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Your Fresh Direct picks?

n
nokitsch Aug 21, 2007 05:12 PM

So, I decided to give this a spin. What are your favorites? I am still going to go supermarket and such, so yumminess factor is more important to me.

  1. bolletje Aug 27, 2007 04:16 PM

    Their fresh ground peanut butter with honey is really delicious, I used to have my friend order it for me with her order but now the same stuff is sold at the Manhattan Fruit Exchange in Chelsea Market and it tastes just as good so I get it there.

    1. c
      cimui Aug 24, 2007 03:44 PM

      There really isn't anything available from FD that you can't get at Fairway, Citarella and/or Zabar's. Of the things I've tried (a good cross section over time), they don't do ready-made food any better; the difference is that they deliver it to you, which is nice for the lazy/busy/weak--like me. That said, I have been consistently pleased with the quality of their beef steaks. Cakes tend to be dry, but the cheesecake is usually good, especially when it doesn't come to you misshapen from a rough journey. Most of their breads come frozen and aren't a good as what my local bakery produces at 1/2 the cost.

      I like that they carry Dr. Praeger's potato latkes and full fat, organic yogurt, Red Jacket Orchards cider (don't bother with the RJO apples, though--they're underripe), Ronnybrook Farm ginger ice cream, and Guittard baking chips.

      I have not liked the Rosa Mexicana line of products. They tend to use low quality ingredients.

      I also think they're really overpriced for most items, and over time, have nudged up the prices more and more, while reducing package sizes and getting rid of lower-priced generic brands. If you can go to real grocery stores with good selection and/or a greenmarket, just use FD for the really heavy stuff you don't want to schlep home.

      1. Jill Aug 24, 2007 12:54 PM

        Their dolmas are to die for...I'm craving them. To try to satisfy that craving immediately, I went to a Greek market on the UES and bought some. They didn't even come close. I don't know where they get them at Fresh Direct, but they are awesome.

        1. vvvindaloo Aug 23, 2007 05:08 PM

          Anything that is packaged, bagged, boxed, or otherwise non-delicate and non-perishable. I've had several broken eggs/leaky milk containers, and won't do that again. I do like the way they cut, pack and deliver meats such as pork and chicken, to pretty customizable specifications. Finally, I like to have heavier items, such as bottled water, large jars, and broth containers devlivered just so that I do not have to schlep them. As far as prepared foods, I have gotten some good cookies/brownies/cakes/pies there. Particulary the desserts that come ready to bake.

          1. steeltowngrl Aug 23, 2007 04:24 PM

            Fresh direct House Blend coffee, chicken fingers, ginger carrot vinaigrette, duck leg confit, lasagna and all the soups - all very good. I've never had a problem with the fish. However, I've stopped buying fruits and veg b/c they were bad or close to bad too often. Stopped buying eggs b/c too many broken and messy; same with Axelrod yogurt - the aluminum lids were always broken.

            1. ndl Aug 23, 2007 10:13 AM

              montauk dayboat scallops!

              1. jakew8 Aug 23, 2007 06:44 AM

                I'm expecting my first FD order this weekend and I signed up for one reason: Coach Farms aged goat cheese with green peppercorns. It's awesome. We used to buy it at the Saturday Greenmarket but they've been absent and FD is the only place I can find it now. (Anyone know of others?)

                1. s
                  simsum Aug 22, 2007 07:47 PM

                  I try to minimize my fresh direct orders since I live in NYC and can get most things I need anytime of day. However, every once in a while I do a big order and have been extremely happy with the produce, meats, cheese (their parm cheese is amazing). I don't get the negative reviews on the produce and meat.

                  I don't like buying precooked or prepared foods, so don't have much experience with that stuff.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: simsum
                    v
                    valerie Aug 22, 2007 08:04 PM

                    I've been using them consistently for almost 3 years and I've generally been very happy. Like I said above, I like to pick out certain produce items myself, but the stuff that I order from them has always been good and certainly better than my local Associated or Gristedes. I've mostly been happy with the chicken, turkey and occasionally steaks that I order. Can't speak about the fish, since I don't cook fish at home.

                    I still go to the supermarket or Fairway for certain things that FD doesn't carry or when I just want to browse or a change of scenery, but let me tell you that FD has been a lifesaver for me since I work full time and have 2 small children.

                  2. g
                    groseille Aug 22, 2007 07:47 PM

                    Their frozen choc chip cookie dough is excellent.

                    1. v
                      valerie Aug 22, 2007 12:02 PM

                      I particulary like the Breaded Parmesan Chicken Cutlets, Fresh Direct Sweet Turkey Sausage, Fresh Direct Chicken Apple Sausage. I also like their ground chicken for making chicken burgers (I hate turkey burgers).

                      I like to pick out certain produce items, like tomatoes and nectarines, but I buy other things from FD, like cauliflower and bananas. They are always good.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: valerie
                        erin07nyc Aug 22, 2007 02:32 PM

                        I've found that their bananas don't work out after being in the refrigerated truck... my turn brown very quickly.

                        Also... what's up with the grapes?? why does the "1 bunch" minimum always end up being a humongous 2 lb mess of grapes that have been mishandled and obviously more than 1 bunch?? I tried again recently and ended up with $7 of grapes that only lasted 3 days. Definitely going to the corner store next time.

                        Glad to hear the chicken & apple sausage is good... just be some of them in the freezer.

