Archive for April 2nd, 2008

I heard about Abbie’s Imports at a cooking class I took a while back, so I told Brooke about it and we decided we had to try it. Like Brooke, I don’t know what I was expecting exactly, but when I heard there were delicious Greek foods – olives and stuffed grape leaves – in addition to a deli where you could get lunch, I knew it had to be good. We scoped out the place on the Internet first and we a bit startled to see Mediterranean Foods, Deli and R.V. Parts. Yes, you read that correctly…R.V. Parts. We are in southeast Texas, so pretty much anything goes, and we decided we were still game!

Well, yesterday, we finally were able to make it, and it really was an interesting, fun, and repeatable experience. We were graciously welcomed by a woman behind the deli counter who we later found out was Abbie’s wife. There was also a wonderful, little old lady and of course Abbie himself was there too. Here’s the sign, but unfortunately I don’t think you can actually see the Mobile Manor R.V. Park in this pic.


Abbie’s website boasts savory samples, and that’s no lie. Abbie’s wife let us sample two different kinds of cheeses, a delicious vegetable spread, some tabbouleh, some ginger cookies, and we were even offered some hot tea. For lunch, Brooke opted for a pizza and I opted for an Abbie’s special – a fresh pita, with hummus, turkey, mozzarella, and cucumbers.

While we were waiting for our lunch, Brooke got to learn about southeast Texas/Beaumont politics with Abbie’s wife and I got to play “guess the accent” with the lovely, little old lady. I don’t know exactly how old she is but I do know she has been in the United States around 45 years. I asked her where she was from and so she asked me if I could pick up the accent. I guessed Italian first because when we were placing our order, she gave Brooke a lesson on time and Italian greetings. She gave a quick glance at the clock to check the time, and said “Buongiorno! Come stai questa mattina?” And she taught Brooke how to respond with a spirited, “bene bellissimo” (or something close to that!) Thanks to my trip to Italia, I was familiar with those phrases!

Nope the accent wasn’t Italian. Guess again. Um, we were in a Greek deli/store, so I guessed, Greek? Nope. I suck at guessing accents apparently. Luckily, she gave a hint that was pretty obvious by telling me she was from Buenos Aires and I knew that’s in Argentina. I also learned that her family lived in Naples, Italy for a few years too, hence the Italian lessons.

So we shopped, and chatted and shopped and chatted some more. I think we actually arrived at about 11:15 or 11:20, and it was about 11:45 when we were finally sitting down to eat. Talk about good, old-fashioned European/southern hospitality. They didn’t rush us and they made us feel like we were old friends. But they also didn’t rush making the food. We decided next time, we’ll call ahead to have the sandwiches ready when we get there, since on lunch hour you can’t exactly just sit and chat all afternoon!

Here’s the half of my delicious Abbie’s Special that I brought back to the office with me.


And here’s the decadent, flaky piece of pistachio baklava I brought back for an afternoon snack.


I wish I had more pictures to share with you, but I know we’ll be going back, so maybe next time we’re chatting it up with Abbie about LU (he’s an alum, and we got his life story too, long story short…pre-med, turned engineer, turned store owner) or partaking in savory samples, playing politics or guess the accents, we’ll get over the touristy fear of looking like big, camera wielding dorks at a local dining and shopping establishment, and ask our new friends if they’d mind taking a picture with us. Somehow, I think they’d be thrilled!


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