A Fresh Farms Experience

6:54 PM

A few weeks ago, Kyle and I found ourselves on Devon Avenue. (Chicago tip: it's pronounced De-VON, not DEV-on as we started thought). Devon runs east/west all the way from Lake Michigan to the interstate.  We'd heard of Devon from neighbors...in various contexts, but one main thing we'd heard was that it was WHERE TO GO if you wanted Indian food. 

I frequently want Indian food, so this was primo information! 

This is actually a terrible representation of the street...but the best I could do.
Well, at one point on Devon, it became clear why this was the place for Indian food - for several blocks, this street is LITTLE INDIA! It truly feels like you've been plopped down into an Indian city - the storefronts are jammed together like cards in a deck and every imaginable Indian grocer, sari maker (I've never seen such displays of saris...), and restaurant lines the streets. The streets themselves morph, too. Rather than people adhering calmly to normal driving patterns, it suddenly turns into a free for all! People pay very little attention to traffic lights or standard car widths and just make their way willy-nilly. There's honking all around...people sort of just finding their way across the streets...It's crazy! 

Look at that ginger root!!
But also SO neat. 

Mounds and mounds of fruit - hilariously I just noticed the cereal under the fruit bins!
We have neighbors who gave us a couple Indian restaurant recommendations, and the kids and I tried one out (delivery!) last week while Kyle was out of town. It was delicious. Spicy as all get out, but even better for being so. The kids and I just heaped up piles of paper towels to blow our noses on and just kept re-filling our waters. Had we any yogurt on hand, we could have incorporated it to cut the spice, but it really was ok. Thankfully, the kids are pretty good with spicy food, and they LOVE Indian food, so they were forgiving of its kick.

Look at all that GREEN!
Well, since moving here, I've been told by several people that Fresh Farms is the best grocery shopping around. Amazing selection and amazing prices. There is apparently the "original" Fresh Farms International Market on Touhy, a 23 minute drive from my house. And there's a smaller version on Devon in the Indian neighborhood. 

Jackfuit! Sliced into manageable portions - we got one to try out.
This afternoon, whether I wanted to or not, I had to get groceries. I planned to go by myself, but well, I hate grocery shopping, so I coerced my whole family into coming by promising a grand adventure at a new place - Fresh Farms. I am happy to say it did NOT disappoint!

What the heck is Sinqua?
First of all, it's situated on a busy corner, but we were lucky to find parking in the back (they have about 12 store parking spaces). Secondly, I fell in love the minute we walked up to the store. 
It was so unlike any other grocery store I've ever been in. Not to mention the fact that we were the only white people in the store! How cool is that?!

Chinese eggplants! They were gorgeous!
Then, there were the most ginormous bins of produce imaginable at the BEST prices. Everything was really really reasonable. Cheap, even. I loaded up 2 carts and spent only $80. Nice.
They had fruits and vegetables I didn't even know what to do with, not to mention every possible ingredient for preparing Indian food.

It was such a fun experience. The kids stopped complaining almost immediately! 

Is it eggplant season? I have never seen more varieties of eggplant in my life. 

See what I mean?

And here is the giant bin of jackfruit slices. The kids and I have been intrigued by jackfruit for quite some time, but previously have only seen it sold as one giant fruit for about $20. That's an awful lot to spend on an experiment. I much prefer this way. It does look a bit like a giant mushroom, but it smells like Juicy Fruit gum. In fact, the Juicy Fruit gum smell is derived from the jackfruit. 

I also came home with what have to be the most enormous Fuji applies I've ever seen. Ever. They are bigger than the grapefruit. I tend to give my kids half a piece of fruit, since I have to stretch food to feed my hungry mongrels, but this particular apple could be a whole meal! 

All in all, I was super excited about the Fresh Farms on Devon.
Word from my girlfriend, Cindy, is that it doesn't hold a candle to the Fresh Farms on Touhy. 
I can't even imagine! But when I check it out, I'll be sure to share.

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