I went to the Fairway Market in Red Hook. After Hurricane Sandy, this venue had to have an extreme makeover. The location is just near the water in Brooklyn. There were some major changes of which I wouldn't be able to comment on as this was the first visit to their Red Hook venue. You need a map and they give you one. I think I needed a GPS, but managed most of it.
I met up with the owner of the Fairway Markets, Howard Glickberg, who happened to be in the produce area. Shopping in this section is an organic experience! It's the first area one encounters as you enter the store. It's so hard to make choices and the varieties are vast.
I met the store manager, Andy Zuleta, who gave me the lowdown (and map). I asked him about mushrooms. When you buy mushrooms, they need to be washed. What about mushrooms that are sliced? It's not as easy to clean sliced mushrooms. Are they already washed? "Not necessarily", said Andy, "unless the label says so. However, if you are buying any produce that Fairway is cutting up, it is washed." That proves to me that paying more for sliced mushrooms isn't really worth it over the price of whole mushrooms.
I continued my "tour" and checking out the meat department. They had corned beef on sale for $3.99 lb. Not in the vacuum packed version but they do their own brining in a barrel. Is it worth paying $1 or so per pound more? I was going to do a comparison after purchasing two pounds and cooking it up.
I don't like cooking it in the liquid that it comes with. I find it to be too salty and so I soak it in a pot and change the water. I then cooked it up on a medium heat for a little more than 2 hours. OMG! It tasted not only better than any that I have cooked but better than any that I've gotten at a deli. Going back for more. When it comes down to it, $3.99 per pound for beef is not expensive and it comes out soft. Great as a sandwich using challah bread that they get baked for them. Add some cole slaw and you have corned beef and cabbage!
Cream cheese. Fairway has this brand called Ben's. It costs $5.99 per pound...WHAT? There is no guar gum or any other additives. Really delicious. I then had to venture to the deli section for lox. They do make their own lox, is the least expensive and tastes just great. What I decided to do was buy a container of end slices with a combo of lox for more than less than half price per pound of any of the lox and to set off the high price for the cream cheese. Then visited the bakery to get a few bagels.
IT'S BEEN AWHILE BUT
5 days ago