Oma’s Pantry, a Truly Gourmet Experience
PLEASE NOTE: In November of 2010, Oma’s Pantry was acquired by Ingrid’s Kitchen and is now known as Ingrid’s Pantry. They still serve much of the same menu as the original Oma’s Pantry.
Driving down Council Road you don’t see many restaurants. A few fast food joints, one of those unitarian joints (a “lets have every type of food imaginable” place), a diner or two, and that’s about it. There is a place, however, that you have probably driven by a hundred times and never even seen. Oma’s Pantry is hidden in the middle of a little shopping strip in Bethany, hardly a hot bed for unique restaurants. Oma’s Pantry is a gourmet food shop specializing in European imports. I have always counted on Oma’s to provide me with Aromat seasoning, different European Knorr mixes, specialty cheese, and a variety of infused oils, but it is what they just recently began providing that I have decided to share with the world. Oma’s has started serving fresh hot Panini-style sandwiches that are amazing. They also have a Soup Von De Dag (Soup of the day), real imported German Knockwurst and Bratwurst, and a variety of homemade pastries.
The Paninis are made with fresh meats, bread and cheese. For instance, today I ordered the Flamin’ Hot Pastrami Sandwich. First off, name another place in the city where you can get fresh shaved Pastrami. There aren’t many. Place a healthy portion of pastrami with a couple thick slices of Grueyere, some hot sauce, some of Oma’s coleslaw, all on a couple slices of Holzofen Art Brot (Stone Baked Farmer’s Rye Bread) and you have a lunch that will make any other deli sandwich in town seem pretty ordinary. The coleslaw is fresh, it has chunky pieces of cucumber, cabbage, carrot, etc., and it’s FULL of flavor. Very refreshing when you picture that soggy shredded cabbage concoction we are all so used to. My wife had the Mediterranean Panini which is smoked turkey, a goat’s milk Gouda, onions, tomatoes, and a black olive relish grilled on an Italian bread. There are many other choices involving Black Forest Ham, cheeses such as Havarti and Provolone, French Dip, and of course, a Reuben.
If you are not in the mood for a hot sandwich, they have a cold sub-style sandwich as well. For instance, the Roast Beef with Blue Stilton Cheese deserves a try. You don’t get the chance to eat Blue Stilton Cheese very often in life. Sandwiches are paired with a bag of chips, potato salad, or you can get the German Potato Salad. And did I mention the real German Brats and Knacks? Sorry, I’m very excited that they started offering these. You can buy them frozen and take them home as well to cook yourself if you are like me and hate the offerings our lame grocery stores in this city offer us in the way of sausages. And yes, there are vegetarian choices as well. In fact, the Veggie Melt that stacks grilled asparagus, fresh spinach, mozzarella, roasted sweet red peppers, and an eggplant spread tempts even a hardcore carnivore such as myself. Pair that with a cup of French Onion soup and an apricot turnover if you really want to kick it up a notch.
Oma’s Pantry is a food-lovers paradise. Where else in town can you get a wide variety of imported cheeses, spices, imported meats, treats, as well as fresh pastries, soups, and sandwiches? If you know of another, please tell me. Thankfully, for my sake, Oma’s is right by my house. Too bad there aren’t more places in town like this. This isn’t a budget sub shop. Expect to pay 6 or 7 bucks for a sandwich, but also expect to be VERY satisfied with a tasty hot sandwich straight from the old country.