As soon as you enter, you know that Doris Italian Market is clearly different in the experience of food emporiums.
As you walk the well-spaced aisles (wide enough for regular-sized grocery baskets) and peruse all that is good in the Italian food universe, your first thought is likely, “Is it possible to buy one of everything they have and fit it all in the car?”
Yes to the first half of the question. As for the second half: you can always order online; they will ship to you. And if you’re also thinking this is gourmet shopping on steroids, you’re right. But the prices aren’t as pumped up as you would expect.
The newest addition to this mostly Broward chain (there’s one store in Boca Raton) just opened this weekend in North Palm Beach. The high-ceiling, industrial space has a clean and refined look, thanks to wood accents, moderate-height shelves and lighting that is adequate without blinding brightness. There is a lot of food in this store, yet the design and spacing make shopping comfortable without all the choices becoming overwhelming. The store is set up much like a regular grocery store, with produce and dairy along the wall close to the entrance, meat and seafood in the back and the bakery and deli along the opposite wall. While this setup makes the shopping experience a familiar one, you do not want to merely shop the perimeter at Doris. You’d miss the sixteen-bottle wine tap (yes, you can sip and shop, or take your glass outside to the tables and bocce court), that fresh pasta and ricotta cheese station, the packaged selection of cleaned seafood (perfect to top pasta or risotto), the cheese department and the aisles of everything from dried pastas, sauces and canned tomatoes to dried and fresh-cured meats, wine, tuna in olive oil, sardines, olives, peppers, sweets and anything that comes from Italy.
Shopping at Doris Italian Market can make you rethink whatever you had planned for dinner tonight. What looks good right now, the leg of lamb or the squid ink linguine? You want pasta fresh, dried, frozen or in their house-made pasta fagioli soup? And for dessert: will it be biscotti, strufoli or perhaps cannoli? A shopper can become a spendthrift here, but surprisingly, Doris Italian Market’s upscale food selection also downsizes prices as much as possible. While many of the canned and packaged imports are a bit expensive (and those prices are subject to issues that are usually beyond the store’s control), many of their house-made and fresh items are very reasonable. Three or more pounds of ground turkey cost $2.99 per pound. A Key lime pie for two cost $2.99. Most of the fresh plain pastas cost $4.99 per pound, and a quart of their house marinara sauce was $5.99. And speaking of pasta and sauce: a perfect topping can be found in the cheese department. Try the Sartori Parmesan; it’s not just a favorite Parmesan; it’s a favorite cheese, period. It’s rich, creamy and nutty without excess salt.
The Super Bowl is coming. Yes, it’s an all-American sport. But who says the party food has to be? Say Ciao! to Doris and bring some Italian flavor to the big game.
Doris Italian Market, in the Shoppes at City Centre, 11239 U.S. Highway 1, North Palm Beach, FL. Phone (561) 517-8488. Open Monday through Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.