Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Feb 2, 2007 07:18 PM

Fresh & Wild coming to King & Spadina!

I was walking along King the other day and saw there's a Fresh & Wild coming to the ground floor of a condo building at 69 Spadina.

I know there's a Fresh & Wild in Bloor West Village and another on Avenue Road, but I've never been. Has anyone?

I'm really excited to have (I hope) a decent grocery store on my way home from work; am curious to know how it fits in compared with Rabba, Kitchen Table, Pusateri's, Whole Foods...........

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: deelicious

      Thanks deelicious. And I think your comment in the other thread is true - it's unrelated to the UK Whole-Foods-affiliated company. The Toronto slogan seems to be "the finest in fresh foods," whereas the UK slogan is "the real food store."

      Dying for it to open!

    2. I've been shopping at F&W for about a week now, and my impression is mixed. Their lattes are fantastic, and their produce while a bit pricey is worth it for the quality alone. The staff is also extremely friendly and helpful.

      My only complaint is with the prices on the rest of their merchandise ($6 for 1l of juice anyone?) and their butchery. I just went in and asked for 12 slices of prosciutto. It was $18.50, more than a dollar a slice, and when i got it home, it had been sliced almost as thick as pancetta. No melting in your mouth, more like salty jerky. Some stewing meat I got there the week before was the likely culprit for the upset stomach that followed the next day.

      So, coffee and produce - fantastic. Everything else, not much better than a Rabba and just as pricey or worse.

      1. With such a great selection of fruit and vegetable markets in Bloor West, F&W would not be my first choice due to higher prices then the other markets. I would probably use it if it was my only option in the area to grab a few last minute items.

        1. Hey it's open! I was there tonight and it was packed. Good-looking meat, a very good vegetable selection, and all kinds of bits and pieces I can't get elsewhere in the hood - like, fresh-squeezed juices, good mustards, Wanda's pies, bocconcini, etc. Weird, awkward layout (the cleaning supplies are in a teeny nook towards the staff area), but so what.

          I am delighted. It's not as good as Pusateri's or Whole Foods, but on the other hand, it's on my way home from work :-)

          5 Replies
          1. re: spigot

            Were the potatoes kept in the refrigerated case?

            I checked out the Fresh & Wild location on Avenue Rd. just north of Davenport a couple of weeks ago, and noticed that the potatoes were being kept under refrigeration. A question about this to the man at the cash was met with the reply, "We keep the organic ones refrigerated." Huh? When I started to talk about starches turning to sugars, and why it's not a good idea, I was met with one of those blank, "who cares", stares. I gave up.

            One would think that the powers that be in an up-and-coming high-end grocery chain would store produce properly.

            There was a little blurb in yesterday's Globe about the Spadina location.

            1. re: FlavoursGal

              It sounds as thought the organic ones sell slower and to keep them in sellable shape they refrigerate them. (The potatoes must get pretty old waiting to go home with someone, if that's the case...) Can you explain the startch turning to sugar thing? I know this happens as potatoes age, but is it expedited in the refrigerator?

              1. re: Full tummy

                According to Harold McGee in "On Food and Cooking..." (original edition), "Ordinary potatoes turn sweet at temperatures below 40F (4C) because, although their respiratory processes slow down, the conversion of starch to sugar does not, and excess sugar supplies build up (when they return to room temperature cold-sweetened potatoes consume the excess sugar)."

                From what I've read elsewhere, it can take up to two weeks at room temperature for the sweetened-under-refrigeration potato to lose the excess sugars it accumulated.

                1. re: Full tummy

                  Not satisfied with this place at all.
                  I had hoped that this was going to fill a void for those of us with a discriminating tastes that have an international experience .
                  For the people that have yet to expand upon their local fare, they will be more than satisfied. I will shop there again as they have hit the mark in a couple of areas.

                2. re: FlavoursGal

                  I didn't notice the potatoes, but I'll check. And thanks for the link FlavoursGal; what an odd little story - all about the music, of all things. Although having said that, I DO remember loud boomer pop.

                  And that story made me a little uncomfortable actually; I want a GOOD food shop, and it clearly framed F&W as trendy, rather than good. Hm.

              2. They sell large-sized raw meatballs that are amazing.

                I threw a package of 6 on the BBQ and the flavour was outstanding. Heavy garlic and other seasoning. I do not know the mix of meat, but they have a similar taste to pepperoni somehow - hard to explain. I would love to be able to duplicate at home [at a much more reasonable price] but I have no clue what is used to create the overall flavour.

                Any ideas?