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Home cooking in Downtown Brooklyn

  • j
  • Jeff Feb 14, 2000 09:00 PM
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Hey, I know most of you chowhounds out there seem to love the restaurant circuit...but I love to COOK _and_ EAT! Trouble is, I've just moved from Astoria to downtown Brooklyn, between Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope on Pacific St near 3rd ave. I'm having the hardest time finding quality fruits and vegetables at a reasonable price!!! Help!

-Jeff

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  1. Slim pickings, in the immediate area; you'll probably need to strategize. The closest likely sources are the Pathmark at Atlantic Terminal, and, I think, a Korean market over on Livingston near Nevins or Hoyt. There used to be a big produce market on 3rd a few blocks south of you, but it closed. Then, the greenmarkets at Borough Hall and Grand Army Plaza, tho the winter veg selection is limited.. Smith Street and 5th Avenue down around 9th Street are other possibilities, but a trek. Do any of the arab stores near 4th on Atlantic carry any produce? Even if they don't they probably stock the excellent Lebanese olive oils, which are a good buy. Even though you didn't move to a culinary hotspot, you are within walking distance of a lot of good materials, including those greenmarkets, Sahadi and the other middle eastern markets on Atlantic, and the italian butchers, bakeries and delis in Carroll Gardens, Heights chateau wine Store on Atlantic nr Clinton, etc. There are small markets around the neighborhood catering to the hispanic communities and, I believe, an African market on 4th near Union. Good shopping!

    8 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      My most satisfying shopping experiences lately have been at Eagle, on 5th Avenue near 19th Street (I think). Lots of polish stuff, but a great variety of everything else, too. They carry this great butter from a pork farm. Lots of interesting specialty foods and imports. I don't get much produce there, though.

      1. re: Cathy

        Eagle is great - and there is a decent green market down the block with fairly good prices and usually fresh produce. These are not really walking distance from our friend in downtown Bklyn, though.

        1. re: Zephyr

          I do have a car, although I don't use it all that much...except to move for alternate-side parking! :) Is the green market near Eagle worth checking out, or should I stick with Borough Hall / Grand army plaza?

          1. re: Jeff

            you have a car....in Brooklyn, that gives you THE WORLD. The produce markets nr Eagle are inexpensive veg stores, not farmers markets, not worth a drive to in themselves (Eagle is), as the farmers markets are(but there's aggressive ticketing nr Grand Army and Cadman Plaza on Saturdays do look out. will post a list of wothwhile food shopping car destinations later.

            1. re: Jeff

              The markets near Eagle are not Green Markets like the on at Grand Army Plaza - rather they are vegetable/produce stores (inexpensive). Not comparable to the farmers markets. The car changes things, though. Maybe you should drive further than back and forth across the street! Brooklyn is pretty car friendly if you stay off the BQE at rush hour. And you can get literally any type of food.

          2. re: Cathy

            eagle is great, one of my regular Saturday (car) stops, almost my supermarket stop. Their produce selection is small but actually pretty good (especially if you want stuff like parsley roots, horseradish,etc. for e. european cooking) the meats are fine and their overall variety of products is massive for such a small shop; and I don't know any other place that always carries double yolk eggs. My only complaint is that some of the bottles and cans linger too long -check the dust/price tag fading level before buying. Prices arent bargain, but the quality level is pretty good. Nuevo Faro, is a hispanic supermarket with an expanding inventory of central american/mexican products to accompany its caribbean ones is good for your 10# bag of goya beans,tasso,plaintains, culantro, etc. (a rather unassimilated Mexican store can be found at around 20-21st St)

            Cathy, is it the bulk farm butter at Eagle that you like? Ive never tried it.

            1. re: jen kalb

              jen---have you (or anyone else) tried that cool-looking stand-alone bar a couple of blocks from Eagle? The one that's been there a hundred years?

              for some reason, I've never mustered the energy to actually go in, though it looks way cool

              hope cathy answers about the butter....always great to find a source for good stuff. Allan Evans likes the butter at Karl Ehmers, FWIW

              1. re: Jim Leff

                Jim, yes I have been to that bar, which I think is also called Eagle. Very strange experience. They let me bring my dog in there, and the waitress was petting him and he got loose and ran into the back room, where some kind of dance was taking place (sort of an electronic polka band!) That was a pretty funny scene.

                Later, a huge bouncer type of guy picked up an old man from the bar and literally kicked him out the door and hit him a few times. It didn't seem like the guy had done anything wrong - sort of disturbing. We left after that!

                As for the butter, Eagle (the store) carries several different kinds of fresh looking butter, wrapped in paper. The one I like is definitely from a pork farm, and it says so on the label. YUM.

                Cathy

        2. If you are willing to put in a little effort, join the Park Slope Food Coop. They've got decent organic produce at excellent prices, lots of specialty stuff, bulk grains and beans, cheese, prepared foods, and other household items, but it's members only, and you have to work about 3 hours a month, helping to run the store. Everything is priced at 20% above actual cost, so you can't really beat the prices. And it's a good way to meet other folks from the neighborhood. I no longer live in Park Slope, but I was a very satisfied coop member when I did.

          1. I have just discovered a really good (for Park Slope) grocery store....Steve's C-Town on 9th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues. In this store's latest incarnation(its predecessors were pretty awful), one can find organic milk, Murray's chickens, excellent produce all at reasonable prices. And everyone there is so nice!

            4 Replies
            1. re: Susan L.

              wow, that IS a find!

              Never fails to amaze me how this nabe is changing.

              BTW, near that block, I've found Lopez bread to be going a bit downhill. It had once been a fave of mine

              ciao

              1. re: Jim Leff

                We still like Lopez for alsatian, focaccia, multi-grain and (usually) walnut raisin - there have been problems with underdoneness on the last sometimes - and prices are excellent but Uprising's ciabatta is better than any white bread at Lopez (I dont like sourdough). But putting it all back behind a counter (health department, I guess) instead of on open shelves has reduced the appeal for me. I think t korean market straight across 5th from Lopez has the best prices to be found north of 9th St, but quality varies.

                1. re: jen kalb

                  am chewing lopez walnut raisin as I type...and it has a faint icky taste. I'm sure it's a one-time thing; an ingredient went slightly bad or the proportions are off. But that kind of thing NEVER used to happen (I've been going to Lopez for many years). And my last few times there I've found the bread not as good (btw, I always order the sames ones you do...except for the focaccia). I'm pretty unhappy with this particular loaf, and fear it's part of a trend...

                  1. re: Jim Leff

                    I don't eat bread ( I am gluten intolerant) but ever since I saw moldy cake come out of Lopez, I won't buy stuff for my kids-