Here’s a guest article from Alan Macleod in response to my request for more information on where to buy “ethnic” (for lack of a better word) food in Halifax:
Iqbal’s on Windsor near Almon (up from Lion’s Head) has good Indian supplies and will bus them over - brown basmati and Lalah’s madras curry powder are a favorite. They also give or at least used to give cooking classes.
The Asian shop at Queen and Victoria has Chinese, Japanese, and Thai supplies. Every summer I buy 20 kg of sushi rice from them which lasts me a year. They have stuff that I would have seen in Canada only in the Preston Street area of Ottawa. [I remember seeing canned gourami which you may recall as a fish in childhood aqauriums (shivers)]. A bit of a mess but a good Asian market usually is.
The Italian Market near the Port of Wines off of Spring Garden has cheese and dry pastas that you cannot find here. Though the JC Superstore has introduced a lot of better forms of pasta and usually the Root Cellar has ok cheese, though perhaps a bit less lately.
Pete’s Fruitique in Bedford has everything a immigrant family from Scotland could want - penguin bars, Typhoo tea, Iron Brew. They also have the best fresh fruit and vegetables in the Maritimes as well as airshipped in (possibly in fact by zeppelin) real Montreal Bagels! Many other things there, too, including Liberty dairy products: plum and walnut yogurt!
On the corner of the road up from the old bridge and Agricola there is a middle eastern supply shop whose name escapes me but where you can find anything. I have yet figured out where the local Lebanese community here on the island supplies itself. Much broader selection than here. If you get the Flatbreads book I mentioned, there are ingredients there you can use.
If you are at all interested in homebrewing, go to one of the three Brewing Centres in Metro. I go to the Burnside one on Akerly up from the big Leons. Ask Ogg whether you can make good ale from their supplies. Again, they will bus and have a good website at www.betterbrews.com.
And - perhaps most importantly for the idle islander - the best place to buy wine and imported beer on the way home to PEI… the Sackville NBLC. Due to the university, they have a special wine corner, good cheap Ontario reds and a wider (and in fact different) range of UK ales than the best NS shop. The best and handiest NSLC is at Elmsdale in that strip mall right off the highway - they are used to seeing PEI customers on a regular basis.
If you are going through Maine, a mere eight hours from here is RSVP Liquors which has the best selection I have ever seen in one place and the best prices. Near the University in Portland. They will pack ahead if you call or if (as I am most lucky to have for many reasons) your good pal in Portland is visiting. Fullers ESB!
Thank you Alan. We’ll have to head to Halifax soon. Additional suggestions welcome.