Kris and I made an expedition to northwest Portland today, searching for menu items for an upcoming dinner party. Amy Jo had told us that City Market at 21st & Johnson was a great place to pick up top-quality meats and cheeses. She wasn’t kidding.
City Market is a playground for foodies. It’s a small place, but it holds an amazing variety of good food. Unlike New Seasons and other similar high-end grocery stores, City Market doesn’t do any catering to the lowest common denominator. There are no breakfast cereals here. The junk food is all quality junk food.
City Market features a fine seafood section, a butcher department, and a huge variety of cheeses and deli meats. There’s a long aisle of wines, a case of gourmet beers and soft drinks, and a corner filled with produce. As I said, it’s a small space, but it’s packed with good stuff.
Kris selected some cheeses while I sampled smoked salmon and asked about clams.
“Wow,” I said as we walked back to the car. “That place was great. That’s exactly my kind of grocery store. I could shop there all the time.”
“Yeah,” Kris muttered. “Except for the price.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“This is a half a bag of groceries,” she said, holding up the bag she was carrying. “It cost us $75.”
“Oh,” I said. “Good point.”
I guess City Market isn’t a good place for everyday shopping. But I sure intend to return there to pick up stuff for future dinner parties!