On a nondescript Main Street corner, you’ll find a neighborhood market, with picnic tables out front, that’s quite a draw at lunchtime. Open since 1947, Grove Market is the best little-known secret in the area.
It’s quite the experience as you walk inside. There are small aisles with many grocery items squeezed into a space about the size of a large bedroom. In the back, there’s a counter where you can order sandwiches. As patrons gather, it’s fun to watch the anxiety grow, as there is no real space for a line to form. The worker simply calls out, “Next.” Everyone looks at one another, wondering who is next and hoping it’s them.
These sandwiches are worth any claustrophobia and confusion. There are many choices, from traditional cold sandwiches to hot items such as the meatball sandwich, Polish sausage, meat pie and double chili dog with cheese.
The meatball sandwich is made with high-quality meat, layered in a rich tomato sauce. Honestly, that hearty, flavorful tomato sauce made the meal. It’s obvious that it is housemade, and it’s created with tasty herbs and spices that leave you spooning it into your mouth even after you are stuffed.
And stuffed you will get. Ordering more that you can eat is the American way, so I didn’t hesitate to order a full-size sandwich. When I got the sandwich, I wasn’t sure if they were handing me my meal or someone’s newborn child. Just half of my sandwich had nine meatballs in it.
More food than you can eat, nice spring day, relaxed outdoor setting? Sounds like a lunch at Grove’s, and could be the highlight of anyone’s day.
GROVE MARKET & DELI
1906 S. Main