Where I Went Shopping :: GW Supermarket

Part of getting to know my new neighborhood/extended community entails visiting as many supermarkets as possible. Since moving to our house I've been to 11 different markets, and there are still more to explore!

My neighbor, who is from Japan, was nice enough to tell me about the Asian markets in the area. She even took me to a small Taiwanese market (Kam Sam Market) in Rockville earlier in the month. After picking up a few items, she suggested that we drive a block farther to a Chinese market her foodie friends had told her about. Despite only popping in the store for a few minutes, we were impressed with the size of the market and the selection; it was more impressive than the Taiwanese market, frankly.

So, I went back to Great Wall (GW) Supermarket on my own to find some inspiration after reading Fuchsia Dunlop's Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China.

The variety of meat and fish, vegetables, and wheat-based food items (buns, noodles, dumplings, etc.) was a bit overwhelming but it brought back good food-shopping memories of Ranch 99 back in California. I didn't buy any fish this time around, but at least I know I can get fresh (i.e., live) seafood here, including ...

... live frogs, soft shell turtles, blue crab, rockfish, and dried jelly fish!

They had a small selection of Japanese food items, and a whole aisle dedicated to Southeast Asian ingredients. It might not impress native Thai or Vietnamese cooks, but it seemed like it would satisfy any basic ingredient needs should I want to try my hand at those cuisines. 

Another reason to go back to GW is their take-out counter. For $4.99 you can get a heaping serving of rice, three dishes (there was even lobster), and soup. I didn't try it this time since I bought a container of congee and pastries instead. For $5 it's worth a try at least once if I'm in the area. The pastries are buy five, get one free so I bought some for dessert. The egg custard tart was my favorite by far; the chocolate-filled bun, not so much. 

Great Wall Supermarket (GW Supermarket)
700 Hungerford Drive
Rockville, MD 20850

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