BEST ASIAN GROCERY - 2002
Dragon Star Oriental Foods
A visit to this bustling St. Paul market can't help but lead one to reflect on what dilettante carnivores we've become. It isn't just that Dragon Star's formidable butcher shop features entire phyla that you might not normally think of eating, either. It's also the market's startling range of critter bits, from brains to hooves and everything (literally) in between. Looking for frogs, tripe, or fresh catfish heads for soup? You'll likely find it here. You might even be able to get acquainted with your dinner while it's still swimming in one of the store's big green aquariums. Indeed, on the seafood tip, Dragon Star is an embarrassment of riches: big, beautiful dungeness crabs; succulent blood oysters; and head-on shrimp that don't taste like they've been packed in ice for months. For omnivores Dragon Star offers an expansive selection of pan-Asian staples, from noodles, frozen foods, and snacks to a really stellar produce section featuring hard-to-find items such as gai choy, banana leaves, and foul-smelling, yummy-tasting durians. But Dragon Star really excels in the flesh trade: For those who appreciate their menu slightly red in tooth and claw, this place should be habitual.