We usually dine out with friends on Friday night. It's a long-standing tradition...a chance to relax, catch up with events of the last week and generally enjoy one another's company. But occasionally there are Friday nights where the gang is all headed in different directions and group dining falls by the wayside. That's OK...we'll just have more to talk about next week.
Our plans originally were to just stay in and eat here. Boring, I know, but there were plenty of choices in the fridge. But before I started to fix anything, Wayne appeared at the doorway to my scrapbook room and announced he was taking me to my favorite Mexican restaurant. How could I refuse! And, he added, he had another stop or two in Pensacola in mind for afterwards. I was intrigued.
The fish tacos as Cactus Flower were particularly delicious tonight, maybe because my taste buds had been prepared for leftovers. And afterwards we headed for The Fresh Market, a new grocery store that just opened Wednesday in Pensacola. You have to understand...we don't have a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's anywhere close so when a specialty grocery store comes to town, it's pretty much a tourist attraction.
It.Is.Beautiful. I don't think I've ever seen such pretty produce. Pomegranates the size of grapefruits; itty, bitty baby zucchini and tropical fruits that are only seen on television screens here, not grocery store shelves. I had no idea brussel sprouts grew on a stock but they had them there in that form as well as already cut off. Of course, since brussel sprouts are one of the few vegetables I don't care for, I'd probably never stopped to think about how they grew.
To call the pre-cooked/pre-made area a deli is to do it an injustice as it looked like fine restaurant food ready to go home with you. And every aisle was filled with interesting items and unfamiliar brands. There wasn't just vanilla extract; there were a dozen varieties and forms of vanilla, and it was like that for so many things. Good thing we were full from dinner as we saw so many delicious-looking things we'd like to try someday. We ended up bringing home some spinach and feta stuffed chicken breast, the prettiest fresh green beans and a cranberry-orange muffin for breakfast in the morning.
The market won't be a regular stop on our weekly pantry-stocking trip but I do think we'll use it for just what it claims to be: a specialty place for hard-to-find or higher-quality items. Options are always nice. Besides, just walking around looking at what they have to offer was fun. It just proves we're easily entertained.