The U-Street Corridor got a lot spicier in this month thanks to Bazaar Spices, Washington’s first locally-owned and operated gourmet spice shop. Savvy seasoning shoppers are likely familiar with Bazaar’s original location at Union Market. After seeing great success with their booth, owners Ivan and Monica expanded to a full-service store in U-Street’s hottest new locale, Atlantic Plumbing Building. Union Market diners can still shop at the original booth, but now can head to U-Street for all things Bazaar. THL attended the store’s first media party earlier this month and, as always, has the dish on the details.
The aroma was lovely, the décor charming, the hosts inviting and the atmosphere exciting on the evening of February 3. Platters of local goodies from Righteous Cheese, Chocotenango, Brainfood and Swapples (who was recently featured on Instagram by our own DC ‘Wich Hunt) lined the store’s counter tops. The walls are packed with spices, as Bazaar offers the city’s deepest selection of hand-picked, small-batch spices, seasoning blends, bulk herbs, botanicals, rice, flours, and lentils, sourced from around the world.
Ivan and Monica were offering spice samples to guests and sharing their wide array of knowledge on the topic. Their passion is evident, which is likely why their shop was voted as the city’s “Best Spice Shop” last year and named Washingtonian Magazine’s “Top Food Shop” in 2014. While chatting with them I sampled the sansho, an earthy spice that elicits a tingling sensation, much like Szechwan cuisine. I also had my eye on the Whisky Rub for lamb dishes and adored their creatively displayed spice board.
Perhaps one of the best aspects of Bazaar Spices is the constant opportunity to learn more from experts like Ivan, Monica and their team. You can “travel the world” by attending their classes, talks and demonstrations about everything from the international spice scene, to beauty botanicals, to potpourri making workshops. After the event, you can browse the shelves for items to take home or simply shop from home by visiting their online store. Have a friend who needs some spice? Send them a Bazaar Spices gift card.
Once you have your spice rack filled at home, check out their blog, Spicy DC, for some great at-home recipes. Since winter’s chill is still in the air, I’m eyeing their “Feeling Chai and Mighty” tea recipe from December to warm up.
Basically, the THL team is taking a lesson from the Spice Girls and spicing up our life. From its diverse product offering, to its classes and creative recipes, Bazaar Spices has got us covered.