Restaurant Review

Well - a supermarket review, actually.  I love ethnic supermarkets.  First off, they are usually pretty inexpensive – I do like getting a deal.  Second, they have unusual produce, which is always fun.  Figuring out what I’m buying and how I should cook it is an adventure I’m keen to have.  So often, the produce is not labeled, or is labeled in something other than English, which can be a bit daunting.  But, google translate and the internet in general can be your friend, and I can usually figure out what I’ve bought.  And third, shopping at an ethnic market it is a bit like travelling to a foreign country, but without the pricey airline ticket – I get the same joy of exploring someplace where things are just a little unexpected.  And while English is usually spoken by everyone working at an ethnic market, it isn’t the language you’ll hear as you walk around the store.  Pal-do World Market is one such place.  It is a Korean Market located at 9601 S Tacoma Way, Lakewood, WA  98499, in the heart of the Lakewood International District (or whatever that area is called).  While it is certainly a Korean Market (with an impressive selection of kimchee), it also has lots of the Japanese and Chinese staples you might be looking for.  With so many occupations and/or control of Korea by China and Japan over the centuries, Korean cuisine has adopted many of the elements of Chinese and Japanese cooking.  Those occupations were crappy if you were a Korean citizen 100 years ago, living under a brutal foreign rule (never google Mimizuka), but good if you are at Pal-do world and want to get supplies to make homemade sushi – because they’ll have everything you need.  Their produce section is huge, and has amazing deals (they had cantaloupes for 10 cents each when I was there once).  Their selection of dried fish is entrancing.  I always get a few experimental instant noodle dishes, and a few random sweets (chocolate covered watermelon cake should not be a thing) to take home and try.  It may not always be pleasing to my family’s palate, but good times are always had.  I also get a lot of fruits and vegetables.  They also have a great selection of Korean and Japanese pottery.  I love all the little square plates and cool bowls – great little gifts for yourself.  The building has a food court, which is worthy of its own post, and one of Tacoma’s great little bakeries – Boulangerie.  Boulangerie is the culinary product of imperialism in Asia, but this time it is the French leaving their stamp on the cuisine.  It is worth the stop in the bakery just for the cream puffs.  I also love their chocolate cream filled, chocolate covered cone thingies.  And they make good dinner rolls, too – perfect for mini ham sandwiches.  Anyway, pop in to Pal-do World with a sense of adventure, and come away with a shopping cart full of goodness for less than you think you should be paying.           

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