Shortly after Cherian Abraham moved to the United States from his Indian homeland, he opened the small video store that would blossom into Kashmir Groceries and Imports, a vibrant crossroads of South Asian sundries. Cherian’s son and the store’s present owner, Bijo, continues his father’s tradition of supplying local households with imported South Asian fare, Bollywood video rentals, and other knickknacks seized from Marco Polo’s suitcase at customs. Heavy sacks of basmati rice, cans of pickles and chutney, and rows of exotic spices line the grocer's shelves alongside fresh produce and certified halal meats. Phone cards keep loved ones up-to-date on juicy gossip and local monsoon reports, and a DVD-conversion service digitizes the essences of Indian cinema for at-home enjoyment.
For three generations, Westvale Fish Cove has cast a tasty take-out menu of fried-fish favorites and netted a raw menu of freshly caught delicacies for take-home filleting, frying, and flambéing. Westvale's chefs churn out a homemade clam chowder ($2.99–$4.99) Wednesday–Saturday, prepping gill-less palettes for a fried-fish sandwich ($4.99) or a heartier fried-fish dinner that comes with a choice of two sides such as macaroni salad or baked beans ($9.25). Take home lobster tail that guards tender meat made succulent from the crustacean's time spent swinging from one underwater tree limb to the next. Raw sea scallops ($14.99/lb.) and jumbo colossal shrimp ($11.99/lb.) treat tummies to bite-size, oxymoronic morsels of sea-faring heaven.
Founded over 95 years ago, Hercules Candy Company daringly rescues distressed dessert-cravers with their handcrafted chocolates, ribbon candy, brittles, barks, and assortment of other classic confections. In the joyful tumult of the holiday season, these gentle giants flex their candy-making muscles with an array of wintery and Christmas-themed treats. Tree trimming becomes a tasty task with eight flavors of handmade candy canes ($0.85 each); chocolate spoons complete with mini-marshmallows ($1.75) are stirred directly into frothing mugs of hot milk or used as an advantage in a spoon fight; and stockings are stuffed with a gingerbread pop ($2) or solid chocolate Santa ($2.50–$13.99). Chocolate covered potato chips are individually hand-dipped in milk chocolate or both milk and white chocolate for the truly duplicitous secret agent (both $17.99 per pound). Devoted to maintaining their personal, hands-on approach to candy, Hercules Candy roasts nuts on the premises for sweets like their homemade peanut brittle ($11 per pound) and hand-dips chocolate in a variety of molds such as flowers, sports gear, vehicles, and life-sized presidents.
The Deli Downtown keeps it simple. They serve comforting American cuisine of baked-daily bagels, as well as inventive sandwiches made with tangy balsamic dressing, fresh mozzarella, smoked turkey, and homemade focaccia bread. An air of nostalgia permeates the restaurant, with its chessboard linoleum floors, silver-and-vinyl soda-fountain stools, and red-neon accents. The savory smells of toasted reuben and turkey-club sandwiches fill the remaining air as chefs labor at the panini press. For those who refuse to conform, diners can plot out their meal to perfect specificity with the build-your-own-sandwich menu.