By Steven Doyle | Dallas Observer | 2010 September 17
Years ago, few of my Caucasian friends ventured the into local Asian food markets, where they would have found incredible produce, fish so fresh it was still swimming, and meat counters with products that could stare back at you.
It seems like white folks have gotten wise. And who could blame them? Beef filet for $3.99 a pound, fresh mussels for $1.99 for two pounds, and produce for a fraction of what you may find anywhere else in town. A friend once called me late at night, screaming about King Crab for $5.99 a pound.
Those finds are amazing, but not uncommon, especially at the city's new mega Asian markets.
Many of us have enjoyed the Mexican markets where fresh tortillas, whole pigs and wonderful Mexican cheeses can be found at a bargain rate, so perhaps this phenomenon was simply the next step in our food evolution. By shopping these marvelous markets we begin to stand more upright, dragging our knuckles out of the muck of overpriced, marginal-quality goods that many local grocers offer.
Whereas I do enjoy a leisurely stroll through our local Whole Foods and Central Market, something about the ethnic markets makes me grin and use a big cart instead of a small handbasket.
Today we want to give a few of these markets the toque treatment, and examine the food courts at a few local Asian markets. Most of the larger Asian markets will have a deli counter selling barbecued pork or crispy ducks (beak to bill), and these rich finds are almost always delicious. A few of the even larger markets have food courts, not too different from what you might find at a mall, with stalls offering myriad choices.
Since it's difficult to fairly compare two food courts, we decided to single out one ready-to-eat item sold at two different markets. We present: 99 Ranch Market vs Super H Mart in the Battle of the Bao.
(And by bao, here we mean the larger steamed wheat buns filled with lightly spiced pork.)
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