LOWER QUEEN ANNE
At the super-specialty retail shop Marx Foods, opened by online retailer Justin Marx on Lower Queen Anne in November near where Western turns into Denny, the feel is open and sparse, like a laboratory. Marx, who grew up in the food import business (his family still owns the New Jersey–based North American Import & Export), carved out a space in the loft-like home of his online business to open the shop. And compared with the overflowing shelves at most gourmet grocers, this space is almost bare, with cement flooring and two display walls flanking the checkout corner, behind which is a wall alive with ferns. Along one wall, long shelves showcase such esoteric items as yuzu marmalade, coconut jam, hibiscus soda syrup, a line of hot sauces and something called umami paste (with plenty of anchovy). It’s likely you’ve never tasted much of what’s on offer here, and that can be quite fun. In the refrigerated and frozen foods sections across the shop, you’ll find kangaroo, grass-fed porterhouses, edible flowers and specialty sodas (Rachel’s Ginger Beer among them). It’s a wonderland for the inquisitive cook, and recipes using all their products are posted online.
144 Western Ave. W; 866.588.6279; marxfoods.com