By Chris Watson
Even though the summer solstice is still a couple of weeks away, the heat and humidity have returned to our area. Heating up the kitchen seems like an exercise in…well…exercising the air conditioner. The good news? Cool summer supper season has arrived! Salads, sandwiches, spreads, dips, smoothies, and all things cool rule our meals. Fortunately, our local markets have us covered. This week we look at Monnette’s on Glendale, WCM in Perrysburg, Sofos, and Fresh Thyme.
Although we walked through the Monnette’s on Glendale all three are the go to resource for cool suppers. Besides being and year round a source point for finding regional and local produce and products, Monnette’s is also a respectable deli and also carries some meats and dairy. We know these markets are a go to resource because they always seem busy. Don’t let that scare you away, the counter service rocks and one of their greatest strengths is that you pick up small quantities of produce, meats, or cheese at a time. Asking for a quarter pound of ham is a regular occurrence at their deli counter. Our favorites this week is Persian cucumbers. So, shop small and shop often and you will always have fresh salads and sandwiches at the ready after a hot day.
We walked through the WCM in Perrysburg but the one on Briarfield is just as charming and useful when planning cool suppers. Their smoke house rules. After all, they make their own bologna and braunschweiger in house. And if you aren’t a fan check out their other smoked products. Plus both location have extensive take home salad bars, delis, and produce sections. Finally, add a respectable bakery and you have the makings of an entire summer of never heating up the kitchen. These markets also strive to cary good selections of local and regional products and strive to bring in local produce as well. Plus everyone loves Walt…
Most people think pasta, sauce, garlic bread, and pizza when they think Sofo’s. Who wants something that heavy in the summer. We forget, however, that Sofo’s is the king of meats and cheeses, olives and salads. Their deli is the perfect place to build a sandwich or start a salad. And pasta salad…well they obviously have the pasta and the hot, banana or roasted red peppers. They have a fabulous bakery, a respectable meat counter, and enough types of cheeses to make event the most boring low sodium turkey come alive. Plus they have pre made pizzas or pizza making stuff if you want to experiment with pizza on the grill. Finally, they have cannoli….
This regional market has several advantages, the first being that they have a huge selection of “Fill in the Blank”–free products. Gluten free, sugar free, hormone free, nitrate free etc. If you are cultivating a lifestyle that is looking to eliminate additives from your foods, health/beauty products, supplements, and even over the counter medicines, this is the place. A decent deli and meat counter, lots of healthy alternatives, plus a really good salad bar and bakery accompany lots of shelves of mustards, mayo’s, salad dressings, juices, and other natural products to keep you form heating up the kitchen this summer. Also, check out the bulk section for snacks for hikes, picnics, and outings.