to all the people that mentioned penzeys, here's a huge "thank you!!"
their newest store
is in rockville, md, all of 5 minutes from my work building. drive past it every day on the way home. today, i figured since traffic was crappy anyway, it was time to stop.
everything top quality, very fresh, but all kinds of reasonable on the prices (which was nuts considering i'd expected to pay "boutique store" prices for everything in there). everything has jars to sample, so herb/spice novices & junkies alike can sniff-test all the goodies before they buy. the selection is prodigious...beyond the basics, everything from thai & eastern blends to the file powder (sassafras) mentioned on a gumbo thread. i got the most amazing nutmeg
, and i'll have to let you know how my experiments with freeze-dried shallots work out.