New Seasons offers variety, freshness



Why: New Seasons Market has opened its first Washington location in east Vancouver, bringing many organic and local products to the neighborhood. The deli is fully stocked with delicious options, and a large dining area offers a comfortable spot for a quick lunch stop that is superior to fast food. For the health conscious, one needn’t worry about the quality or healthfulness of the food since ingredients are market-fresh and wholesome.

Atmosphere: A window bar, along with tables and chairs, can accommodate a fair number of diners in a cafeteria-style setting. A New Seasons’ employee will occasionally make their way through the dining area and tidy up tables to keep them fit for diners. Other than the coffee bar and made-to-order sandwiches, items are easily accessible for self-service.

What I tried: I took home a Butternut Squash, Greens & Goat Cheese Galette, some Lemon Hummus, Cranberry Orange Relish, a portion of the Broccoli and Cheddar Soup and a loaf of Challah bread.

I also dined in for lunch and tried the Roasted Chicken, Orange Glazed Yams, Hot Rock Mac & Cheese, Sweet Corn Risotto and Roasted Root Vegetables. For dessert, I tried the Lemon Raspberry Poppyseed Cake and the Boston Cream Pie.

Though all of the items I chose for lunch were excellent, the chicken, with its savory moist goodness, and the Sweet Corn Risotto, which contained corn, peas, mushrooms, Parmesan and green onions, were my favorites. I was also impressed with the way the orange flavor reached to the center of all the bite-size pieces of the Orange-Glazed Yams.

The desserts were both very scrumptious, but the Lemon Raspberry Poppyseed Cake shined the brightest. The frosting had a melt-in-your-mouth quality and the cake was light and moist. It possessed an overall spirit that reminded me of strawberry ice cream.

I enjoyed all of my take-home items. The soup, instead of having bits of broccoli in it, was puréed to a semi-smooth texture, which slightly altered the flavor, giving it a richness beyond ordinary broccoli and cheddar soup.

The Challah bread had a beautiful golden brown soft crust. The loaf’s dreamy texture was just a tad sweet.

I spread the hummus on savory olive oil tortas, which I purchased from the market area of New Seasons, for a perfectly complemented combination.

The pastry of the galette was light and buttery, and the filling ingredients created a seasonal impression with the squash and the distinctly tangy goat cheese.

Food highlights beyond what I tried: New Seasons Market has a wealth of things to consider: A soup and salad bar, “From the Kitchen” ready-made items that include a variety of meal pairings, made-to-order deli sandwiches, pizza, organic breads, desserts and other hot items — enough to put a hearty meal together and eat on the spot — and a coffee bar.

Other observations: New Seasons Market is definitely worth the visit. There are plenty of market items to fill your shopping cart and deli items to satisfy any type and size of appetite.

Cost: As is with most market deli offerings, selections are priced by the pound — often $6.99 per pound — or individually, depending on the item.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

Telephone: 360-760-5005.

Where: 2100 S.E. 164th Ave., Vancouver.

Health score: New Seasons Market passed a pre-opening inspection. For information from Clark County Public Health, call 360-397-8428.