Ode to Metropolitan Market

October 6, 2009

Shortly after we moved to Seattle, Fernando and I bought a tall-and-skinny townhome across the street from Metropolitan Market. We quickly discovered that living across the street from the Met has its advantages.

MetMkt

Inside this 24-hour gourmet supermarket, you will find everything—and I mean EVERYTHING—you might ever need: kitschy kitchen items (onion goggles!), a great wine selection, superb cheeses, last-minute birthday cards (artsy ones!), and an organic body care section…Not to mention the regular foodstuffs, intersprinkled with gourmet versions of themselves.

Why buy normal cocktail peanuts when you can buy fancy wasabi peanuts? Why choose Jif when you can enjoy hand-ground almond butter? Pshaw! to pre-packaged cookies—we have bakery-fresh petit fours!

Further, the staff at Metropolitan Market is delightful, and turnover is very low. As a matter of fact, off the top of my head I can think of at least 9 employees who worked there in 2004 when we moved in who STILL work there today (la gordita, the bassett hound, Phred’s brother, la que vive high, el chinito, the manager, la travesti, the Southern Belle, and my dearest Stephen… And that doesn’t count the crazy meat department guy who blocked us into our driveway with his terrifyingly ugly carcacha in 2006—he still works there, too) —we see them each time we go in.

Plus, everything is gleaming, squeaky-clean, and beautifully arranged. Gorgeous. Tempting. Inviting me to try new things, to stray from my grocery list. And the deli, OH my stars and gardens, the DELI! Did I mention that the Metropolitan Market is open 24 hours? It is truly a treat-a real treat-to shop at the Met.

Of course, the downside was that we spent practically as much money in the Metropolitan Market each month as we did on our mortgage. I exaggerate (only slightly), but the truth is that we even assigned the Met its own category in our household budget. We had “Groceries”which we purchased at Safeway and QFC,  and we had “MetMkt.”

For that reason alone, we felt nearly relieved to know we’d be farther away from the Met when we moved to our current Great Big House (GBH). After all, we’d upsized our living space and needed to be more careful with our pennies. The trimming of the MetMkt category out of our budget seemed like the perfect solution.

Nevertheless, I must say it’s hard to get excited about our grocery shopping adventures these days. A recent visit included skirting the homeless shopping cart lady, stepping over a sleeping guy in the door, slipping in pumpkin goo from broken pumpkins the cool kids smashed, keeping an eye on the twitchy, muttering guy wandering the bulk section, watching my balance in said bulk foods section where snacks of all types have spilled all over the floor, and pondering the origin of the slimy substance coating the handle of the shopping cart. Definitely NOT an experience I would describe as a “treat.”

Metropolitan Market, I lurve youuuuu!!!

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