Food & Drink Jul 22, 2010 at 4:00 am

The Amazing Stuff You Can Afford at Your New Favorite Grocery Store

You’re in clover. Kelly O


average american would not fit down the isles of asian grocery stores in the city.
dam it, now all the white-people will know
What happened?
Did ya move into the neighborhood?
Lam's been around since at least '00 (anyone remember the opening gala?).
In any event, it's great to see Lam's finally getting some press.

I'd expect a homepage story of The Stranger would spend a bit more time when writing to use
more descriptive and politically correct terms than "white-people grocery stores" versus "Asian-people" grocery stores. Have you shopped at Uwajimaya? And I'm a religious shopper at the so-called "white-people" stores and I am a first generation Taiwanese immigrant.

The Stranger's editors needs a multicultural course in how to not to perpetuate racial and cultural stereotypes... and I guess raising the journalistic standards of this publication in general.... for a newspaper that calls itself the ONLY newspaper in Seattle.
This story should be called "Safeway Sells Cereal!" or some other title that proclaims obvious-ness. Is our city so segregated that someone "ventures" into a grocery store that's been around for years, 10 minutes from downtown, buys a bunch of stuff, and it's considered a "story?" Please, I found out about this place within months of moving here. It's not like Asian American newspapers review the "white people" stores all "Gasp! They have Lara Bars!"
You to can shop for low, low prices when you buy factory farmed veggies and meat and toxic farmed fish. Sustainability FAIL.
Agreed #6, I was thinking the same thing when I read this. I don't eat it, but I do know that if seafood is comparatively cheap, then it's probably either caught using the most unsustainable and un-natural methods, or from a factory farm, raised in the cheapest and most unappetizing way possible, likely involving hormones or chemicals of some sort. Then again, maybe I'm just a cynical bastard, and all of Lam's seafood is caught by little father/son fishermen on little boats with the greatest of respect for the environment.... maybe. I know how it is; don't ask, don't tell, right? Ignorance is bliss....
What's with the "white people" guilt, Dominic Holden? Shove it, you pretentious prick.
clams are illegal in south africa. for reals? yes, i live, rather. coming to seattle soon and can not wait to get my hands on all the lovely ingredients that the city provides. appreciate what you have. try living in a place where there's not really an option to eat sustainable, local and/or organic.
About the dairy thing: 98% of the people in that part of the world are lactose intolerant, so... duh.
I have shopped there many, many times. There is nothing wrong with the place. It's great. It's cheap, and smells like they got the last of the shrimp left on the dock on a hot day...there's nothing wrong with that far. They've been doing it for years, and they're still doing it. I consider that as a testament to either low standards of customers, or economic realities (sure, I'll eat farmed, frozen striped bass with sunken eyes if I'm broke. Shit, I'll eat fresh farmed striped bass with sunken eyes if I'm broke...I just have to remember to stay close to the porcelain Honda for a few hours to make sure everything's ducky). Regarding's a noble cause and is the celebrated cause of people who regard themselves as foodies...but really, who are we trying to kid? Money's tight, we gotta' eat, and what are we gonna' do? Wait? I lost 30 lbs. waiting. Fuck that. Besides, I'm a biracial 'hapa' (hate the term because I'm not from Hawaii)with a pension (sp?) for food that's not traditionally referred to as 'american'. Can anybody tell me where I can find locally grown, or even organic water spinach? Malunggay? Bitter Melon? Mountain Potato (that's the tuber packed in the sawdust)?

So what's a person to do? Don't dare tell me to substitute it with kale, or spinach, or horseradish, chard or russet potatoes. It's apples versus oranges. Tell you what...if Whole Foods builds a grocery store on Beacon Hill, you can bet that it's(Beacon Hill's) rich history will be dead as a door nail. The day that happens, I'll jump off the Rizal Bridge.

Thanks for keeping it real. Even if it has to be trucked up from SoCal. Let's just try to keep from referring to Beacon Hill as BeHi.
Supermarket on Beacon Hill has better prices.
If this article is an eye opener to you, you've been wasting a lot of money on groceries. As a vegetarian, I can't vouch for meat/fish, but the veggies and tofu at small markets always beats PCC & Whole Foods on either price or quality, and they destroy them on tofu.

Hit up MacPherson's on Beacon Hill for all your veggies, got to any Asian store for tofu and sauces, and buy your American food at Safeway. Boutique grocery stores are nice if you're easily pleased, but the smaller shops do much more to push the hippie/foodie agenda at half the cost.

One more thing... Big grocery stores all follow the same formula. The "outsides" of grocery stores, namely their bakery, deli, produce, and pharmacy, generate almost all the profit. The next time you go to QFC, look at green onions. They cost $20 for a case of 80 units, but the stores charge $1.19 for a bunch (1000+% markup). Meanwhile, the inner aisles either break even, or are effectively rented to beverage and anak food companies (which is why the Pepsi driver stocks the shelves). This "outside" gouging doesn't happen at stores who don't invest a lot on the traditional "inside" selection.
At #13, thanks for the info, I didn't know that but can definetely see why that would be. As for the quality of these Asian groceries, I have always liked shopping there but sometimes find it hard to settle on things. The prices are great, but not knowing how to incorporate the ingredients sometimes sucks.
#11 Go to the U-District Farmer's market on Saturdays, there's a Japanese farmer from Eastern Washington who grows most of what you mentioned and more. (He sets up near the NW corner of the market.) It's all organic/spray free/sustainable. He has good prices and his stuff is AMAZING. Try the Japanese cucumbers, the bitter melon, the loofah. I'm growing a few of his shiso plants in my apartment right now--the guy has got great stuff.
Regarding the quality at cheap asian markets—

I'm not sure about Lam's, but I shop at the nearly identical Hau Hau Market on the same block and I often see the Charlie's produce truck parked in front. And since I see the very same truck outside QFC and Whole Foods, I can only conclude that it's literally all the same shit wherever you go.

I think the marts of Little Saigon are cheap because
a) they have a more generous definition of "too ripe to sell", and
b) an utter lack of pretense. QFC may have clean floors and not smell like pig uterus, but they sell the same shitty Mexican asparagus.
How do the produce prices compare to Trader Joe's?

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