Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Much Lauded New Asian Super Market On Central

After hearing much buzz about the place (and a couple enthusiastic emails from my loyal readership), I had to make a trip to the brand new Asian Super Market located at 1245 Central Ave. It is on the corner of Central and McNutt (heheh, I have been laughing at McNutt Ave. since childhood). I am an Asian Market fanatic so I was very excited (see here for a trip to the Market on Central and Colvin). I drove over with Mrs. Dave to see if the place lived up to all of the hype.

Upon walking in I was struck by the fact that it looked like a very polished operation, it did not have the sense of ordered chaos that you find in other area Asian Markets. This place was brightly lit and sparkly clean.

I headed right over to the meat case as this is usually my main point of interest. My photo only captured a portion, but there was an impressive selection. Both Normal everyday cuts that you would find at your standard (American style) market, as well as Asian specialties. Everything was attractively displayed, apparently fresh, and might I add, reasonably priced. Here is the pork end of the case-

You know that Mr. Dave loves pork belly. Over in the shrink wrapped meats section there was a hearty abundance of the stuff, huzzah! A nice sized fresh duck will run you about 9.00$ here (they even have wild duck).

There is also a very nice produce selection, almost a quarter of the store with pretty much everything you can think of. Over by the fish counter you can find these poor little green guys. Fresh, living, jumping, big ass frogs! I named the one on top Herman the German (he had a Prussian way about him), I wanted to take him home but Mrs. Dave would not have had it. There were eels and turtles too.

We walked up and down the aisles, not really doing a full on shop, but grabbing things that looked especially tasty or interesting. My wife spotted this incident of Engrish which we found amusing.

I was stopped dead in my tracks by the below display. By the packaging you might think that it was some form of Chinese medicine, or maybe gift wrapped confections of some sort. But no, no. That be jerky homes.

Check out the prices! Some of the stuff was 17$ and change for 1 box. This is some serious jerky. As much as I wanted to I could not justify shelling out that much for a box of jerky of unknown pedigree, so I picked up a box of more reasonable product (more on this later).

Here is the haul we brought home-

We got some good stuff, I thought I would point out a couple things that I found interesting/amusing.

First, here is some Congee (Korean rice porridge) in a single serving microwaveable tin just like those little Chef Boyardee deals. I have been wanting to try congee for a while. In my favorite, sappy, Korean teen soap opera (doesn't everyone have a favorite?) Boys Before Flowers, the heroine, Geum Jan Di, works in a congee restaurant. Now stop giggling at me, I got stuck in a situation due to work where there was very limited options for television viewing. I got sucked in.

Here is the Jerky I picked up. I am actually snacking on some as I type this. It is pork jerky, but it ain't that good. I wish I had picked up some of the fancy box stuff.

Lastly, here are "Instant Spring Rolls." I thought this was funny, it made it seem like maybe you added water, waited a couple minutes, and magically a hot and crispy spring roll appeared. But no, these were apparently a Vietnamese snack food. I am going to go ahead and say that I was surprised by these. They actually kind of tasted like real spring rolls and the texture of the wrapping kind of fooled you for a second into thinking you were eating the real thing. I like them, my wife thinks they are meant to be doggie treats.

Overall, I was impressed by the Asian Super Market. I could probably get away with doing all my shopping here if I wanted to. The prices are good and the selection is almost overwhelming. I especially liked the large amount of Indian goods that were present, I am an Indian food fanatic. The real standout to me was the selection of fresh meat, poultry, and fish. This is what will keep me coming back to the place, it out shines the offerings at the other area Asian goods establishments (as much as I hate to say it because I love the Colvin Market, Lee's, and Kim's). When judging an ethnic market I use something I call the "Wander Factor." This place scores well, there is a great potential for just wandering around poking and sniffing things for hours at a time. This is the sign of a truly great market.

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  1. Thank you for the recon. I am looking forward to getting out there myself sometime soon.

    I did just stock up recently at the Colvin store. So it may be a few weeks. But it sounds like it will be here to stay.

  2. I see you haven't let retiring from blogging slow you down.

    Are the frogs, eels, and turtles for eating? That's some wildness.

    I love eel, but I double dare you to butcher and prepare a frog recipe for this blog and survive your wife's reaction.

  3. Humungus- Yeah, I think I was more talking about the cooking/experimenting side of the blog as opposed to the documenting stuff aspect. I figure from now on I will just share what I would be doing normally in regards to eating/cooking and not try so hard to think of stupid recipes.

    You know, I would do the thing with the frogs if I could find someone who would eat it. I have tried frog (legs) numerous times in a couple different preparations and I just don't seem to like it.

  4. 1. I would totally try something with frog. Plus it would be super amusing to listen to Mrs. Dave during that kitchen fun-time.

    2. Now I totally need to check this place out this weekend.

    3. We have joked that McNutt (Hee Heee) is the portal to virtually anywhere. My Pops would always randomly use it as a cross street. Now when in Latham/Colonie and there is traffic "take McNutt...." lost? "take McNutt". Once we took it and ended up in Narnia, I promptly sold my sister for turkish delight.

  5. Thank you for posting about the new market...I am soooo THERE tomorrow or Sunday...I can't wait.

  6. Nice. Every area needs an Asian Market. I'm kind of jealous of the frogs, though. My local Asian supermarket doesn't have frogs, just huge steel tank of extremely pissed-off blue crabs.

  7. There was a family down the street from us named McNutt. They were homeschooled though so much of the elementary/middle school taunting was avoided.

    What is the item in the green box with the dancing toadstools? It looks kindof fun!

  8. i'd like to propose a toast to "the wander factor" - i can spend most of a day in a market, and leave delighted and energized. wish this place was near me!

  9. steamed pork bun? here or Emperor's up the street?


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