Friday, December 03, 2010

Milk & Honey

While in Mount Vernon running errands yesterday morning, I had the chance to finally stop into Milk & Honey, the new small storefront on Cathedral Street that bills itself as a "neighborhood grocery/café/deli". You won't find a wide variety of products here - that's not Milk & Honey's modus operandi. What you will find is a small but high-quality selection of organic groceries and higher quality goods, many from around the area. Not just local milk and honey, of course (though they do have those), but cheeses from around the world, sodas, butter (including the high-quality European butter Plugrá for a little over $6 per pound) and organic produce (very locally grown fingerling sweet potatoes for $4 per pound, for example) among other things.

They have some unique and almost impossible to find groceries that not even most health food stores carry. For example, I found a box of Lundberg gluten-free vegan brown rice couscous ($3.99). Back when I was really investigating gluten-free products, I had seen a wide variety of gluten-free flours, pastas, breads, rolls, cereals and so on, but no gluten-free couscous (yes, technically a type of pasta). No area health food stores carry it (some hadn't even heard of it), but Milk & Honey does. I bought a box, though I have yet to try it (watch for that post soon).

When you enter the big, sunny Milk & Honey, your attention will not immediately go to the groceries, though those are the first things you will encounter to either side of you. What you will first encounter is the big glass deli case in front of you, which holds a small variety of baked goods and sandwiches (looks like Milk & Honey is definitely going for quality over quantity). I was quite lucky to have gotten there when a few free samples of their ham and cheese biscuit were sitting out for the taking, as that helped me (and the two women in front of me) make my purchasing decision. Though out of that variety of biscuit, they did have an equally luscious bacon & chipotle biscuit. I don't throw around words like "luscious" very often, but underlying that crumbly outer surface is a moist, savory and I dare say luscious little biscuit. It's also a large (for me) and filling biscuit and I do recommend it. You will need something to go with that biscuit, by the way. I bought a half-chocolate-dipped sandwich cookie for $1.25, which was simple and tasty. On the beverage front, order anything from soda to coffee to hot chocolate. Sit there in their little café, or head outside. I wish I had. Hot chocolate will be a very nice choice this upcoming week.