                        I can also vouch for the pizza... they are tasty. though I've had the sauteed mushroom one turn out soggy. And we also lived off of those breaded chicken cutlets for a while... you can dip them in pretty much anything, and they work great for a super-easy chicken parm, too.

                        Overall, it's worth it for the staples that I'd rather not carry up... especially beer.

                        1. re: erin07nyc
                          v
                          valerie Aug 22, 2007 07:57 PM

                          I've never had problems with the bananas. They have never been cold upon arrival at my place either. And I generally only order 3-4 at a time, because I don't like when they turn brown, but the bananas from FD don't turn brown any faster than any others.

                          I do agree that I don't always like 2 lbs. of grapes, but I order them, because my daughter goes through them pretty quickly. I have always found the quality good and they last up to a week.

                      2. funkymonkey Aug 22, 2007 10:52 AM

                        their thin crust pizzas are pretty good and the matzoh ball soup will do in a pinch. we got some of the new terrence brennan created, pomegranate-chili marinated chicken breasts and they weren't horrible (although i'd never guess there was chili in there.) not worth going out of the way for, but nice to keep in the freezer for a last minute dinner. their pesto is pretty good too, if you don't have the time or inclination to make your own. i didn't particularly like their chili or their white bean & escarole stew (although i don't remember why; it was a while ago).

                        their parbaked breads and croissants are yummy.

                        funkymonkey
                        http://thebestbite.blogspot.com/

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: funkymonkey
                          i
                          iv2040 Aug 23, 2007 11:06 AM

                          I agree. The thin crust pizzas are really good.

                        2. t
                          travpard Aug 22, 2007 10:00 AM

                          case of Yuengling $24. can't be beat

                          1. s
                            SimpleLiquid Aug 22, 2007 09:23 AM

                            I second the streetcarts for produce especially for tomatoes. The only thing I can really recommend from fresh direct are the persian cucumbers. They have taste (unlike regular store cucumbers) and are difficult to find elsewhere.

                            I order weekly from freshdirect for staples (canned food, milk, eggs, sliced bread etc..) ... but because it was such poor quality I don't order produce or meat (haven't tried the fish) with the following exceptions:

                            Brocolli, Cauliflower, Lemons and cucumbers.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: SimpleLiquid
                              sing me a bar Aug 22, 2007 11:30 AM

                              Fish from FD? Don't do it!

                            2. a
                              AtomicLunch Aug 22, 2007 04:27 AM

                              I used to go nuts for their Bentzy's smoked almonds, and their dried mangoes were a staple at my office desk. They have evidently ended their relationship with Bentzy's, though, and have their own, miserable brand. The smoked flavor on the nuts is just on the salt, which all settles at the bottom of the bag, and the mangoes have an oddly metallic flavor to them.

                              Best avoided.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: AtomicLunch
                                princeofpork Aug 22, 2007 05:59 AM

                                I would avoid the fruits and vegetables the street carts in NYC have fresher produce.

                              2. erin07nyc Aug 21, 2007 06:05 PM

                                I like the Chilean Sea Bass, Chicken Cacciatore w/ gnocci and Edamame heat & eats. I was so excited about rosa mexicano items, but they were all (beef enchiladas, ready to cook shrimp) too spicy for me :(

                                Try the duck leg confit... very delicious. I don't know where to find them tho... just search duck. They used to be $4.99 per lb, but now I think they're $8.99... still worth it tho. I heat them thru in the microwave then crisp them up in a pan.

                                Produce is generally on the expensive side, and there's always the threat of it getting bruised up along the way. All of the fish I've tried has been fine, even the "president's picks," which I've wondered as to why it's been discounted.

                                I'll definitely have to try the curried chicken salad!

                                1. k
                                  kapnic Aug 21, 2007 05:40 PM

                                  don't really like much of their fresh stuff but the rosa mexicano line of prepared heat and eats is pretty good. much better than any of their other heat and eat lines.

                                  1. LeahBaila Aug 21, 2007 05:25 PM

                                    The curried-chicken salad is fantastic!

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: LeahBaila
                                      k
                                      KeriT Aug 21, 2007 05:47 PM

                                      I second this! I'm not such a huge fan of their produce or fish though.

                                      1. re: KeriT
                                        s
                                        simsum Aug 22, 2007 07:44 PM

                                        What's wrong with the produce. Its usually really fresh and lasts longer than stuff I can buy in supermarkets.

                                        1. re: simsum
                                          c
                                          cimui Aug 23, 2007 10:28 AM

                                          Maybe this is a semantic thing. Fruits are produce, too, right? My objection is that fruits are always underripe and/or not flavorful. Vegetables are fine.

                                          1. re: cimui
                                            k
                                            KeriT Aug 23, 2007 12:13 PM

                                            I actually concur. I do buy some veggies but I've been unhappy with their zuchinni, it was not fresh but I do get broccoli and cauliflower. I've had rotted apples (organic) and yes, my experience is that their fruit is underripe and I have just not been overly impressed.

                                            1. re: KeriT
                                              mccan Aug 23, 2007 03:43 PM

                                              The fruits I've ordered from there seem like they have participated in a fight club before getting to my door.

                                              I do enjoy the thin crust pizzas and not having to carry beer from the market...

                                              1. re: mccan
                                                k
                                                KeriT Aug 23, 2007 05:49 PM

                                                yes beer is key along with cases of bottled water and pellegrino and pellegrino sodas. I like to do my basics - eggs, milk and heavy things. Other good things are their parbaked breads and I love the Sarabeth frozen buttermilk biscuits.

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