The Flat Possum Gazette  

Test Kitchen

Courtesy of the Road-Kill Press

= Central Market =

If you have not visited The Central Market in San Antonio, you are missing more than you think.  It is a very large grocery store, run by HEB, and there is another one in Austin.  Yesterday I learned that they now have two in Austin.  Allow at least a couple hours just to browse:  wine section is great, with knowledgeable guys to advise or help;  a fresh meat and fish department like I haven't seen before, a bakery on site that puts out breads you probably never heard of, but want to try. 

They even make Salt Rising Bread once a week, usually on Saturdays (it takes over 20 hours to make). My parents used to buy Salt Rising Bread in St. Louis and tote it back to Arkansas when I was a wee tweaker; its colloquial handle at our house was "Sore Toe Bread" because of its very distinctive smell.  Try their "Challah" bread, it is a Jewish bread made with lots of eggs. Good stuff!  Elbert Peche is the head baker, (210) 368-8600, ext.100, and they will honor special orders for bread and baked goods.

This store is huge, and if it is a crummy weather day, they have FREE valet parking, as well as underground parking. They have a fresh flower department, a big section of the store is devoted to bulk items: cereals, nuts, grains, flours, and, of all things, olives in bulk. Lots of different olives that I never heard of.  However, there was one variety that I was familiar with: Martini Olives, stuffed.  We really stocked up on those because of the Flat Possum Test Kitchen's extensive and on-going research into that special cocktail. (I digressed, sorry.)

Their produce department is worth the trip.  I don't know how many varities of tomatoes and potatoes there are, but I think they have most of them. I admire the taste of Brussels Sprouts cooked with bacon, as I know you all do, so we got a bushel or two of "them sprouts". The place is like a maze, you wander and look and wander and look some more. If you like prepared foods to take home, they have an extensive "Chef's Counter", where you can get all sorts of party and prepared foods, and cheeses from everywhere to go with the wines you have selected.
The prices are about what you would expect in any other supermarket, but what you have here is selection, selection, selection.

The place is easy to find, and directions are: (from Kerrville) I10 to 1604, left on 1604, right on Hwy 281 (going south), stay on 281 and go under 410, proceed on 281 to Hildebrand, left on Hildebrand to Broadway. Hildebrand goes beside University of Incarnate Word. Turn left on Broadway and The Central Market is on the left side of the street about a block away.

Remember all:  "Good Groceries!"  is our motto.

Frank Potter

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