#8OnYourPlate: Where to shop for international eats in RVA

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — All this month, we’re taking you behind the scenes of some of Richmond’s best spots to grab an international dish. Last week, we focused on fast casual meals. 

This week, it’s all about shopping.

As always, we enlisted the help of RVA food and beer writer Robey Martin because, frankly, few Richmonders know food and beer better than she does. Read Robey’s recommendations below and see her discussing all things #rvadine on the 8News set in the video above.

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NEW GRAND MART

For a wealth of everything multinational, New Grand Mart is outstanding. The Mart has only been open on Midlothian Turnpike for less than two years but has quickly become known for its inexpensive and varied produce. Need an obscure spice? The range of spices, sauces, oils and condiments featured at the international market is daunting. Perhaps you have a recipe that calls for “nopales.” The Mart has your cactus paddles. It also has myriad dried and fresh peppers in bulk, lemongrass, curry leaves and other tough-to-track-down items. The comprehensive fish market is just another reason to visit. Their resident fishmongers can break down your choices (from live tilapia to whole salt and freshwater fish) into any shape you wish.


LA SABROSITA BAKERY

Argentina Ortega started La Sabrosita Bakery
Argentina Ortega started La Sabrosita Bakery

Richmond has a wealth of solid bakeries, ranging from the heirloom baker, Sub Rosa (who was recently awarded a James Beard nomination) in Church Hill to La Sabrosita Bakery, the small Hispanic bakery in Richmond’s south side. Inside a mother and her sons make baked goods daily for an avid audience. From cookies to bespoke tres leches cakes, the coveted items are arranged colorfully in display cases at the rear of the establishment. Argentina Ortega originally started with 600-square feet, but business was so hectic she quickly moved from that tiny space to a 5,000-square foot building along Midlothian Turnpike. Ortega supplies more than 200 businesses with baked goods a week, saying that her conchas and guava-filled bread are the most popular — aside from her often sold-out “French bread” that she makes daily.

Mario Dawson whipped up this special cake for the 8News team
Mario Dawson whipped up this special cake for the 8News team

MEDITERRANEAN BAKERY & DELI

For a Middle Eastern need, try the Mediterranean Bakery & Deli on Quioccasin Road. The grocery carries all the specifics for a Middle Eastern feast, from sugar cane molasses to house labneh. There are several imported Turkish coffees like cardamon Lebanese decaffeinated coffee that is sure to pair exceptionally with their house-made “as big as your head” fatayer (pies) in flavors like beef or spinach and feta. In addition to the impressive array of imported goods, the Mediterranean Bakery also supplies Halal meat. The grocery and bakery was started more than 35 years ago just as a spot to supply pita bread, but as business picked up, husband and wife team Jameel and Saba Abed saw an opening to provide more comprehensive options for the Richmond community. Don’t miss the pita chips though — an airier (and healthier) and almost translucent version of your typical pita chip made with olive oil, garlic and oregano.


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