One of the things I mourn the loss of the most, no longer living in Michigan, is the joy of Nino Salvaggio (or Vince and Joe’s or Randazzo’s). Nino Salvaggio is an “international marketplace” where you can safely bet copious amounts of money that whichever unusual ingredient you need for that new recipe is available and waiting for you to take it home.
I die a thousand deaths every time I step inside Walmart looking for produce.
The produce is the best part, in my opinion, but Nino’s also has a very large deli case, every single stinking kind of cheese in existence, a bakery, aisles of groceries and a floral/gift department.
Did I forget anything? I may have.
For crying out loud, I counted seven different types of onions on the day I visited Nino’s. Seven! Walmart has — what? — three? White, yellow and red. And half the time they’re rotten on the inside.
My Food Network magazine does not cater to the fact that the grocery store closest to me is Walmart (10 miles away) and the next closest is Meijer (20 miles away).
I am bitter. I am very bitter.
Right after I took this picture, the stock boy came over and informed me that no photography is allowed inside Nino Salvaggio. He was very nice and wanted to let me know of the policy “before someone bigger” saw me. That’s kind of scary. Would they confiscate my camera and forcibly delete all my photos?
Luckily, I was faster than Stock Boy and I ditched him in the wine department.
In my crowded brain was a short list of items to look for while visiting Michigan. First on the list: Wagon Wheel Pasta. Why can’t I find this in Kentucky? Why?! Nino’s had it, of course. Second on the list: Bird’s Custard Powder. Never heard of it? Me neither, until I saw it in a recipe for chocolate cake (in my Food Network Mag, of course). I don’t even know when I’m going to make the cake, but after looking in several places for the stuff and not finding it, now it’s just the principle. I snatched up the last package of Bird’s.
While wandering through every aisle, I also picked up a pint of Guernsey chocolate milk (this stuff tastes exactly like melted chocolate ice cream — it is sooo good!), one everything bagel (a “real” bagel — not a perfectly formed, smooth donut of a bagel) and a loaf of Michigan apple cinnamon bread (frosted, of course).
I had to take a picture of my treasure. The chocolate milk didn’t survive the trip back to the hotel. Violet and I shared it.
Seriously, if I could pick up and move this “international marketplace” down to my neck of the woods, I would be the happiest pixie in dixie. I haven’t seen any place like this in Kentucky. There is a Whole Foods in Lexington, but it doesn’t compare.
Please! If anyone reading this knows of a place similar to Nino Salvaggio in the Bluegrass area, will you please let me know! I am suffering withdrawals already.
Thank you for your sympathy.