Monday, February 05, 2007

Groceries And The City: Part 1

On a recent trip to D.C., one of the highlights was a visit to Trader Joe's. The brief stop made me long for suburban grocery stores with wide aisles and 56 brands of salad dressing and the irony of throwing reusable cloth shopping bags in the back of one's Subaru wagon. This weekend, then, when I found myself with both a rental car and a Super Bowl party shopping list as long my iPod playlist, I did what any displaced small-town girl would do: I went to Fairway.

My first NYC grocery experience was surprisingly good. I'd just moved into my apartment on the Upper West Side, and had nothing except a couple of suitcases. My company put me up in a hotel for two nights during which time I purchased a futon, bedding, and a towel. As my truckload of stuff wasn't due to arrive from California for another week or two, I wandered out to Broadway and found Zabar's. I went upstairs to the housewares section where I purchased a plate and glass (both of which I still have and use). I had a brief affair with Zabar's, going there regularly on my way home from work to buy some exotic cheese or other and delicious loaves of Eli's bread.

At some point I ventured a few blocks south and into Fairway, and I was hooked. The quality of Fairway's produce rivaled that to which I'd become accustomed in California. I found exotic sauces like pomegranate marinade, and I spent way too much money on them. I always bought more than I could carry home, and usually ended up taking the bus. Once, while toting about 6 bags, one of which contained a giant bouquet of fresh basil, I overheard a kid exclaim, "Dad! Something smells like spaghetti!"

When I moved to Brooklyn, I was disappointed in the lack of good grocery stores. I almost immediately started visiting the green market regularly on Saturday mornings, and supplemented our pantry with unexciting (and sometimes downright discouraging) stops at D'Agostino's (overpriced) or Key Food (yuck). Shortly thereafter, FreshDirect started delivering in our 'hood, and I started regularly internetting my way to yummy food (and wine! and beer! and even kitty litter!) delivery, which I didn't even have to carry up five flights of stairs.

To be continued...

1 comment:

Brianna said...

we cannot be the same person because you are much too lenient when it comes to laying down the grocery store smack.
I still love you.