Foodie Mini-Mecca; Delicacy International Market, Cheers Wine and Spirits, Cosmos International and More!Posted: November 25, 2012
Delicacy International Market, 774 Farmington Ave., West Hartford CT
Cheers Wine and Spirits Shoppe, 772 Farmington Ave., West Hartford CT
Cosmos International, 770 Farmington Ave., West Hartford CT
In a drab little set of buildings on Farmington Ave. in West Hartford, you will find an international foodie mini-Mecca of sorts. Cosmos International is an Indian grocery but offers much more than a huge selection of Basmati rices, fresh spices of all sorts, nuts, dried fruits, vegetables, etc. You’ll find a very fine smoked Spanish paprika, Bulgarian feta cheese and other surprises all sold at remarkably low prices. At a counter at the back of the store, Cosmos sells prepared Indian dishes to take away; both vegetarian, like saag paneer, as well as meat dishes like chicken or lamb curry. They also make dosa – a wonderful south Indian pancake. Take out (only) lunch is $5.00 and includes a vegetable and a meat curry. The folks who run Cosmos are delightful and always helpful. It’s hard to leave the place without all sorts of items you don’t really “need.” Not to mention their huge assortment of Bollywood movies available on DVD.
Gaspar usually parks his Peugeot 404 station wagon in front of Cheers Wine and Spirits Shoppe, located between Cosmos and Delicacy International Market. Cheers is a small liquor store with a better than average selection of wines and liquors, especially for a store this size. Not as special as Cosmos or Delicacy, it’s nevertheless very convenient and the owners are friendly and willing to order anything they don’t stock so long as it’s distributed in Connecticut. This is where Gaspar buys Zacapa 12 year old Guatemalan rum.
Should you require additional sensory stimulation, visit Delicacy International Market, a few doors to the west of Cheers. On the left, you’ll be seduced by a display case showcasing a large assortment of smoked fish, both whole and in fillet form. There is also a selection of caviars. Delicacy’s website claims they sell “Connecticut’s widest selection of products from Belgium, Norway, Germany, Italy, Sweden, England, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Ukraine!” Hard for Gaspar to verify that, but it could well be true. Tasty prepared foods are also available at the other end of the counter in the back of the store.
Two other nearby establishments are worth mentioning; Aby’s Bakery, an Argentine bakery just across the street which Gaspar discussed in an earlier post, and Europe Food and Deli at 200 Park Road, West Hartford. Europe focuses on food products from Eastern Europe in particular. You can find a lot of Russian and Ukranian foods there ranging from predictable stuff like caviar to dairy products like butter. They have a very good price on salmon roe (sold by weight). The clientele speaks almost exclusively Russian which makes a visit that much more fun for Gaspar, who picked up a bit of Russian from his former cooking student Anatoly Kazakov.