Is MarketBasket really as great as it seems? (Franklin Lakes, NJ)
I've just discovered this store and I think I've fallen in love - we've had prepared foods, fresh fruit, fresh fesh, deli meats from there - all absolutely delicious and fresh. The prices are really not that crazy for around here (though I won't do my regular grocery shopping there - i.e. milk, papertowels, etc.). Am I missing something? Is there like a horror story behind it I don't know about? Seems to good to be true... Thanks!
Yup - it is! Nothing but good stuff to say about it. I've been going there for about 20 years! Most of the bakery stuff is great also, and I just discovered that their homemade blue cheese salad dressing is really good! Prices are not outrageous - especially on fresh meat and fish. Everyone is so courteous and pleasant. It's just a pleasure to shop there. Watchout around holiday time, you can't even move around the small place!
I do like Market Basket, but overall, I find them to be quite expensive, especially for their prepared foods. And the crowd there is a little too highbrow for me. Maywood Market has a similar selection and quality of foods for about half the price of Market Basket. It's a more casual place, with a more casual, more blue collar crowd. But the food is great and very reasonably priced, and the staff is friendly. Maywood Market's bakery selections are limited (they sell cakes, but usually only by the slice), but in virtually every other regard they compare to Market Basket, and they have a liquor section too!
Zeytinia in Oakland is also nice. I would say they're the midpoint between Market Basket and Maywood Market in terms of price and the high fallutin' factor. They have a full butcher, deli, and bakery, in addition to produce and groceries.
Now if you really want an adventure and can roll with a more urban working class crowd, take a ride to Corrado's in Clifton. The cheapest prices anywhere, with good and diverse foods. The place is insanely busy though (go early), and since the staff and customers speak so many different languages, communication is sometimes a minor problem. But the place is still awesome.
Of the four places, I go to Maywood Market the most, and Market Basket the least. Market Basket's food is great, but it's not cheap. Maywood Market's food is great and very reasonably priced.
I will agree with you thoughts on all except Zeytinia in Oakland and that is only because I have never been so I have no opinion.
Most of the people that I mentioned that love the Market Basket live closer to it and are willing to pay the prices because they can afford it.
Maywood Market is fabulous, their prices are very close to a big super market when it comes to regular shopping so you can pick up a few things besides your bakery or prepared foods. The have a very large selection for a smaller store and the food is pretty good.
Your review of Corrado's is on point.
We alternate between Market Basket and the Fairway in Fort Lee because we live about midway between the two. Market Basket has excellent meat...(watch for the sales) and the butchers are always helpful and friendly. I like the turkey and sundried tomato meat loaf, too. They make wonderful traditional birthday cakes and the Miami onion rolls are to die for. The cheese department and the deli are very good, too if you are not looking for anything out of the ordinary.