by David Koon
Tired of the tiny parking lot at the Hillcrest Kroger and with a few hours to kill while shopping for groceries, I decided to drive out to the revamped mega-Kroger at 16105 Chenal Parkway recently, just to see if bigger really is better. While I was able to resist the urge to partake of the furniture, candles, toys and fancy cheeses they have for sale, one thing that did impress me is their fairly amazing collection of international foods from around the world.
For example, they've got an Indian section as long as the cereal aisle at the Hillcrest Kroger, full of boxed instadishes, sauces, curries and big bags of India-grown rice. Ditto on separate sections for German, Italian, Middle Eastern, English and Asian foods, featuring drinks, spreads, dips and condiments I've never seen anywhere else. Example: tins of Spotted Dick (seen above, with the author) from the English section. Spotted Dick, it turns out, is a flavorful, fruit-filled sponge cake served with custard, not the CDC-level venereal disease I first imagined upon seeing the label. You learn something new every day.
In short, it's worth the trip out to Chenal Parkway just to pick up some of the cheap boxed stuff and condiments from various sections (I scored some boxed cous-cous, orange chicken sauce, and a jar of hot German mustard in a tiny faux stein). Might be great, might be awful, but you're never going to know until you try.