by Max Brantley
Just returned from a scouting mission. Target: The newly-opened Copper Market, the grocery/deli/meat/cheese companion to Copper Grill in the 300 Third Tower at Third and Cumberland
We're happy to report that Copper Market is a real grocery store -- albeit small. Packed onto their overflowing shelves is pretty much everything you'd need to cook any meal you can dream up, including breakfast cereals, fresh fruits and veggies, chips, breads, spices,
milk, eggs, sauces, sugar, flour, pasta, a big case of artisan cheeses and fine meats, and more. If you're not in the mood to cook, their cold case features a number of pre-prepared items like high-end soups (we saw offerings like shrimp bisque and a tasty looking red beans and rice with sausage... sadly, they're frozen rock solid, or we might have tried one for lunch) and a number of heat-and-eat entrees.
Pricewise, if you have to look at the tag, you probably can't afford it. Prices for most staple items we looked at ran around 30 - 50 percent higher at Copper Market than you might find the same item selling for at Kroger. You can't, however, get Stilton cheese with wild blueberries at Kroger. What you sacrifice in cost is definitely made up for in selection.
Cheaper, and definitely good news for downtown dwellers, is Copper Market's selection of hand-made deli sandwiches. We just got through devouring an absolutely delicious roast beef on wheat bread with blue cheese. Grilled in a press and served with a topping of greens and a sweet, honey/basil sauce, it made for a stick-to-your-ribs meal. And at only $6.95 for the sandwich, including a bag of chips, something tells us we'll be heading back to our new neighborhood market sooner rather than later.
-- David Koon