grocery stores of San Antonio – and beyond. From the Japanese hole in the wall where I buy my matcha, to the ever loved Trader Joe’s to the tiny but oh so convenient Blue Star Provisions just three minutes of a walk out my front door, it’s a great city to have the grocery shopping bug. This is going to be like Yelp, except all the reviews come from me. Did I mention I’m Yelp Elite? I should add that to my portfolio site.

Hannah Lynn. Lover of grocery shopping, proficient in laser cutting, Yelp Elite 2016.

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