BY: Mark Hancock
There is great promise in grocery stores. Especially unfamiliar ones
When you walk down the aisles, you’re bound to find something you haven’t seen before — a new brand, perhaps, or some new flavor you’ve yet to encounter elsewhere.
And in your mind, there is a hope that this time, this time, you’ll actually use the produce you bought and you won’t forget that you already have two bottles of unopened fish sauce in the cupboard, and you’re going to make something so delicious that people will be begging to come to your dinner parties.
Whether any of that is ever fulfilled is beside the point. It’s the potential. And that’s a bit of what I feel at Native Roots Market.
The truth is, I don’t do my grocery shopping at Native Roots because I don’t live anywhere near it. So I have not spent the kind of quality time I’d like to with the freezer case (full of local, organic meats) or its ever-changing baskets of fruits and vegetables.
For all the potential inside Native Roots, I usually head straight to the back, where there’s a deli and a list of sandwich fixings and dips aplenty for me to order.
A brief word about sandwiches, if I may.
Everybody thinks they know how to make a sandwich. But everybody is wrong. Yes, if your goal is to put two pieces of bread around something edible and put it in your mouth, you can make a “sandwich.” Is that a sandwich worth eating? Is that a sandwich you’re eager to eat again?
So I caution you, fair readers, to spend a moment looking over the order slip and ask yourself what it is you truly want. The options may seem simple, but the combination you create — unholy though it may be — is the lunch you must eat. So maybe ask the guys behind the counter. They make a lot of sandwiches. They can help.
the normal meats and cheeses, Native Roots makes a few deli salads that
are quite tasty. The bourbon chicken salad and the chicken tikka salad
are standouts, each bringing a different twist to the palate. The tikka,
in particular, has the spicing of that favorite Indian dish, but
without overwhelming the taste buds.
I am not a vegetarian, having spent many years training in the ham dojo
with my fellow meat ninjas, I have to admit the hummus and veggie
sandwiches are pretty tasty. Especially if you get the sun-dried tomato
hummus or the jalapeño hummus.
the temperatures begin to dip this autumn or winter or next spring —
god forbid Oklahoma weather act normal for a few days straight — you
might find yourself interested in Native Roots’ selection of soups. On
the weekends, it makes chili. It’s a pretty good reason to be awake on
there are a few bags of chips near the deli area, the true delight of
the grocery store is that you can get a big bag of chips or anything
else you want as a side. For instance, it has a nice variety of
chocolates. Do you like chocolate? Of course you do, because you’re not a
minion of the devil.
coolers are also stocked with lemonades and sodas and kombucha, or you
can take advantage of the coffee in the deli. It’s a veritable
wonderland of beverages, if your idea of a wonderland is mostly filled
with hippie drinks.
the Deeply Deuced, I’m sure Native Roots is a godsend, bringing
groceries a lot closer to home. For the people who work nearby and want a
simple sandwich made with local breads and, when available, other local
ingredients, it’s a nice alternative to sandwich factories like Quiznos
me, the most important one of all, it’s a good place to find locally
made peanut brittle. Because, yeah, I ate that for lunch and it was