In the initial search for a place to live [and numerous times getting lost] we discovered a Mediterranean market set at the end of an otherwise uninteresting strip mall. You know me and my passion for ethnic markets – I needed to check it out. Pita bread, feta cheese and roasted garlic-lemon hummus; we only needed a few more nibbles and sips to round out an antipasti supper. Mediterranean market here I come!

I was spoiled by the big-city markets of Milwaukee and Minneapolis. So much so that I unfairly compare every new find with Tenuta’s, Racine Produce, Dragon Star, Bill’s — first-rate ethnic markets. After shopping those on a regular basis for years, the playing field became incredibly uneven.

The size of a typical convenience store, the market in Corpus is part Mediterranean grocery, part Indian grocery and part Middle Eastern café. The aisles are stocked high with imported goods in all manner of containers. A meager fresh produce section sits in a case next to a refrigerator case full of pitas, flatbreads, imported yogurt and cheese, and a freezer case with imported vegetables and meat, take-and-bake Greek entrees and appetizers, phyllo dough and kataifi Alluring fresh bakery lurks next to the cash register, tempting shoppers with Kourambiedes, Baklava and Ergolavos. I very nearly bought some of the pistachio and honey-laden treats, but left with only a container of mixed olives.

DSCF0004Our take on Mediterranean antipasti:

* roasted garlic-lemon hummus with toasted pine nuts

* feta cheese

* za’atar and olive oil baked pita crisps

* his ‘Greek bruschetta’ – Italian bread crostini with a mixture of tomato, olives, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper topped with slices of Halloumi baked until bubbling

* Bing cherries

* mixed olives: Halkithiki, Nafplion, Kalamata and Manzanillo?/Sevillano?

* carrot sticks

* 2007 Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling

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Enjoyed picnic style in the living room. Great colors, excellent flavors, unbeatable company. Kalí óreksi!

DSCF0001 He’s nothing if not patient. How can you not love that?

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