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Best take home from Grand Central

We're moving out to Westchester in a few weeks, and I was wondering what people bring home from Grand Central - meals, produce, fish, meats, etc. - if anything.

Thanks!

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  1. I'd hit Murray's Cheese.

    1. You can get some good stuff at the Market (sorry but I can't remember all the names).

      o Murray's Cheese (as mentioned above) is really good.

      o The German meat provider has some good sausages, sliced meats, etc.

      o Both fish markets are good, but very pricey.

      o You can get excellent baguettes at the baked goods booth all the way at the eastern end by the door, and they are only $1.50.

      o The Italian butcher has excellent steaks, but is also very expensive.

      o The veg stands are fine, but nothing special.

      o Penzey's has excellent spices at decent prices.

      The Food Court downstairs has some decent takeout.

      o The Indian takeout by the escalator has pretty good buffet-style takeout meals, and they pack it up really well for takeout. It's also fast if you are running for a train.

      o The sushi place has lots of pre-made maki for take-out, if you can get past the idea of carrying sushi around for an hour or so until you get home.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cteats

        CTEats does a good job summarizing - I would say that the fish markets are both very high end and priced accordingly. The prime steaks at the italian butcher are expensive but consistent with prime meats at other NYC butchers, but the other stuff is tolerably priced. I sometimes find the counter men a little inexperienced, but maybe I just got used to Bob Pence at Oppenheimer's on the UWS.

        I love the baguettes at Corrado - get the sour dough ones ($2, but larger than the regular ones).

        Dishes is very good, somewhat pricey, prepared food. I'm always pleased with the quality and it's usually quite interesting.

        Oren's is one of my favorite coffee roasters - I love their Oren's Special Blend.

        I love LiLac chocolate.

        1. re: MarkD

          What do you like from Dishes? My husband loves their soups, do they have those available for take home?

      2. Downstairs also has the Little Pie Company, a good dessert option (especially their sour cream-walnut-apple pie).

        2 Replies
        1. re: Striver

          I purchased an individual apple pie from them last month and was very underwhelmed. Very expensive, all dough and the apples were tasteless. Allergic to nuts, so ur suggestion does not work. any others?

          1. re: jfood

            I never buy the small individual pie, for exactly that reason: too much dough - tried it once and learned my lesson. Either buy a large pie, or just for yourself, buy a slice (or two); slices are cut from the large pie and are usually in the display case. Either of those options is far superior to the small pie, especially when heated up for a few minutes.

          1. Wild Edibles (fish store) is a regular stop for us.

            The produce market is kind of pricey, but fine for conveniently picking up something needed for that night's recipe.

            Li-Lac is great if you need chocolates for a gift. Wonderful traditional american style. This isn't the place for fleur de sel caramels or exotic truffle flavors, but I personally think they make the platonic ideal of chocolate covered caramels.

            I'd also recommend breads and desserts from the bakery at the end. Corrado? They make some of the best commercial muffins around.

            Experiment. Commuting can be a pain, but Grand Central is truly a pleasure.

            1. I frequent Wild Edibles and Murrays. Zaro's and Corrado's always taste artificial or of their neighboring items, and the textures are all wrong, either spongy or cottony or just dry. The meat market is unreliable and have not been able to answer simple questions (don't even know what grass fed beef is) so I don't look there at all any more as their prices certainly don't merit considering overlooking their deficits. Prepared foods are yuck and I can't think why anyone would buy from that other fish market when Wild Edibles is a few steps away. Occasionally I will pick up a bottle at the wine place for convenience but they are curated and priced for the generic last-minute gift. Penzeys is great of course. Can't comment on coffee which I order or chocolate which I seldom eat. The bookend produce stands are ok for a quick fill-in (forgot garlic or a bunch of watercress, for example) and items are generally good-looking but there is no organic or other indication of provenance. I guess it all depends on what you face when you get home.

              2 Replies
              1. re: dbird

                Have to echo that. Stopped at pescatore (the other fish place) for their "seared tuna" spring rolls in rice paper, and it was an abomination. Served bracingly ice cold, tuna cooked all the way through, dry as hell, and fishy tasting. No other flavor to the roll whatsoever. Served with an insipid generic ginger sauce. I was kicking myself for choosing so badly.

                Then, I went to the Grand Central Oyster Bar. Service charming and personable. Knowing next to nothing about oysters, I asked my server for suggestions, and told him my preferences (small, salty). He came back with three different kinds of enormous, creamy, not remotely salty oysters, without any brine, shell fragments interfering...ugh.

                So it was 0 for 2 for me at Grand Central, alas. The only saving grace was the luscious Penzey's dutch process cocoa that I bought.

                1. re: rose water

                  I only get to visit Grand Central occasionally (I live in San Francisco), but I hope you'll try the Oyster Bar again. I go there every time I come to NY, and love it. The selection of oysters is fantastic. Next time try to get Mary, an Irish server. She seems particularly knowledgeable, and I always try to sit at her part of the counter (the middle loop).

              2. Lucky you! A lot of folks have chimed in. I always drop by Murray's and love that a Penzeys has opened up. I've also gotten some delicious sausages from the German meat provider.

                1. take aways from cipriani le specialita (the small sister kind of restaurant of cipriani) across from grand central is amazing. for about $11 you can walk out with delicious lamb chops and vegetables...or short ribs with rice...pasta, etc. they usually have like 5 choices...to be combined anyway you wish. along with a side of bread and a free drink.
                  can't beat it.

                  1. You can get some take out from the Oyster Bar. My elderly Great Aunt has many memories of Oyster Stew, and I have brought her some.

                    Otherwise, Wild Edibles, the produce stnad near Lexington are the only places I tend to get to. I have also bought a few sausages, which I tend to fry with only some sundried tomatoes, capers, artichokes hearts, some type of onion (maybe leeks), garlic, etc., for a quick meal to throw together.

                    1. Penzey's has excellent spices. I am a huge fan of them from my midwest days, and I think they do a superb job in the small space they have. Try the Vietnamese cinnamon; it will change your life.

                      1. If you don't want to cook.
                        How about Two Boot's pizza?

                        1. I heard that manhattan chili company reopened or will be reopening there. i used to get delivery from them when i lived in midtown and they had 2 locations there and enjoyed.