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The return of Grant’s Marketplace

It feels roomier, with new menu items and fuzzy chairs

Chicken enchiladas with salsa verde
Chicken enchiladas with salsa verde

It never closed exactly, but heading into the end of last year, Grant’s Marketplace sure looked like the end was near. The drink coolers dwindled to empty, as did shelves that once held sundry items such as pastas and gourmet condiments. Those shelves were pushed against those coolers, giving the popular neighborhood market the look of a shop that had been heavily looted, and possibly fortified against the zombie apocalypse. Only the sandwich counter was left to signal customers the place remained open.

Place

Grant's Coffee Room

2953 Beech Street, San Diego

As it turns out, Grant’s was for sale, and last month, for the second time in three years, it changed hands. The new owners have gotten to work replenishing a few of the market shelves, once again stocked with stuff like pastas and gourmet condiments. Beer and soft drinks returned to the coolers, and the likes of ready-made sandwiches and chia pudding were added to the take away inventory.

Bacon and pepper jack cheese croissant

To be honest, the place looks better than it has in ten years. Once a market/restaurant hybrid that crammed shelves and merchandise into every bit of open space, the new look Grant’s operates with a greater sense of feng shui. The dining room feels more central to the experience, and there are even fuzzy coverings on the patio chairs. It now looks like a comfortable neighborhood breakfast and lunch spot that happens to be outfitted with pantry items and a well-presented wine selection framing the spacious dining room. There aren’t as many grocery items to buy, but that’s never really been Grant’s strength anyhow.

A brighter, roomier Grant's dining room

The sandwich counter is what has made Grant’s a neighborhood hub. Or should I say, food counter. Locals stop by in the morning for espresso drinks, pastries, and breakfast sandwiches. They come by to lunch on soups and deli sandwiches. Students from the nearby charter school show up with their parents after school, to nosh on cookies and drink juice. All through the day and into the evening, adults meet here to talk business, gossip, or otherwise catch up over some refreshment. Every neighborhood should have a Grant’s, and when it looked as though South Park was going to lose it, there was no shortage of anxiety and premature grief.

Fewer market items, but more elegantly arranged

I’m happy to report the sandwich menu that has kept me coming back over the past ten years remains intact, with little or no changes. However, there have been a few slight changes to the food menu, with more apparently on the way.

Grant's Marketplace wine corner

First, the pastry case has been well stocked, with a greater variety of muffins and stuffed croissants. I’ve found cinnamon coffee cake muffins and blackberry banana in addition to the crucial blueberry. I’ve also found blueberry turnovers, along with croissants of roasted tomato and parmesan, chocolate, and bacon and pepper jack cheese. At $3.99, that big buttery pastry proved tasty as expected, and more filling.

Patio chairs now have fuzzy covers

A bigger surprise was finding enchiladas for sale. Until 2 pm at least, one may order chicken or shrimp enchilada, with either red or green sauce; each made from scratch. For $9.25, I opted for green chicken enchiladas, draped in sauce and zigzags of melted cheese, with a side of rice and black beans. It’s a far cry from my usual hot pastrami sandwich on a roll, but as long as Grant’s pledges to keep that pastrami on the menu, I can get behind the changes afoot here. The enchiladas are a great start, and the whole place feels brighter and airier now that those confusing, dark days are behind us.

Neighborhood hub Grant's Marketplace, now with new ownership
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Chicken enchiladas with salsa verde
Chicken enchiladas with salsa verde

It never closed exactly, but heading into the end of last year, Grant’s Marketplace sure looked like the end was near. The drink coolers dwindled to empty, as did shelves that once held sundry items such as pastas and gourmet condiments. Those shelves were pushed against those coolers, giving the popular neighborhood market the look of a shop that had been heavily looted, and possibly fortified against the zombie apocalypse. Only the sandwich counter was left to signal customers the place remained open.

Place

Grant's Coffee Room

2953 Beech Street, San Diego

As it turns out, Grant’s was for sale, and last month, for the second time in three years, it changed hands. The new owners have gotten to work replenishing a few of the market shelves, once again stocked with stuff like pastas and gourmet condiments. Beer and soft drinks returned to the coolers, and the likes of ready-made sandwiches and chia pudding were added to the take away inventory.

Bacon and pepper jack cheese croissant

To be honest, the place looks better than it has in ten years. Once a market/restaurant hybrid that crammed shelves and merchandise into every bit of open space, the new look Grant’s operates with a greater sense of feng shui. The dining room feels more central to the experience, and there are even fuzzy coverings on the patio chairs. It now looks like a comfortable neighborhood breakfast and lunch spot that happens to be outfitted with pantry items and a well-presented wine selection framing the spacious dining room. There aren’t as many grocery items to buy, but that’s never really been Grant’s strength anyhow.

A brighter, roomier Grant's dining room

The sandwich counter is what has made Grant’s a neighborhood hub. Or should I say, food counter. Locals stop by in the morning for espresso drinks, pastries, and breakfast sandwiches. They come by to lunch on soups and deli sandwiches. Students from the nearby charter school show up with their parents after school, to nosh on cookies and drink juice. All through the day and into the evening, adults meet here to talk business, gossip, or otherwise catch up over some refreshment. Every neighborhood should have a Grant’s, and when it looked as though South Park was going to lose it, there was no shortage of anxiety and premature grief.

Fewer market items, but more elegantly arranged

I’m happy to report the sandwich menu that has kept me coming back over the past ten years remains intact, with little or no changes. However, there have been a few slight changes to the food menu, with more apparently on the way.

Grant's Marketplace wine corner

First, the pastry case has been well stocked, with a greater variety of muffins and stuffed croissants. I’ve found cinnamon coffee cake muffins and blackberry banana in addition to the crucial blueberry. I’ve also found blueberry turnovers, along with croissants of roasted tomato and parmesan, chocolate, and bacon and pepper jack cheese. At $3.99, that big buttery pastry proved tasty as expected, and more filling.

Patio chairs now have fuzzy covers

A bigger surprise was finding enchiladas for sale. Until 2 pm at least, one may order chicken or shrimp enchilada, with either red or green sauce; each made from scratch. For $9.25, I opted for green chicken enchiladas, draped in sauce and zigzags of melted cheese, with a side of rice and black beans. It’s a far cry from my usual hot pastrami sandwich on a roll, but as long as Grant’s pledges to keep that pastrami on the menu, I can get behind the changes afoot here. The enchiladas are a great start, and the whole place feels brighter and airier now that those confusing, dark days are behind us.

Neighborhood hub Grant's Marketplace, now with new ownership
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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