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The Early Word on H Mart

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Beloved Asian grocery chain H Mart finally opened its Cambridge location yesterday, right in the heart of Central Square, and based on social media chatter and an early evening visit by Eater, pretty much the entire population of Cambridge couldn't wait to check it out. With the food court's ramen sold out before dinner time, crazy lines at all hours, and plenty of elbows flying near sample tables, it was an eventful day. Here's what people are already saying about it.

The Missing Korean Food News: "Why is there no Korean food in the food court?!" questions an Eater commenter. "This is an outrage!" (The food court includes ramen, sushi, curry, and a bakery.) [~EBOS~]

The Good Burlington Comparison News: In response to one Chowhound poster who wondered if the produce display cases are misted, unlike in Burlington, another replied that there is "LOTS of misting." Additionally, "they've used the space really well. It's MUCH nicer than the Burlington store." The poster also tried a couple things from Paris Baguette: "Both were good; neither made me swoon." [CH]

The Bad Burlington Comparison News: But one fan of the Burlington location is going to stick to that one. "I'm a loyal H-Mart Burlington shopper, where the prices are lower, and the selection broader, than at this new Cambridge store, so I won't be coming back." [~EBOS~]

The Spam News: There's plenty of it. "Saw [black pepper Spam] in there, along with a number of other varieties! [CH]

The Bar-Raising News: "Pretty spectacular, raises the bar," writes one Chowhound poster. "Like EATALY by way of Korea. And: The only retail store in Boston to carry the best beef that money can buy in the U.S.: Snake River Farms." [CH]

The Meh Pastry News: Blogger Japanese-American in Boston had been closely monitoring the construction and was surprised that the store ended up opening on time. She didn't have time to explore thoroughly yesterday, but her pumpkin cream cheese pastry from Paris Baguette wasn't "that great." Next time, she'll try a fake Cronut. She also shares helpful parking tips. [J-AiB]

The Five-Star News: H Mart is three for three on Yelp so far, with the early reviews all giving five stars. One Yelper is impressed by how "incredibly clean, sleek, fresh, and modern" it is. "Overall, I am in love," she writes. "I feel like I am in paradise." [Yelp]

The Whole Foods Spies News: "I even saw the management team of the Prospect Whole Foods walking the aisles wide-eyed and perhaps a little worried," writes Monica Velgos for Cambridge Day. "They were there, walking and talking, for at least a full hour." But more options are good for all the competitors, she concludes. "I spent $28 at H Mart today, but nothing I bought was available anywhere else nearby. Having another place that gets people cooking even more is only good for everyone." [CD]

The Promising News: "A quick pass around the clean, well-lit space showed great promise," writes blogger 2Lunch Crew, pointing out the "huge section of Kimchi and pickles" and "aisles and aisles of sauces." [2LC]
· All coverage of H Mart on Eater [~EBOS~]

H Mart

581 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA