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Today will forever signify a dividing point in my life between BSIM and ASIM—Before and After Saeed's International Market.
Anyone who has ever been to this New London market and café knows how great a hidden gem it is. I've driven past it several times on my way down Ocean Avenue but never made my way inside until today.
To speak frankly, I was blown away.
As a market, Saeed's had an excellent assortment of American-made and imported goods—from natural soap to olive oil from Lebanon and Italy to craft beers like Hoegaarden, Long Trail and Shipyard.
They also carried Middle Eastern classics like halva, spanakopita and baklava. Oh yeah, and fresh gelato, which I happily sampled.
The specialty wraps made at the back counter were outstanding. I went with the "Greek Mystique." This comes with a choice of chicken or gyro meat (a beef and lamb blend), black olives, feta cheese, tomatoes and onions and lettuce on a warm Greek pita.
It came with a generous serving of incredibly well seasoned and cooked gyro meat. The pita was the style you fold over like a taco, rather than the pocket type you fill.
Other lunch time specialties included a classic gyro with tzatziki sauce, chicken gyro, falafel, stuffed grapes leafs pita, and Middle Eastern wrap with hummos or baba ghannuj.
The wraps were reasonably priced, ranging from $5.99 to $6.99. A la carte items included orzo salad, tabouli salad and moussaka, which I will certainly be going back to try.
I was chatting with the cashier while I was paying earlier today, and she mentioned she was surprised more people didn't know about Saeed's. I agreed. In the time I've worked in New London, I don't think anyone has recommended it to me.
So, if you've not been there, go…and spread the news.