5: Shopping at Lee Lee International Supermarket
This "international supermarket” carries items from at least 30 countries and regions, and they’re all represented at two sizable grocery stores in Chandler and Peoria (and one in Tucson, too).
Lee Lee International Supermarkets have been around for more than 25 years, and started when Meng Truong moved to Arizona from Cambodia. He and his wife, Paulina, noticed the lack of a diverse food market where they could pick up some of their favorite items from back home. Truong would frequently drive his van to California to pick up any ethnic ingredients, until – we assume – that became obviously tiresome. Now Lee Lee totals more than 200,000 square feet of grocery space across three massive stores.
Dozens of fluorescent-lit aisles yield teas and coffees, beauty products, noodles, rice, and other boxed and canned goods from around the world. The outer edges of the stores offer imported beers, wines, and sake, or fresh and colorful produce, eggs, and dairy products. There’s also an organic section.
Hang out in the back of the store to watch an employee fish out live crabs – the little guy scrambling while being held up by tongs as the shopper makes a yes-or-no decision. Live fish swim around in tanks unaware of their future, and shoppers wait patiently to reach the meat or deli counter.
The Essentials so far:
50: Tequila Sunrise at the Arizona Biltmore.
49: "Dragon" Dumpling Burger at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour.
48: Dizzy Fig Empanada at Republica Empanada.
47: Linguine Carbonara at Avanti.
46: The Food Court at Mercado de los Cielos.
45: Chicken Feta Salad at George’s Kitchen.
44: Spinach & Cheese Chimi Burro at Mi Patio Mexican Restaurant.
43: Dinner at Rustler's Rooste.
42: Gyro Omelet at Mel's Diner.
41: Zipps Wings at Zipps Sports Grill.
40: Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa.
39: Asian Nachos at Moto.
38: Olive Oil Tasting at Queen Creek Olive Oil Mill.
37: Baby Back Ribs at Don & Charlie's.
36: Limoncello at Cibo.
35: Chili Salt Chicken Wings at Asian Café Express.
34: Smoked Prime Rib at Texaz.
33: Steak Salad at Feeney's.
32: Tasting Menu at Kai Restaurant.
31: Toffee Banofi Sundae at Sweet Republic.
30: Big Jim at Welcome Diner.
29: Sonoran Hot Dog at El Caprichoso.
28: Sashimi at Nobuo at Teeter House.
27: Oysters at Casey Moore's Oyster House.
26: Spring rolls at Da Vang.
25: Bruschetta and wine at Postino.
24: Hot green chili fry bread at Fry Bread House.
23: The Big One at The Chuckbox.
22: Cahuamanta Stew at Cahuamanta El Yaqui.
21: Dim Sum at Great Wall Cuisine.
20: Fried chicken at The Horny Toad.
19: George & Dragon’s Famous Fish & Chips.
18: Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches at Pho 43rd Express.
17: Cerreta Candy Co. Factory Tour & Candy Sampling in Downtown Glendale.
16: Steak Dinner at The Stockyards.
15: Margarita + Guacamole del Barrio at Barrio Cafe.
14: BBQ Plate at Joe's Real BBQ.
13: Fried Chicken & Pork Chops from Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe.
12: Breakfast Burrito at Yucca Tap Room.
11: Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies at Super Chunk.
10: Doro Wat at Cafe Lalibela.
9: Lunch at Middle Eastern Bakery & Deli.
8: The Chef's Counter at Posh.
7: Flour tortillas and machaca at Carolina's.
6: Wining and dining at FnB.