Those pesky windmills

Quests are bad. Not bad as in "world-ending" bad, but as in "my friends will all need antacids and my spouse will be praying for pizza tonight" bad. Quests usually involve my blowing nearly half a tank of gas on the back streets of Huntsville, with addresses scrawled on sheets of paper and a eerily determined look in my eye.The last quest was to find a restaurant supply store in Huntsville that had some very specific equipment I needed. Half a tank of gas and one rainy afternoon later, I came to the conclusion that there wasn't a single restaurant supply shop in Huntsville that had what I was looking for. Afterwards, I came home and received a very thorough list of complaints from Tenzing and Edmund, namely:

  1. that the owners of the house, namely Tenzing and Edmund, were left alone in the house for a period of five hours, and
  2. that the owners of the house, the aforementioned felines, were, while left alone, marooned, and abandoned in their own home, were forced to miss lunch by approximately 1.5 hours, and
  3. that the owners of the house, the lovely and glorious (& etc.), were forced to listen to the phone ring since their favorite slave was not there to answer it on the second ring as is required by the conditions of her servitude, therefore disturbing their ritual afternoon naps

Actually, it was really Tenzing who did all the complaint-listing. Edmund settled himself on the couch and used the Aggressive Napping Method of ignoring me.

So, having learned absolutely nothing from the Great Restaurant Supply Shop quest, I'm sitting here with questing sword in hand, ready to go after those pesky windmills again. On my computer desk is a phone book, turned to the "Groceries" section. Saved on my desktop is a list of businesses that appear to be promising points of questing.

What am I looking for? Food. Not just your standard American-type food. Think along the lines of Indian and Chinese. Having returned from the lovely pan-Asian megamart that Heather and Andy shop at in the DC area, I've come home wanting things I didn't buy while I was there.

Misty's comment today did it: "You know, I've been really surprised. Huntsville has more specialty markets and shops than I actually expected."

Only in my sick, twisted mind would I construe that comment as a resurrection of my twofold challenge:

  1. to find dried hibiscus flowers for tea (likely candidate: Caribbean markets)
  2. to find a local supply of curry blends and other Indian items.

There are many sub-challenges, such as finding non-insanely-priced rice paper wrappers, Japanese and Chinese noodles, and other sundry items either unavailable or horrendously expensive in mainstream American markets.

Granted, there are pitfalls, like the time in Memphis, at a Middle Eastern market, I discovered the least appetizing piece of meat ever. (Mouse over the phrase 'least appetizing' to see what it was; I'll only inflict the knowledge on people crazy enough to want to know.) But, I figure the creepiness of seeing heretofore-believed-inedible organ meats actually for sale is far outweighed by the exotic-yet-tasty bits that my admittedly-American palate can tolerate.

So. Here's the list. I've got an empty passenger seat; anyone want to go exploring with me? I've narrowed down my list to the following nine businesses, some of which may or may not still exist.

You'll have to excuse me. That windmill over there is calling me…

Caribbean Grocery
1219 Jordan Lane NW

Far East Market
8108 Memorial Parkway SW

Shinsegae Oriental Supermarket
2701 Patton Rd. SW
Huntsville, AL 35805

Shinsegae Oriental Market
8402 Whitesburg Dr. S
Huntsville, AL 35802

Seoul Oriental Groceries
2004 Byrd Springs Rd. SW
Huntsville, AL 35802

Maharaja Imports
4320 University Drive NW
Huntsville, AL

Suraj Imports of Alabama
4320 University Drive NW

Choi's Oriental Food and Gifts
402 Jordan Lane
Huntsville, AL 35805 (256) 533-9118
(appears to carry West African foods)

Gourmet India Groceries
10300 Bailey Cove Rd SE
(hard to tell if this one is still in business or not)


Amy, I think Gourmet India is still around. That's not too far from church.

Oh, good. That was one I've had my fingers crossed about. I suspect that Shinsegae Oriental Supermarket is the big place that Kat took me to. When she took me there, it was a part of town that I wasn't very familiar with, and since then, I've never been able to figure out where it was.

Soup. (is what you use it for). specifically there is a nasTy, maloderous stock that calls for the use of the brain alone. but its been known to cause kroitsfeld jacob disease (sp?), the human form of BSD/Mad-Cow. I'm sure other cultures use it for something though. icky ick gross though.

I wanna go! PICK ME! PICK ME!

Okay, they don't carry just hibiscus flowers for tea, but if you want a good place for other teas, etc (it's where I order from), go to Teavana. They used to be known as Elephant Tea, and they're based out of Atlanta. Alton Brown's referenced to them before. As for rice paper wrappers, I found mine down in Birmingham at World Market. I swear to you that place is sinful when it comes to the unusual oddities that you find down there. As for the Indian items, well, since Sean's not a big fan of Indian food, I don't make it, so I haven't looked for a supplier. If you need someone to tag along, I'd be glad to, if you can catch me for a period of time that I have free. :)

It's crappy that you can't search the good asian markets online. I Quest too, but I refuse to leave the house until I know where the item is.