This past weekend I drove over to Lynn's Oriental Market with my brother to see what sort of crazy flavors of Doritos that they have. After seeing this list on Buzzfeed I had an urge to seek out and try every flavor. Only after ingesting the first chip would I read the ingredients list since I don't want to know the science behind the Doritos magic.
If you're into creating your own oriental dishes at home, you probably have already heard of Lynn's. However, if you aren't into recreating eastern delights in your own kitchen, I'd still try to stop by because they have some awesome snacks. It's in the Cross Creek Square plaza on Apalachee and Capital Circle NE, next to CiCi's Pizza.
Entering Lynn's, I was surprised to see a lack of any decorations. Maybe it's because I've only really shopped at mega chain stores that have teams devoted to cultivating a brand of customer experience. Even with that in mind, I can't help but note that this store really is a no frills business. It utilizes only the most basic necessities required to display products like rows upon rows of low standing metal shelving.
Aside from the look of the place, the variety of goods is mind blowing. Walking down each aisle made me realize how ignorant I was of nonwestern foods. I knew that different cuisines called for different ingredients, but the tools that were available at Lynn's were totally alien to me. To be honest, the only real experience I've had with oriental ingredients is picking up a 32 pack of ramen noodles from the ethnic aisle of Publix.
A good portion of the store is made up of packaged goods. That means there are countless mixes, herbs and spices that when combined make delicious curry sauces and broths for Pho or other soups. Towards the back you'll find a lot of different veggies and meats. There are amazing deals on spices and vegetables that are maybe half as much of what you'd regularly pay at the local supermarkets. Try to stop by on the weekends when everything's not picked over. That's when you'll find the freshest goods.
I spent a lot of time meticulously examining the different varieties of noodles there were. An entire aisle was devoted to noodles. 30 or so feet of different makes and models and I didn't recall seeing any linguini. It was all egg or rice. Even though there were countless types of noodles to choose from, I played it safe by picking up some basic microwaveable noodle bowls to try out. I'll come back to try out some more complicated dishes, and you know that a bed of noodles will be involved.
For those who are less about creating fine Asian cuisine and more about snacking on your wildest dreams, this store has some good munchies. The snack choices fell between oddly curious and "my life leading up to this moment has been a waste". If you are like me and remember eating Koala Yummies as a young lad only to have them disappear from your pantry as time went on, your days of wondering what has been missing from your life are over. Koala Yummies are back, but they are spelled slightly different now.
The Cross Creek Square plaza is home to a trifecta of eastern market shopping. Next door is Capital Seafood and next to that is Southern Growers. If you're ever in the area, I'd recommend stopping by to try out some of the awesome snacks. When you decide to dive into making your own eastern delights, I'd skip Publix and head straight to the real stuff.