Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Groceries And The City: Part 2

In the heady days of FreshDirect first delivering to the BK, I was receiving at least one order a week from them. I loved that each fresh-food item had its own label that said, "Packaged for Gillian on ." I loved not lugging around the granny cart, and not carrying bags up the stairs. I also loved the occasional freebie that FD threw in. I had the idea that FD should team up with Epicurious so that when I was browsing recipes I could just add all the ingredients to my cart, and not long ago, FD introduced shopping by recipes! Woot!

On the other hand, while I kind of loved having boxes for recycling newspapers, but I didn't love the excessive packaging stylings of FD (they've since gotten much better about consolidating items).

Last year, a new outpost of Fairway opened in Red Hook, Brooklyn, about 2 1/2 miles south of our apartment in Park Slope. One Sunday morning, on a mission to check out Baked, also in Red Hook, DLang and I walked down to the 'hood. We ate delicious scones with strong coffee chasers, then walked down the street to check out Fairway.

I felt like I was home. Fairway in Red Hook has the little happinesses of a suburban grocery shopping experience, like a parking lot (!) and aisles wide enough to accommodate bona fide shopping carts. They have bins of neatly-stacked, fresh produce. And then there are the things that make shopping at Fairway a special experience, like signs enthusiastically recommending a particular goat cheese or coffee blend, and the half-dozen or so samples of olive oil from around Europe and even California.

Subsequent visits, the second of which was on Saturday, did not disappoint. This weekend, after stopping at the deli and meat counters, I took a coffee break in the café, which is right on the water and has a spectacular view of the Statue of Liberty. When I finally arrived at checkout with an overflowing cart, there was no waiting at all, and I breezed right on through. (Did I mention that Fairway delivers for the same price as FD?)

And so, while I'm still quite enamoured with grocery shopping while sitting on the couch in my pajamas, I'm going to take a little break from FreshDirect and start a weekly brick-and-mortar grocery shopping adventure. I think I could get used to a Sunday morning walk down to the water, a stop for breakfast, and an hour (or two) wandering up and down the aisles of this amazing store.

P.S. Brianna posted an excellent NYC grocery store rant yesterday - it's very frustrating living in a NYC neighbourhood in which Key Food, D'Ags, or even Gristedes are your best grocery options. At least when I lived on the Upper West Side, the 24-hour Duane Reade at the end of my block sold Ben & Jerry's.


Anonymous said...

For the non-NY types, you need to post a link to a granny cart. Oh, the humanity!

Anonymous said...

Fine then! My other brain provides the link for you: http://www.cities21.org/granny.htm

Becca & Brian said...

G, one word: Wegman's. Not quite in The City, but definitely a place to visit if you're near anywhere on this map:


Here's just one guy's praise (though there are many more like his out there):

Weggie's is the only thing I miss about living in upstate NY - and they've only gotten more outrageous since I left years ago

654quieulioos2hle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.