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Mar 4, 2009 05:28 PM

My new favourite Asian supermarket

Total accident. I was coming off HWY. 407 at Kennedy Rd., heading to the Pacific Mall. On the west side of Kennedy, just south of the 407 there's this blocky, slightly ambiguous building with a sign on it identifying it as First Choice Supermarket. Could I resist? No. In I go. The place is unbelievable. It is, in many ways, similar to so many other Asian grocery stores, but it's ultra cheap and overflowing with stuff. Most of the produce (not all, but most) is beautiful and inexpensive; the fish department looks like the Miami Seaquarium, with clean tanks in front of the windows so the light comes through; the meat was, well, riduculously cheap. I had been on a quest for a large pork shoulder and they had them for .79 or .99/lb, depending on the cut. I bought two 10-pounders and for some reason they charged me 79 a lb. for on and 99 a lb. for the other, but I think they're the same. But who's going to quibble at that price? I got a huge tray of jalapenos for $1, a gigantic bag of pea sprouts for about $2, Fuji apples, baby bok choy, and who knows what else. There's a BBQ counter and a bakery also. This place is going into my regular rotation. I'll take it over T+T any day.

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  1. Good find! I'll visit instead of T&T this weekend.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jayt90

      Slight warning. It's not all shiny pretty like T+T. There's an edge to the place. But in a good way, for me anyhow. I like that kind of thing.

      1. re: Nyleve

        Good find Nyleve. You can't cook the million $ makeovers most of the national chains spend every 5 years on their stores.

    2. if i remember conversations correctly.... i believe first choice is the new incarnation of big land or in the former big land spot. a great great store.

      2 Replies
      1. re: pinstripeprincess

        Yes, I think it used to be a Big Land Farm. I had seen it but never got in that one, although I've been into other Big Land stores. This place, in my opinion, is much better. One 10 lb. pork shoulder is in the oven as I type this.

        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          yes, it was a big land farm to start off... after it changed to something else i believe, before FCS...

        2. Actually funny you mention this - We have been going to a new Asian supermarket lately at Leslie and Finch, such a great variety to choose from, always super busy, and their meat and seafood area are always so much fun for me as you get so many live varieties of fish to choose from!

          4 Replies
          1. re: Sadistick

            I know the one. It's in that crazy complex that includes restaurants, bakery, etc. I was just there a couple of weeks ago - this First Choice is even better. I swear I'm not related to the owner.

            1. re: Nyleve

              Yes, crazy complex, lots of people - and one of the best Chinese BBQ places I have found ($3.50 for a 1/2 lb of BBQ pork mmmmmmmmmm)

              What makes the FC place you go to better?

            2. re: Sadistick

              Are we talking about Sunny Supermarket here?.....I think they are OK but nothing great to make them standout from other Asian Supermarkets.....just a peronal opinion

              1. re: warlock

                The one I originally posted about is called First Choice Supermarket. Look, it's not life-changing, but I found a lot of good stuff there the other day.

            3. Have not been there in forever. Thanks for the reminder. I'll forward on the rec to some friends and family.

              1. With FCS and T&T - pay close attention when purchasing produce that is labeled product of Canada or Product of Ontario - I witnessed "Local Ontario Hothouse Tomatoes" that had product of US stickers on them and Product of Canada Spinach that was actually from Texas...

                2 Replies
                1. re: Captain Maplesyrup

                  Right. Maybe worse at a place like that, but I've seen such mis-labelling at No Frills and IGA also. Vigilance always.

                  1. re: Captain Maplesyrup

                    And I've seen organic oranges dumped into the non-organic box at T&T (for the same price). You win some, you lose some, I guess!