Large grocery store chains often tempt me with the convenience they offer: the possibility of finding everything from veggies to cheese to beer, all in one place, at any hour of the night. Also, unlike most farmer's markets, they take credit. However these little conveniences don't come for free. There's always a trade off. Always. And in this case of course, it's the quality and variety of produce and goods you get. However if there's one supermarket that surprises, it's definitely Akhavan on Sherbrooke in NDG.
Kristina and I often obsess over the wonderful treats this grocery store has to offer. From the thick delicious firm yogourt that is the closest thing to the one I tasted in Greece this summer to the quite large selection of olives. Kristina's favorite are the green olives with garlic and sesame seeds. I'm partial to the ones mixed in with sundried tomatoes, they add the perfect amount of sweetness to the whole mix.
This is an Iranien, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean supermarket so they have a lot of hard-to-find cheeses and specialties like their homemade tabouleh, moussaka, aubergine salad, falafels... In terms of feta cheese alone they have about 4 different types like Lebanese, Greek, cows milk, sheep's milk... Another favorite of ours is the Halloumi cheese that is so delicious grilled on the barbecue or fried(recipe coming soon!).
The nut counter is also a huge attraction for us especially since I tend to bake a lot with pistachios which are often impossible to find raw, unsalted and fresh!! Here, they have 2 types, Iranien and Californien for under 20$/kg!!! This is kind of amazing since they usually go for about 30$/kg at least.
Oh and the desserts. They offer an assortment of traditional pastries that are almost as good as what my greek grandmother makes. (Kristina raves about the baklava every time we set foot in here. I enjoy the pistachio mahmoul).
Basically Akhavan is my one and only favorite grocery store and I just thought you should know.
(Ps. i dont even live in NDG, i just spend half my life at Kristina's so I get confused sometimes)