Grocery Shopping in Mt. P by our intern in Mt. Pleasant, Tina


I’ll admit that when I first moved to Mount Pleasant I was a little intimidated by the grocery options available to me. I spent far too much effort and time trekking over to Giant, but one day late last summer I was in no mood to carry my groceries farther than 4 blocks and decided to check out what was going on inside of Bestway. At first, I was unimpressed. I hated navigating the tiny aisles, I was dubious about the freshness of the produce section, and the aroma of the fish counter in the back corner was a bit overwhelming. In time though, I have come to love it. The staff is friendly, the shelves are usually pretty well stocked, the prices are decent, and there is always some upbeat Latin music playing on the radio. Save for some trips to Giant when I have a big grocery list (or access to a car), or a schlep to the Whole Foods when a craving for the olive bar hits, I’ve been a pretty loyal Bestway shopper.

The time has come though, for me to branch out and explore some of the other, more ethnic, markets lining the main drag. This week I checked out The International Progresso Market at 3158 Mount Pleasant Street. You might remember from PoP’s post a couple weeks ago – this is the joint that offers up goat leg, along with a whole host of other exotic treats. I was surprised to find that this place is even smaller and more jam-packed full of goodies than Bestway is. For real, they’ve got just about every kind of spice you can think of, and a bean selection to rival any other. There’s a pretty sweet butcher in the back too, with a great selection of meats and fish. And judging by how fast everything was flying over the counter (including what I’m pretty sure was, in fact, a whole goat leg) I’d be willing to bet that whatever you get there is going to be fresh.

My grocery excursion has left me with a new found appreciation for the offerings in Mount Pleasant and a desire to test my skills in Latin American Cuisine. I think my first experiment will be Pacaya Root. Has anyone ever cooked/eaten this stuff. It looks kind of scary, but I’m so intrigued, and I always get this close to putting a jar in my basket. So, readers in Mount Pleasant and beyond, Do you love Giant? Do you only shop at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s? Or have you, like me, been charmed by the neighborhood joints?

6 Comment

  • How much was the goat leg? Did it look any more daunting to cook than a leg of lamb? I would try it! And I would enjoy supporting a small grocery like that. Otherwise, I am mostly locavore now – since the Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market is opening this Saturday, May 3 (shamless plug – I know this because I set the date) and the Dupont Circle farmers’ market on Sundays is so abundant even in the winter, I don’t have to shop at a grocery store more than once a month, and that’s just for sugar and olive oil. I live in Brookland – the only neighborhood grocery store is Yes!, and they’re just fine. Though if someone’s headed up to Trader Joes, I’ll have them pick up a dozen of those frozen wild salmon for me.

  • Bsetway has the absolute best Chorizo/Latin American sausage in the city – it is Logan brand – it comes in mild, hot and Mexican Chorizo. Yummy!

  • I am 99% loyal to Bestway. The other 1% is saved for International Progreso, who has the better empanada wrappers.

  • It sound so interesting that I’ll have to make a trip from out of state to test and taste the foods in Mt. Pleasant

  • Do they sell frog legs? I read somewhere that Latin American frog legs were so amazing that eating them could give you a buzz.

  • Do they sell Papusas? How does this place compare to the Brookville Market in Cleveland Park, the former home of Pam the Butcher? Do they have the necessary ingredients to make matzo ball soup or spinach feta turkery burgers? What about jelly sticks? So many questions I have if I am going to persuade one person in particular to relocate with me to DC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tina for President.

Comments are closed.