BEST SOMALIAN GROCERY - 2002
For those who define spice as adding Smucker's to Wonder and Skippy, this place has every fresh seasoning required to flail your tender taste buds into shivering raisins of their former selves. For Somalis, and lovers of Somali food, this crowded but clean and friendly little store sates your chili and curry needs, offering plenty of rice and red beans and goat's meat--the butcher is usually sawing away in the back--and bananas and more bananas (the parsley sprig of Somali meals). Many of the goods in this Chicago Crossings grocery are clearly geared toward immigrant Somalis (note the Hello Africa-brand phone cards), but Americans especially can appreciate unusual staples like Foster Clark's Instant Pineapple-Flavored Drink, imported "nutritional" honey, and the delicious Saudi Arabian cola Vimto. A full aisle of practical sundries indicates that this might be one-stop-shopping for many--and a convenient stop for you. Buy plenty of mixed fruit drinks, though: Vimto is hell on spice.