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Fairway Faves

What are your favorite things to buy at Fairway?
We just got back from one of our semi-annual trips to Fairway in Harlem. We spent plenty but I'm not complaining. There are some things I find there that I don't seem to be able to get in Westchester, at least not under one roof. I bought fig preserves, pickled herring and shrimp dumplings, plus lots more. It's like Morton Williams, Yaranush, and Trader Joe all in one package.

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  1. You can't go wrong...the cheese selection is fab. Love the soups, and the grain/antipasti bar. The olives are wonderful. The breads and pies are wonderful. The butcher and meat selection is great. We get the chicken/cheese sausage all the time. There is usually a sale on the beef tenderloin. Seafood is great, as is the bread and pies. The garlic bread is a treat. Now Im hungry!

    1. Speaking of Fairway, I thought they were supposed to be building a big store in Paramus, NJ in the Fashion Center. There was a lot of hoopla a year or so ago, and I thought there was a June 2008 target date for opening. But since that time, I haven't seen or heard anything more about it, and it doesn't look like anything is going on in the Fashion Center. Does anyone know if this store is still scheduled to open? I sure hope so!

      1 Reply
      1. re: zhelder

        I love their olive oils from Italy and Spain. Of course, the meat selection is great too. Going tomorrow with a friend.

      2. Cheese, cheese, cheese and olives, smoked salmon, produce, potato salad, olive oils, butcher shop items, grains, breads, charcuterie, pastas, fresh seafood - oh gosh everything.

        Lucyis - What is Yaranush and where is it?

        2 Replies
        1. re: laylag

          I'm not Lucyis, but I'm a fan of Yaranush. It's a middle eastern/armenian grocery on the north end of Central (west side) near the intersection with 119. They carry an excellent assortment of grains, dried fruits, and middle eastern products - but we mainly go for their own stuffed grape leaves (the best), feta/spinach pie, stuffed eggplant, hummus, baba ganoush, etc. - and for their baklava. Definitely worth stopping in.

          As for Fairway, we shop there weekly. Aside from the general things everyone has mentioned (and their own olive oils are terrific, as is their own 12 yr. old balsamic vinegar), a few of the more esoteric iterms we like are their fresh pot cheese (a revelation), the Fra'mani salamis, the soups (in the cold room), Nueske's bacon, medjool dates, prime meats, fage yogurt, eleazar English muffins, Cento San Marzano-based sauces, steel-cut oats, the mushroom selection, and smoked ham cut from the bone (at the deli counter).

          1. re: laylag

            Yaranush Mediterranenan Foods 322 Central Ave, the french feta is to die for.

            1. re: AGH

              Oh my gosh AGH. You are right. How could I have forgotten coffee?! We make a trip to Plainview every month or so and stock up on pounds and pounds of Benny's Blend - previously Testarosta. I don't think the city stores have the full array of beans that Plainview has though.

              1. re: laylag

                Fairway: the chicken breast patties, the belly lox, Ito En jasmine tea in a bottle, the extensive Dr. Praeger's selection, sesame seeds by the bag, love their fruit selection, anything from the bakery, the no-pocket whole wheat middle eastern pitas made in Brooklyn, extensive Israeli food selection, Russian chocolate babka, Greek grilling cheese and this frozen lo-cal vegetable souffle that I can't seem to find anywhere else.

            2. The cave aged gruyere is great, and I like the the dried fruit. In the olive section they used to carry these little red, roundish peppers which I became addicted to but I haven't seen them lately. Problem is I can only bring myself to enter the place after eleven at night and a few stiff drinks.

              7 Replies
              1. re: fgf

                The cave aged gruyere, as I said in another post, is unbelieveable. If you can find John at the cheese counter he always has really good suggestions. Also the raisin pecan bread is good, from the bakery.

                1. re: sed231

                  That's funny -- I like Edward at the cheese counter for good suggestions. DH and I can't live without the cheese. Olives, artichokes, coffee, bread, everything.

                  To fgf -- I go at 8 a.m. and it's actually a pleasant shopping experience (74th St.).

