By Laura Voeth
On a lovely Saturday afternoon in early spring, this writer was driving down Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank when, suddenly, I was enveloped by the most delicious aromas. Where were they coming from?
I had to find out, so I pulled over. That’s when I saw the smoke rising from a piping hot grill, situated near a charming little grocery store. Ah, yes, it is the traditional Saturday barbecue at Handy Market! I had almost driven right by it.
People lined up to enjoy the delightful fare. Some, unable to wait to take their bounty home, were eating in their cars! Succulent ribs, tri-tip, turkey legs, sausages and chicken. Even corn on the cob! What a treat! I was so impressed with what I saw (and smelled!) that I decided to go into the store and check it out. What I discovered was a full service grocery store with many other amenities. The shelves were arranged neatly, with the prices clearly marked, (and extremely reasonable).
The produce aisle was a work of art, well stocked and colorful, with the freshest looking fruits and vegetables. Another section offered liquor and wines and a vast array of craft beers. The deli exhibited attractively displayed salads, from the traditional potato to exotic tabouleh, as well as stuffed grape leaves and a mélange of cold cuts, ready to be sliced into a sandwich of your choice. Next to the deli is the butcher shop, which boasts a boundless variety of quality meats and poultry. Throughout the store, I came upon fanciful products: condiments and spices with amusing names and offbeat flavors, and intriguing beverages such as Elderflower and Rose Lemonade…FUN!! And greeting cards! Having spent countless hours looking for the perfect card for friends and family over the years, I was delighted to discover that Handy Market had a selection of cards I had never encountered before.
Handy Market is a gem of a store, located on W. Magnolia Blvd., just west of Buena Vista. The building dates back to the 1940’s. The owner, Alan Arzoian, has been a part of the magic since 1970, when his father bought the store and opened it as Handy Market.
Alan is a charming, affable man, who appears to be tireless, arriving on the site at the crack of dawn (or earlier!), and staying well after the 8:30pm closing. He surrounds himself with a staff that is friendly, helpful and incredibly efficient. That is important since, in addition to the Saturday barbecues, Handy Market also does a “drop and go” catering business, using their large kitchen. During the holidays, they are busily preparing feasts for stressed out hosts and hostesses. The nearby studios love Handy Market too, and order from them throughout the year.
With Easter and Passover approaching, it is comforting to know that Handy Market can help make your entertaining painless.
Handy Market is located at 2515 W Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank, just west of Buena Vista. Open daily. Call (818) 848-2500 for more information.