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Manhattan Fruit Exchange

I was in Chelsea Market today to buy some things at The Lobster Place, and stopped into this place to buy some produce that I needed, having not been in before. I was quite impressed with both the selection and the prices - a huge variety of mushrooms, fresh favas (which I've not seen for ages), lots of different colors of small beets and carrots, a nice selection of potatoes, etc. I'd say the produce didn't look as nice as the produce at Eli's, but of course, they weren't at Eli's prices either. It's too far away from me for me to go regularly, but I'll be sure to pop in next time I'm in the area.

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  1. I forgot to mention - they also have raw olives.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth

      I'm a big fan of the Fruit Exchange. They also carry a very good selection of spices in the back that are reasonably priced.

    2. They've got a great variety of produce. I love their hydroponic watercress -- very different from regular watercress. I don't believe I've seen this very often in other markets. DH did buy some nectarines from there on Sunday. They looked and smelled good. But they were mealy. But I believe this is more because of the season as opposed to the store.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Miss Needle

        Is that hydroponic watercress tiny? If so I buy at USQ Farmer's Market sometimes (though I bet it's a lot cheaper here) and make cress sandwiches.

        1. re: MMRuth

          No (though it could be a different type than what you buy at the Farmer's Market). The leaves are much broader than regular watercress, and the stems are thinner and not as stringy as conventional watercress. It looks like this:

          http://www.seedfest.co.uk/seeds/herbs...

          1. re: Miss Needle

            Looks wonderful - I think the one from the farmer's market is similar in terms of being delicate, but smaller leaves. I just love this stuff - reminds me of being in England!

            1. re: MMRuth

              It really is very tasty! I love it more than conventional watercress because it's so delicate. Do you know which vendors in USQ carry it, and approximately what time of the year?

              1. re: Miss Needle

                It's the one with the very very expensive greens - usually on the west side, on the east side of the 'aisle', closer to the north end. They have loads of white plastic bins with many different kinds of greens.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  Oh, I know which ones you are talking about. Yes, they are very expensive. I'll try it out one day and compare. Thanks for the info!

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    That's Windfall Farms, I think. Their stuff is excellent. And will bankrupt you.

                    1. re: small h

                      Yes, most greens there are $12 for 1/4 pound. I love buying the baby arugula and having it for lunch that day.

      2. I am a huge fan and hit it whenever I'm in the neighborhood, less often now that I've cut back on my Bumble & bumble visits - thanks, economy! Particularly for the minuscule baby vegetables. I don't buy them too often, but I do like to look at them.

        1 Reply
        1. re: small h

          MFE is my neighborhood spot. Possibly the lowest prices in downtown Manhattan. The variety and selection is pretty great. The fruit can be hit-or-miss, but the produce is always good. BTW - It's cash only!

        2. I used to buy my vegetables there for the superior quality and price when I lived and worked downtown. But now that my neighborhood grocers like Fairway are offering wilted and smaller bunches of produce for the same price, I find myself heading back down to MFE once a week to load up on far better quality greens for a much better price.

          1. MFE is my favorite place to shop for vegetables, particularly when the local farmer's markets are off-season. The selection and quality is reliable and the prices are always reasonable.