                  1. re: LNG212

                    La Macchia olive oil. The best I have have ever had, hands down. I think only at 74th.

                    1. re: LNG212

                      I will try Edward- although I feel intense loyalty to John...he was the one who suggested Tomme de Cabrioulet. If you haven't had it, it's high time to try it. I also love the Le Chevrot goat, but you probably already know about that.

                  2. re: fgf

                    fgf -- ALERT! I was just at Fairway this a.m. They have those little roundish bright red peppers again. The ones in the barrels by the olives. I bought some. There's a sign suggesting stuffing them with blue cheese. I think I'll try that.

                      1. re: LNG212

                        That's very good news. Filling them with blue cheese sounds like a good idea. I usually just make a little antipasto plate with cheese and cured meat as the acidity brings it all together. I'll go there tonight, after eleven and straight from the Dublin House.

                    1. I could live on a diet of nothing but Fairway eggplant gratine and sweet and sour meatballs. But in the interest of health, I often opt instead for tofu salad, kombucha, flaxseed bread and fiber crackers...which I promptly load with pimento cheese, ajvar or whitefish salad! With a wealth of cheaper items like pork niblets (perfect for Asian stir-fries and Thai curries), bacon ends (for seasoning greens or making lardons) and plenty of terrific sausage (I love the breakfast sausage), I can get through the week on $20 healthily and happily.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: JungMann

                        Don't forget (at 74th street) the display fridge directly behind the deli counter that has the ends of all kinds of sliced meat for a great price. Fantastic for sandwiches.

                      2. Besides many things that have already been listed, I'm hooked on their whitefish salad. The seafood in the coldroom is also great. I also loved their prepared turkey potpie opposite the appetizing counter. However, I wish they would put more raisins and nuts in their baked farmer cheese.

                        1. Love their healthy tuna salad, cucumber dill salad, Sicilian cauliflower, chicken fingers.

                          In the fish dept., love their stuffed salmon with faux crabmeat
                          Great countermen in the fish and meat depts.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Lettucepray

                            I love the big blocks of callebut (sp?) chocolate by the cash registers and the local to NY ice cream for the amazing price of 4.99 a quart. (try barkeaters)

                            1. re: fayehess

                              Which brand of ice cream is this? I'm interested in checking it out. I've never bought ice cream at Fairway (I usually get Ronnybrook Dairy Farm's ice cream at the greenmarket).

                              1. re: LNG212

                                It's Adirondack Creamery. Some exotic flavors are Barkeater (English toffee in vanilla ice cream), Kulfi-Pistachio Cardamom, and Whiteface Mint Chip.

                                1. re: americanafan

                                  I tried the Adirondack vanilla last week. Good, but I still prefer Sedutto's vanilla.

                                2. re: LNG212

                                  it is called Adirondack. It's good. I wish they wouldn't use powdered milk--though it comes after cream and fresh milk in the ingredient list, i still feel like you can taste it in the vanilla.

                            2. I have a weakness for the junkfood in the prepackaged -- their macaroni and cheese is really good (tastes of sharp cheese and a little dijon mustard) and as someone else mentioned, their chicken/fish fingers are tasty too. Oh, and their chicken noodle soup is also quite good.

                              But if anyone from Fairway is reading this....they used to have this fantastic fennel salad -- raw fennel, parsley, lemon juice and flaked cheese (parmesan I think?). It was in the "help yourself" aisle near the deli counter. Every time I go there I hope to see it, but for the last year or so they only have had roasted fennel which isn't nearly as tasty. Please bring it back!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: JMJD

                                I love that salad. It's easy to make if you have the time, and they always have fresh fennel. Just slice it thinly, give it a squeeze of lemon, a little finely chopped parsely, and use a vegetable peeler for Grana Padano. Add salt and a little of the best olive oil you have. (Thinly sliced green apple is a good addition without the cheese--I like to add a little fresh mint and or chive with a tiny squeeze of lemon juice.) fayefood.com

                              2. For nights when I don't feel like cooking, their chicken parmesan and the sole franchese from the deli counter are terrific. I was a little hesitate about reheating a fish dish the first time I bought it, but I have gotten it many times it is so good.