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Friday April 18, 2014
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Sampling the Holidays



Straight across the street, Euro Market had already hung a few artificial green garlands inside by early November. Bright babushka-painted nesting dolls, starting at $10, beckoned from stacked shelves, calling for an immediate plunge into Christmas shopping. The lanky cashier shrugged when asked what other special somethings might make the long trip over from Russia to warm the hearts of expats. Wine and candy were all he could come up with as popular sales items of the season. Indeed, the long thin store displayed a big wall of each. Also worth a gander: yummy-looking preserved vegetables, exotic teas, and Russian magazines.

A block further east, Tmaz Taqueria and Bakery proprietor Cesar Hervert bounced with the excitement of celebrating his first Christmas in business with as big a Mexican-style posadafestival as his customers ask for. "I've ordered the pinatas and candies already," he explained. He's also planning to bake up batches of holiday cakes and cookies, starting right after Thanksgiving. When asked to describe those special baked goods in detail, he paused. "They're decorated," he said. He then added, in helpful tone, "for Christmas?" Might require a trip back at the right time to get the full picture.

Meanwhile, over at Hut-K Chaats, the transcendent purveyor of health-conscious Indian street food that has been a hit since Day One on Packard and also at Mark's Carts downtown in the summer, smiling co-owner Sumi Bhojani shook her head slowly when asked if there was anything special planned for Christmas. She indicated that Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, might inspire a bit of activity on November 13--but no promises.

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