Eating inside a grocery store for breakfast, lunch and dinner? We put it to the test.
The new Rouses in Gulfport is pretty impressive, from dry-aged beef, to fresh Gulf seafood and great looking produce, but the real magic in this grocery store is found in the deli.
It is unlike any other on the Coast, it’s huge by local standards, and I am not sure whether to describe it as a deli or food court.
So, what’s the big deal about a deli in a grocery store? The big deal at this Rouses is the variety of prepared foods that can be found there. Think I am kidding? The Gulfport Rouses offers a $6.99 hot bar, $5.99 build-your-own-sandwich bar, a refrigerated section that has prepared foods to take home and reheat that they call it chef-inspired dishes, hand-rolled sushi, a poke bar, a Mongolian grill and a salad bar. They are also open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pretty cool, right?
On the day I visited, the hot bar was loaded with wings, red beans and rice, meatloaf, lasagna, jambalaya and fried fish. The grab-and-go section, which is refrigerated, and offers foods you can take home and reheat for your family, features favorites like chicken cordon bleu, fried green tomato salad with shrimp or crawfish remoulade, blackened shrimp pasta, seafood stuffed potatoes and tuna salad-stuffed tomatoes.
The poke bar (a Hawaiian specialty pronounced poh-kay) is a healthier option and is composed of a base, protein, toppings and sauces. The base is white or brown rice, or a spring mix, the proteins include tuna, salmon, shrimp or crawfish. There are 11 toppings, including edamame, onions, tempura crisps, avocado and mango, to name just a few.
The Mongolian grill offers two basic options, teriyaki style with rice, and yakisoba with noodles. You have a choice of vegetable, chicken, beef, shrimp or a combination of these. I ordered the chicken yakisoba and was well pleased with it.
I also like the $5.99 build your own sandwich bar. You have the option of white or wheat bread, five spreads, from old-fashioned mayo to pesto, ham, turkey, roast beef or pulled pork, six cheeses and 10 veggies, from portabella mushroom to coleslaw. I am a sandwich kind of guy and rank a good sandwich just behind a loaded cheeseburger, and this is a fine spread indeed.
The new Rouses was a $7.5 million project and has 44,000 square feet of total space. I love a brand spanking new grocery store, and this is one of the nicest around, but the deli is what really turned my head. Whether you want to eat in-store or take it home for the family, this is a great addition to the Coast’s foodie attractions.
Rouses Market Gulfport
Where: 1444 E. Pass Road, Gulfport
Hours: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily