The pleasure of shopping at the Shores Publix begins outside, in the ample parking lot, where an empty space can usually be found with relatively little effort (if the lot is full, just take the ramp to the rooftop parking deck; an elevator will bring you to ground level). Before you go in, though, stand back and admire the architecture: the decorative tropical shutters, the arched doorways, the covered walkway illuminated by large, industrial-style lanterns. Once inside, you'll discover what the exterior only hints at: This isn't so much a supermarket as it is a village shopping district, one with its own bakery; apothecary; flower shop; produce, meat, and fish markets; and wine shop. The floral center has bouquets, plants, and even garden sculptures for sale. The bakery section, likewise, is large enough to be considered its own separate shop, filling that end of the store with the divine smell of freshly baked goods. And everywhere there is activity. At the seafood market a sushi chef busily works at his station. Produce clerks constantly replenish the supply of fresh fruits and vegetables. Can't find something among the luxuriously wide aisles? There's always someone you can ask. And if you can't find something, you really should ask because chances are they carry it. The strength of this shoppers' paradise is selection, from its wide assortment of ethnic foods (including an extensive array of West Indian goodies) to health foods to its glorious wine section: three aisles and two entire walls of fermented grape juice, from $4 to $50 per bottle. No wonder Upper Eastside regulars commonly refer to this place as Mecca.
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