For as long as I can remember, I have been shopping at Tomato, a Japanese grocery store on Cobb Parkway in Marietta. When I was a kid, my mom would take us next door to Umezono for heaping bowls of udon noodles, followed by an after-dinner trip to Tomato to pick out a treat. I would grab a new variety of rice crackers, mochi ice cream, or funky packs of colorful gum with words written in Japanese I could not understand. As an adult, the store became a staple as I explored Japanese cooking. So you can imagine my surprise when I visited the other day only to discover it was gone after being open in the same location for 30 years. A quick Google search revealed it had relocated in November right around the corner in Windy Hill Village. Phew.
Shoppers can pick up a variety of groceries such as sashimi-grade chutoro (blue fin tuna), oshinko (Japanese pickles), frozen oden (fish cakes), canned coffee, sake, and beer. Beyond food, you’ll find eyebrow razors for creating Instagram-worthy arches, cute housewares decorated with kittens and cartoon pandas, and a big selection of anime DVDs, all clad in the same white packaging covered in hand-written Japanese. In fact, following the store on Facebook is a direct line to what’s just in from Japan, from packages of the world’s spiciest instant noodle to addictive green tea Kit Kats. I’m also a fan of the fluffy loaves of white bread in the bread section. It’s perfect for grilled cheese, french toast, and croque madames.
Following the store’s Facebook feed is also a good way to keep up with the bentos of the day, which are posted every weekend. The freshly made bento boxes are neatly packed with sushi rolls, steamed dumplings, curry rice, and more. Most of the meals are under $9, making them the perfect lunch to take home with you after a shopping session. 2359 Windy Hill Road SE, Marietta, 770-933-0108