Monday, April 19, 2010

International Market and Deli

Wow, for a little place, a lot of flavor is packed into International Market and Deli. I'd read about this place in another Orlando area food blog, Tasty Chomps! I'm sure glad he passed the info along. So on a recent rainy Sunday afternoon, a friend and I set out for this place. We were not at all disappointed. We actually had some very good eats here for an astonishingly low price.

Located conveniently to downtown Orlando in the Asian area of Mills Street and colonial Drive, International Market and Deli seems to be in a good location, adding a nice nuance to the international flavor of the area. They specialize in food from central and eastern Europe. I'd say their main emphasis is Russian and Ukrainian, but they also have an adequate variety of Polish and other eastern european food such as Romanian, Serbian, and a host of other countries. In many cases, the foods of those areas blend and bleed from one country to another. The piroshki of Russia is related to the Varenyki and the Pelmeni of Ukraine which turns into the pierogi of Poland (and eventually into the ravioli of Italy and potstickers of China!). Lots of good food, that's my point.

After looking around a bit, we decided to eat. The ready to eat foods in their deli section were not clearly labeled, so we had to ask what all they had, but the proprietor was available and ready to answer all our questions. We sampled and sampled and ate well--for well under $10--for two of us! Amazing food at a fantastic price.

My friend Tommy started with a Russian offering, a piroshki. This is a bread-like stuffed dumpling that is deep fried. His was stuffed with a potato mixture, though they also had cabbage/mushrooms and meat fillings available.

By the way, the foods are chilled in the deli case. If you want to eat there, they microwave them for you--the same thing I'd do with them if I took them home.

For my first try, I ordered something whose name now escapes me, I believe it's a Serbian food. But basically it's a pastry dough/dumpling that was stuffed with a mixture of ground lamb and onion, and topped with some sesame seeds. I'm guessing it was originally baked. But, it was fantastic. Wow, what a lot of flavor there was in there. I was truly outstanding in flavor. I only wish there had been more of it. But then again, there were other things I wanted to taste.

For another selection, I had a meat Burek. This is basically a pastry made with layers of phyllo dough and stuffed with a meat filling. It's thought to have originated in Turkey originally, but is a dish from southern central europe, areas like Bosnia and Serbia, for example. Not content with only my cheese burke, I also ordered one stuffed with cheese. Oh my! That was soooo good. I have had cheese bureks before and this was as good as any of them. Truly a good (but very rich) dish.

Tommy ordered a cheesecake dish of some sort. It was round and patty-like, but definitely a cheesecake consistency with golden raisins. It had a great mild cheesy flavor and the raisins gave it a nice texture and taste. It was served with a dollop of sour cream that served to enhance the rich flavor of this cheesecake. Another hit.

Of course, we didn't just eat here, we also perused the selection--though when we first got here, eating was the number one thing on our agenda and we were grateful for the small (two tables) eating area they have set up near the deli case.

The tables are set up right off the deli case, and in the general area of some beverages and, of course candies. Oh, so tempting. And yes, we did give in to tempation.

There is a large meat case that is packed with various meats and sausages. Some can be sliced to order, too. Near that is a big frozen food case. Next time I'm coming with my cooler--I spied many varieties of pelmeni (think small pierogi). I'd love to stock up. There was a also a cooler section with a large variety of foods, everything from herring to other fishes, vacuum packed and ready to take home.

There is also an extensive selection of canned, jarred, and packaged goods, all sort of wonderful items.

This place is a very welcome addition to the Orlando area food market. Situated near the Asian ethnic food area, and located right next to a shop that sells mainly British items, International Market & Deli seems to have a great combination and selection of food items. I hope Orlando take heed and shops here and at all the other great ethnic markets we have in the area. Across the street from here is an Asian market. Up the road a piece in Winter Park (Aloma and 436) is Polonia, the Polish store. There are a number of great places around. Ample area to explor some new culinary adventures!
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  1. sweet post! ive gotta try their other offerings, wish they had a menu!

  2. You are right on the money- this is a great place with great values.