Arthur avenue market prices and info
I was planning to go to arthur avenue this week for my first time and then hit the bronx museum of art for the tropicalia exhibit.
I wanted to know if the market is expensive and if the products are worth buying or if it is more of a tourist experience (in which case id maybe have a small meal and maybe a ricotta cheesecake or torta di la nonna). I was thinking about possibly buying maybe some meats, olive oil/balsamic, wine, bread and cheeses etc...
Does the market mostly cater to visitors like me or is it also priced for regulars who shop there weekly? Are the products worth the price or is it the same type of thing i might be able to get at any good Italian deli or specialty store? Thanks for the help in advance.
Thanks everyone for the help. The trip was great and I took all the considerations from where to get sfogliatelle...I liked the ones at Dellilo's more by the way. I went to mt. carmel biancardis and most the shops mentioned here. The only two semi dissapointments were:
1) calabria had no more riccotta that day but we got some at calandria and it was good. No pumpkin bureks that day either but i loved the simple cheese one in the oven.
2.) I could not find torta di la nonna anywhere other than imported Bindi versions which are good but which were selling for 30 dollars plus. I really love torta di la nonna (the version i refer to is with pignoli on top and i believe almond paste. i used to eat it as a kid growing up in Milan)
BTW, the Wine Store there has an astounding selection of Italian wines and Grappa.
And there is a little espresso bar, not far from the wine store, where Italian men sip espresso and watch Soccer. Search it out.
And has anyone mentioned just grabbing a slice at that place on the corner?
I'll concede that the Wine Store has a great selection of wines, but 2 years ago I bought a bad bottle of wine there. I don't get up to Arthur ave that often so I just dumped the contents. The next trip I took I told the guy at the counter about my skunk wine experience. I didn't expect him to give me a refund without returning the bottle. But hey, I'm a semi-regular customer... the least he could have done is given me a discount on my next purchase.... he didn't. So, I'll never set foot in that place again.
Terranovia and Madonia for sure. Get the lard bread if they have it. Egedio's for the orzata with lemon ice. Teitel Bros. for just about anything they have. Borgatti's for incredibly well priced fresh pasta cut to order.
Go with coolers and if it looks good, buy it. You can only be wrong once.
I like to get there at 10 on a saturday morning, stop in one of the bakeries for an espresso, then thru the market for produce, teitel bros for olives, figs and cheeses... then an early lunch at Dominick's... it's a tight squeeze, but try the stuffed artichokes for appy and any pasta or meat dishes for main course... cash only.
My daughter went to Fordham and I willingly drove more than three hours to drop her off or pick her up any time. Actually, to do my grocery shopping in Belmont. Took a couple of ice chests and filled the back of the SUV.
Always cleared space in the freezer at home to make space for loaves of Terranova's bread from their coal-fired ovens.
The fresh pasta at Borgatti's is wonderful. You can also find Cav. Giuseppe Cocco dried pasta in unusual shapes.
Egidio and DeLillo Bakeries have great biscotti and other Italian cookies, pastries, and torrone.
Randazzo's Seafood got shipments in from the Mediterranean late in the week of unusual fish. They packed my ice chest for the trip home.
We sometimes ate at Roberto's but were often just as happy with food from the snackbar at the back of the produce market.
The fresh produce is terrific and the prices are excellent. Vendors have large bags of quality dried porcini at value prices. In the Spring, there's a plant vendor.
Teitel has dried beans. Wonderful prices on quality bulk chocolate. Olive oil is a bargain. The place is stacked to the ceiling and pours out onto the sidewalk with food bargains.
The butcher shops are excellent with specialty Italian meats, things you won't find in standard supermarkets especially around holidays.
Mount Carmel Liquors has a selection of grappas including interesting gift bottles. Hard to find Italian liqueurs.
Casa di Mozzarella has the most amazing cheeses at excellent prices. Good olives.
So many other places to explore. Even religious goods stores to buy a new rosary or statue of St. Joseph. Some housewares.
There are tourists and students to be sure. But you will hear lots of Italian spoken all around you. The old families come to do their shopping because they know where to find the best.
I loved every minute I spent on Arthur Ave. and my daughter did too. It's a real treasure.
You may never get to the museum!
