Food gets me going. I love all the color and texture it adds to life. It is how we feed our body and our souls. I love reading about it, shopping for it and sitting down in front of it. Give it to me anywhere, anytime, in any capacity. Food is fun. Food is life. Now, we usually talk about specific restaurants in this column. This time however, we are going to do something different. We are going to wander around town at some of the best places to explore and sample new foods. And I am not just talking Sam’s Club free samples. Where to start? How about Horrock’s (7420 W. Saginaw Hwy.; (517) 323-3782)? Yes, Horrock’s is a grocery store, but to putter among its aisles of personally prepared pickles and jams and salsas and sauces is so much fun! Then you get to the back with all the salads and sandwiches ready at your fingertips! And a “help yourself” bar full of such delights as Mediteranian, Asian and classic American dishes galore. And cheese! You know cheese is my boyfriend. And many of my present and past loves can be found in these cases. There are also plenty of dips to add variety to any upcoming soiree you may be nibbling at. Continue to peruse Horrock’s. There are so many interesting choices of bread, crackers, candy, coffee, beer, wine, etc. It is just a smorgasbord of food exploration. Let’s move on to the Lansing City Market (325 City Market Drive, Lansing; (517) 483-7460). Open year round Tuesday through Saturday; this place is another culinary carnival. There are so many wonderful merchants offering the freshest and local meats, dairy, produce, etc. There are beautiful artisanal breads and baked goods. And of course, my boyfriend cheese is there flirting with everyone in sight. It is time to consider something a little more off the beaten track. Have you ever gone to an Asian market? You have to, they are the best! Talk about sensory overload. You will see things that will have you smiling in delight. You will smell smells that will have you imagining exotic encounters. Everything is so interesting. You see fish for sale that your local grocery store has never stocked. You see produce that you do not recognize, or at least have no idea what to do with it. Lucky for us, many have prepared soups and dumplings and pastry that may be outside the realm of what you may have tried. Go for it! Then come back, buy that funky fish, and wow those around you with your savvy Asian flair. Foods for Living (2655 E. Grand River Ave., East Lansing; (517) 324-9010) is another great place to go. It is a health food store with lots of organic offerings. It also has a huge gluten free area. However, the back cooler has lots of super healthy but interesting prepared dishes. Think quinoa. Or vegan. There are hearty soups and sandwiches. They have a fantastic turkey, walnut and cherry salad that has been a staple for years. Maru sushi, Woody’s Oasis and Aladdin’s also have offerings alongside those prepared on site. Throw in some vitamins are you are set. Ok, so thus far I have listed some pretty standard locations to get you looking around and experiencing some new things. I would at this point like to point out three random suggestions that all are in the Frandor area. First, did you know World Market has cool food in it? So does Homegoods for the love of Pete! Also, there is a new sushi place called Tamaki (310 N. Clippert, Ste. 7, Lansing; (517) 483-2650). It is the “Subway” of sushi. You walk up to the counter, pick your protein (spicy tuna?), add your favorite fillings (avocado? cucumber?) and voila! Your own personalized sushi in two minutes. Finally, head over to Sugarberry, grab your bowl and dump as much yogurt and toppings as you can get in there. They weigh it. You eat it. Bliss. Happy shopping and eating!
Colette Evangelista sells certified organic, non-toxic beauty, health, baby and home products at www.healthandhopeorganics.com. Twenty percent of her profits go to Ascending Above Autisim, a charity that helps parents pay for autism treatment.