Wednesday, March 10, 2010

David's Natural Market in Columbia

David's Natural Market meanders along a series of shopping center bays in the Wilde Lake village center in Columbia.

At the far right is a bay of organic groceries, good looking but not as pristine as Roots or Whole Foods or priced by Mom's Organic Market.  Then a terrific cafe.  Then the supplement and healthy pills section.  Then a series of rows of national organic packaged goods.  A little cheese.  A little frozen meat.

There is something for anyone at David's as long as they're looking for healthy food.  It's a real resource like Roots in Clarksville and Mom's Organic Market in Jessup, although, as I have written about all of Howard County's organic markets, I'm not the perfect customer because I balk at most of the packaged food and don't need gluten-free, soy-free or oddities like Goraw "live" granola bars.

I value David's for basics like bulk grains, Muir Glen canned tomatoes, and the vegetables that you can't buy at a normal supermarket.  The bulk grains are at the farthest wall from produce, and they're worth a trip by anyone looking for flavor, variety or health.  For a few dollars, you can walk out with bags of basics like cous cous or brown rice and with exotic items like red quinoa that I found this month.  Between the organic chard and the bulk quinoa, David's has aisles filled with most of the national organic brands that I recognize.  There is also Trickling Spring milk and Roseda Black Angus Beef hamburger patties.

I also love searching for treats.  Among the items being sold for being healthy, some are are just plain delicious and worth the price that David's charges.  My recent finds: Tommy's Naked cream soda, Reed's ginger candies, and Schorr's pickles in the refrigerated case near produce.

You do need to watch the prices that David's charges.  They don't always have a price on the shelf, and I had to send back the bottle of honey when it scanned at $15.  There were also items that I recognized as more expensive than the Whole Foods in Silver Spring.  (More expensive than Whole Foods?)  But there are treasures, generally simple ones -- products that list five ingredients that you recognize instead of the 15 ingredients (half from a chemistry lab) that you would find in a supermarket. That's why the pickles are so delicious or sodas taste so fresh.

In the end, you should check out David's if you're interested in good food.  Lunch at the cafe is worth however far you drive -- as discussed on the Kevin & Ann Eat Everything blog.  Then you can search for your own treats among the shelves.

If you're interested in organic shopping, check out my prior post about organic markets in Howard County.

If you go to David's, you should definitely stop in the other section of Wilde Lake for the Today's Catch fish market.  High-quality seafood.  If you have no other ideas, start with the scallops that guarantee a delicious dinner or with the fish scraps that are perfect for seafood soups.  They christen the scraps with a French term and sell at a discount price.

David's Natural Market
5430 Lynx Lane
Columbia, MD  21044

NEAR:  This is in the Wilde Lake village center.  It's not in the section with the Bagel Bin and The Melting Pot.  It is across Lynx Lane in a separate set of stores.

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