Definitely do go, shop away, and enjoy. Prices range from fair and reasonable to unbelievably cheap. Restraint can be difficult--even when I stop there intending to buy one thing, I end up schlepping three huge bags of deliciousness home with me.
It sounds like you intend to go to the market, but there are a lot of other great places along 187th St and Arthur Ave worth checking out. This is an excellent thread that will guide you through the shops in the area: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/249671#1327781
My general itinerary:
1. Start at Tony and Tina's for Albanian burek. Ask them to heat it in the oven. Their default is to microwave. The pumpkin is hidden in a special pumpkin burek hiding place, and isn't on the counter with the others. Ask for it. It's smooth, almost creamy, sweet, and delicious. Also have meat, cheese, and spinach. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/334640
2. Borgatti's. 27 large ricotta ravioli $10.50. Tasty robust pasta, with good bite, and smooth, salty, delicious ricotta filling. They also have small ones, but the cheese to pasta ratio is better with the large. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/335642
3. Casa di Mozzarella for fresh mozzarella.
4. Teitel Brothers. parmagiano reggiano $8/lb, nuts, dried fruit, olive oil, great dried orecchiette pasta.
5. The produce shop in the market for figs and white peaches in the summer time. Mike's for great sausages, and great sandwiches. Plus you walk past an old-school cigar rolling shop, which smells delicious (which is an awful thing, smoking is BAD BAD BAD). It's a great (unhealthy) historical relic.
6. Walking back onto Arthur Ave, just to the left of the market is Calabria Pork store. Also great sausages, and fresh ricotta that is *OUT OF THIS WORLD* The smoked mozzarella is also great.
7. A bit further down is Calandria Cheese shop. Great Sicilian cheese. Samples on the counter.
8. Across the street to Morrone's for a small sfogliatelle.
Note: It's controversial where the best sfogliatelle can be found: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
9. Cross the street again to Madonia for two bags of their pizza dough and cannolis filled when you order.
re: rose water
A nice list with which I generally agree. I'd note that Tony & Tina's is on Arthur and 189th (a good place to find a parking spot, too). My favorite of theirs is the cheese borek, which I cannot get enough of - and definitely ask for heating in the oven; it makes a big difference.
On the way south, you'll pass by Tino's, another excellent deli that's definitely worth checking out. Along with Mike's and Teitel's, it's my favorite. Teitel also has a great gorgonzola/mascarpone torta that's worth a taste.
I'd get the large sfogliatelle at Morrone's and pick up one at De Lillo's on 187th, just so you can join in the great sfogliatelle debate! While you're there, next door to De Lillo's is the Mount Carmel liquor store which has a great selection of Italian wines and spirits.
I'd also stop at Biancardi, the butcher shop on Arthur next to the market, which has excellent veal and other meats. If you want to take something home from there, I strongly recommend their stuffed pork chops, which simply require baking, and are delicious.
Finally, at Madonia's you'll also find good basic breads (I prefer Terranova, further east on 187th, for regular breads), but don't neglect their lard bread and (my favorite) a provolone bread that makes fabulous toast.
re: rose water
Rose water, excellent reply and great job supplying the links to tie these threads. I'm happy to hear you got around to trying T&T's pumpkin burek! Were you impressed? I like them. I've only had them nuked though. I'll remember to have them heated in the oven instead.
You've included some interesting comments, and I'd like to add one more. You mentioned Teitel Brothers having dried Orecchiette pasta. Casa della Mozzarella has *fresh* Orecchiette! Actually, I'd consider them semi-dry. They are good. I find them better tasting than dried (bagged Orecchiette) - and IMO they result in a firmer tasting pasta. I usually get some Orecchiette and then walk over to Calandra's cheese and get some *dried* grating ricotta cheese, akin to ricotta salata, but much better (creamier result). I get home, cook up some meat ragu, boil the fresh Orecchiette pasta, and coat it with that incredible grating ricotta cheese. A little goes a long way -- I use the cheese sparingly, and in all honesty, I mix it with pecorino. Don't use Reggiano here: it's pointless and the flavors don't marry well. Be liberal with the ragu. You want the sauce to fill those concave little pasta ears.
If you, or anybody, feel adventurous someday, give this a try. : )