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Nov 15, 2006 06:37 PM

Grocery Shopping Leaving NYC for the Catskills

Next week, we will be spending one night and day in Manhattan before driving north to Livingston Manor, NY, in Sullivan County, in the Catskills. Our several days upstate will entail considerable cooking and, to the extent necessary, I want to procure the higher-end and more elusive items before getting out to the country. Our route north will take us over to the Garden State Pkwy and then north on I-87 and then up Rt 17. While I'd prefer not to spend our limited time in Manhattan on grocery shopping, I'd like to know if it makes sense to shop there, or can anyone recommend an easily accessed shopping area where, on the drive north, we can stop to pick up products like fresh seafood, arborio rice, good produce and a handful of other ingredients? Thanks.

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  1. Shoprite in Middletown,Monticello and Liberty should meet your needs.There is also a Hannifords in Middletown as well as an Aldi's in Monticello.There is also a small produce mart in Liberty with specialty items located next to the shoprite Good Luck

    1. You should buy fish and meat in Manhattan. There's no comparison in quality versus the hinterlands upstate, assuming you're not procuring in the supermarkets. And pick up your arborio and special needs too before heading to the sticks.

      1 Reply
      1. re: NYchowcook

        Ya know we really do have arborio rice even in your typical grocery store around here. I'm not far off their path near peekskill NY and we have it in every grocery store. We also have good fish and meat in the small independent grocery stores. For example Coles in Montrose or Zeytinia in Croton which is just a couple miles south of the Bear Mtn. bridge. I can't speak to Liberty since I haven't been there.

        Ah see you are headed across the Tappanzee rather than Bear Mountain; but my point remains, I can't imagine that simple decent food is so difficult to find in, say, Rockland county. Now if you're looking for very unusual spices etc. maybe, but not arborio rice.

      2. Here's what I do.

        Stop at Fairway in Harlem on the way out of town. It is virtually at the GW Bridge, so you don't waste time driving around Manhattan when you'd rather be on the road.

        Go up the West Side Highway to the 125th St exit. Fairway is right there on 126th, underneath the West Side Highway. Load up with all the staples, and some of the delicacies that you might have a hard time finding in the Catskills. The meat section at the Harlem Fairway is outstanding, with all the usual stuff, and lots of D'Artagnan organic poultry as well. Getting back on the West Side Highway takes all of one minute, and you're one your way.

        Once you're on the road, all is not lost. Livingston Manor has improved enormously over the last twenty years, and now has a couple of decent little food stores, with fresh breads and pies. One is called, I think, Easy Peasy. It's at the top of Main St, facing South.

        Over the mountains from Liv Manor (via the beautiful Beaverkill Valley and the stunning Pepacton Reservoir), Andes is a wonderful little Catskill town with a great food store, the Slow Down Cafe. Run by an Austrian woman, you can have breakfast or lunch there, then buy a range of artisinal cheeses, meats and, yes, more pies (they are wonderful). The service in the Slow Down is iffy (locals will laugh when I say this!), but the produce really is top notch. There's even a decent Mexican in Andes, the Cantina, which has become something of a local hotspot.

        Peck's in Livingston Manor will have all the usual supermarket standbys when you run out, but I wouldn't recommend it for anything other than the basics.

        Have fun!

        - Sean

        1 Reply
        1. re: Sean Dell

          Thanks loads for all this info about the shopping and the Liv Manor area. Sounds like Andes is worth checking out. One final Q: do you think I can get some nice fresh fish steaks - particular type is not that important - at Fairway, or must I go to a fishmonger while giving my little kids a whirlwind tour of the sights of Manhattan?

        2. Fairway in Harlem has a great fish section, and the kids will love it too. Both fish, meat and dairy are in a separate part of the store, which is itself a large cold room. They provide you with padded jackets to you won't get cold while you do your shopping. The kids have fun with the adventure of it all while you get your meat, fish, eggs and dairy.

          On the other hand, Wild Edibles, one of the best fishmongers in the city, is in Grand Central Station (downstairs in the food concourse) so if that is part of your whirlwind tour - and it should be! - then you might choose to pick up your fish there.

          Either way, you're well covered.

          Have fun. We'll be nearby throughout Thanksgiving.

          - Sean

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sean Dell

            Thanks again. Actually, Wild Edibles at GCS was the place i had been considering to get the fish during the tourist phase of the day. We're definitely going to be there in any event.
            Have a great holiday.

          2. One thing about Peck's in Livingston Manor is that they have some very, very good local cheeses and local German style dinner sausages. If you like scrapple they also have a liver sausage that you cook and it is similar to scrapple.