In these times of social distancing and a possible shelter-in-place order coming soon, it’s important to remember that your local small business needs you more than ever. Support them, and if you’re on social media, share your support with the hashtag #SmallBusinessStrong.
I’m subscribed to a number of Facebook pages for my neighborhood of Seminole Heights, and a number of people have talked about which stores are still stocked with which items. They’ve only talked about more “basic” places: Publix, Winn-Dixie, Walmart, and the like.
I have a suggestion: Check out the bodegas!
House of Meats, as its name implies, has a lot of meat, some of which has been packaged up, and some you can order straight from the butcher’s counter. You can get your standard beef, chicken, and pork cuts, as well as stuff like goat, rabbit, chitterlings, hooves, and other stuff that might send your more basic friends screaming to run to the comfort of a Pumpkin Spice Latte or a White Claw.
Five bucks will get you pretty far here — that got me a pack of eight hefty bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, and another fiver got me a pound and a half of pork rib meat.
In addition to all that meat, House of Meats has a great selection of vegetables, especially frozen ones, as well as a lot of canned goods and Latino bread.
Across Central Avenue from House of Meats is Huracan, which also has a butcher shop, and a lot of fruit and veg. I get my yellow plantains here.
I read that some of you were looking for eggs and that Publix has been running out with all the COVID-19 panic buying. There are huevos aplenty at Huracan, as well as cheese, some tasty flan, and tres leches cake, too!
And when it comes to shelf-stable protein, you can’t beat beans, which take up an entire aisle at Huracan. White beans, pink beans, butterbeans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chickpeas), pigeon peas — they have these and more, in both canned and dry form:
So if you’re still stocking up your fridge, freezer, and pantry, give your local small business some love. And if you’re near a bodega but never go, don’t be so basic — break out of your comfort zone and check them out!