Marky's Gourmet: A Wonderland of Caviar, Cheese, and Foie Gras

Everyone has their special place. Mine includes champagne, imported cheese, caviar, and foie gras. Marky's Gourmet has it all and so much more.

For more than 30 years, Marky's has provided Miami with top-of-the-line caviar, truffles, and other gourmet items, including lobes of foie gras. For someone who comes from California, where this duck liver delicacy is banned, it was like the freezer of Heaven. Contraband gone wild. In fact, this whole store is beyond gluttonous. It is simply a gourmand's paradise. If you have yet to experience it, you are missing out.

When you enter, the right side offers a table with meat and cheese samples and delicacies from around the world, with a European emphasis. The left side is more of the Russian side with a dedicated pierogi freezer and matryoshka dolls on display. Wherever you end up here, you can't go wrong. Each section is better than the last, and every item has a variety of options.

Aside from extensive and expensive imported caviar, Marky's serves some sustainable American paddlefish and hackleback caviar from Mississippi and salmon roe from Alaska.

The cheese is categorized by cow and goat milk; there's smoked salmon, sausages, and deli meats galore. But the foie gras tops all other meats. There's imported French foie gras by the slice or the lobe, as well as the famed domestic Hudson Valley foie. If you don't want to fix it yourself, there are plenty of prepared options in mousse, parfait, and pâté forms.

If you want gourmet fare of the fungus variety, there's a multitude of mushrooms. Sure, there are truffles, but there are also dried porcinis, morels, shiitakes, and others.

For beverages, there's a nice selection of wine ranging from less than $20 to upward of $400 a bottle. Beverages for the budget-conscious include some Russian beers and a complete tea wall that has a surprising amount of coconut tea.

Along with everything nice, there is every spice. The variety of salts is beyond impressive. Though bath salts have been known to make people do some crazy things, it was the crystals of pink Himalayan salt that I was eager to grind. There are other sections just for mustards, olive oils, and vinegars.

If the cornichons on the right side of the store don't tickle your pickle, there are plenty of Russian varieties on the left.

We've all seen epic seven-layer dips, but this one ($5.99), on the Russian side of the store, puts all others to shame. If you want to be the most impressive potlucker, try this multilayer dip. It features herring, potato, mayo, carrots, beets, and eggs.

This store is truly a wonderland. It is the best place for creating a thoughtful gift basket, preparing a gourmet meal or picnic, or discovering ethnic delicacies you never knew existed.

Seriously, Miami, you are such a lucky duck (liver) to have a store like this one.

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