Thursday, November 14, 2013


It's no surprise that I love to shop at Fairway Market.  This day I had a particular reason for each of the items that went into my shopping cart.

I had tried a few brands of cold brewed coffee, including Trader Joe's and Grady's.  Neither brands had a decaf so I made my own.  Not the most difficult to do.   Coarse ground coffee in a pitcher adding cold water and letting it stand for about a day.  Strain and place in container.  It was good but I wanted to do a few using Fairway's with a light roast and one that is flavored.  With the decaf that I tried, the grind wasn't correct.  Stumptown Coffee Roasters in the cold brewed brand that is sold at Fairway.   I mixed with milk, as I usually  do, and tasted horrible and far as my palate was concerned.  Hated to waste the Local brand milk.  Oh, mistake...I just took a swig of the milk and realized that I might have gotten a bad one.  Took a little swig of Stumptown and it tasted great.  Now I know why Justin (one of the floor managers) said that he likes to drink it plain.  I called Stumptown to inquire and told that they use a blend of African and Latin American beans.  I guess I didn't look at the label because although it is cold brewed, it is not concentrated.  They cold brew it and add filtered water to the concentrate.  A bottle will cost you $4 for 10.4 ounces.   Will follow up when I use Fairway's brand of coffee.   If you get to the coffee area at the right time, you can watch the coffee beans being roasted.

Over at the meat department.   If you've recently indulged at a superb steakhouse restaurant and ordered a Porterhouse steak for two, the cost for the steak alone would have been close to $90 (plus tax and gratuity).  Hopefully you've gotten a dry aged steak.  So how much of a cost difference is it by purchasing the same size-weight at Fairway's butcher counter where they have dry aged steaks?
As a comparison, Uncle Jack's Steakhouse charges $94 for the 48-ouncer, which calculates to about $34 per pound. If ordering nothing else, two people can eat this in one sitting.  However, I'm guessing that it's the most "doggy bagged" item on their menu.  As for Fairway's steak, it was about $31 per pound and you can dine wearing jeans...but it is suggested that you tip the cook!  Fairway Market has their own "Peter Luger type" steak sauce.  Got a wild mushroom blend to go with the steak and another recommended Fairway product, a Carolina BBQ Sauce.

The price comparison is one thing, the quality is another.  Keep in mind that Uncle Jack's specializes in steaks and if you are dissatisfied, it will be dealt with at their restaurant....and hopefully other restaurants that you have that type of  a steak.   Cooking it at home, can you return it if you are dissatisfied?   Yes, but only if reasons are that it is spoiled...stuff like that.  Call customer service first and make sure you keep your receipt and label.  

Another meat thing.  This one is was due to  Larry's Southwestern Sauces going great with making chili con carne.  Fairway butcher uses a chuck that is specially ground for chili. Thicker grinding.  Saute the meat, ditch the fat and add the sauce.  I wonder how it would taste on challah bread!  Forget the beans.

Over at the seafood department.  Although I do love fish...not all...I'm not the best at cooking it.  One thing about getting seafood is that much of it is thawed, which unless I cook and freeze, cannot be re-frozen.  Today they had Lemon Sole and grey sole both wild caught and fresh. I was told that the Lemon Sole is milder than the grey...very white in color.  As I ordered it a shopper next to me commented on how high the price was per pound...I think it was about $18 per pound. He said something like..."you must be rich".  I said, "I just like having the best. That's why I shop here." Got 4 pieces that was less than half a pound. Looking forward to pan frying it.

UPDATE:  Pan fried it and sooooo worth the price.  Two pieces with the rest of your meal is perfect! Enough protein.  Fresh filet flounder and lemon sole is an unfortunate "luxury" these days.  A serving of two pieces comes to little over $4.   With the kale salad (see below), the dinner for two people would come to less than $16.  Broiling the sole would make this one of the most healthy and tastiest dinners going!  The filet is quick to cook and easily half the price of eating at a restaurant.

Why is it so expensive?  I asked Dennis Bland, the fishmonger and here is what he said.
"Lemon sole is actually a pseudonym for large flounder,  We use large Georges Bank Fillets which the fishermen have to travel quite a distance for the fish that combined with the time, weather, seasonality and quota’s  all play a part in the price. 

Our cost also increases because we select only the best of the best and it is hand selected by our purveyors on a daily basis.  The fish is still in rigor when it is received at our stores because we do not let it sit on the docks or in the markets for days as soon as it is landed by the fishermen it is on its way to our stores.

We chose to run with the lemon sole sale last week because the fish were fresh off of their spawn making the fish nice and firm and large in size."

I have tried Nutella and Fairway's imported hazelnut spread.  Here is another spread made from biscuits the sweet cracker types that you get on the airplane.  Would never use it as a it right from the jar.  May try it with some Graeter's Ice Cream.

Let's get healthy as I check out a sign regarding Fairway's Signature Salad made with kale.  Request a chopped salad and it usually begins with your choice of greens.   Kale is the greens being promoted.  What's in the salad?  Cooked butternut squash with dried cranberries,pumpkins seeds, and goat cheese.  You can add other items to it.  I requested shrimp.  "Anything else?," she asked. "How about bacon"?  There was this pause as she then said, "That's not too healthy" (I understood, considering that I just ordered a particularly healthy salad).  I then opted for some grilled asparagus as the smile returned to her face.  It was then all chopped up and put in a "to go bowl".   It seemed to weigh quite a bit and certainly enough for two full meals of which the shrimp became the protein.  I don't know about you, but if I went to a restaurant this salad would have been twice the price.  The cost?  $7.41.

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