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Mar 19, 2009 08:56 AM

I love Fresh Market....but...

I live in Maryland and had to go down to Tallahassee for a family issue. Went to Fresh Market near I-10 maybe to get some oysters to fry up...they had pints of shucked, from Virginia. I made a pot of Jambalaya a couple weeks ago and the best Andouille and Tasso I could get (store bought in Maryland) was from Baltimore and New Jersey. Fresh Market's Andouille was from ....New Jersey. Thought about getting a rotisserie chicken to take back to the hotel, and they were in fact cooked in a rotisserie, but the birds were sitting in a basket simply rotating around the central shaft, NOT on a spit spinning around the shaft. They could just as well have been sitting in a convection oven. Or am i just being, well, myself.

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  1. I am not sure how much local product i would expect to find at a grocery chain.

    1. Although I don't give too much credit to Publix for having a lot of local produce, I am frequently able to find very local items such as tomatoes, strawberries and even sausage. A place like Fresh Market should blow Publix out of the water when it comes to having 'fresh' items. Whole Foods makes an effort to carry local goods of all kinds and they are a chain.

      I do have to vent and say that I went to both Publix and Whole Foods 2 weeks ago to buy some shrimp, and all they had was farm-raised shrimp from Thailand! I live in Ft Lauderdale, is it really that hard to get some shrimp, if not from Florida than at least from a little closer away than Thailand? I wound up not eating shrimp for dinner that night, btw.

      1. You were a couple of blocks away from Southern Seafood, where you could've bought oysters that were snoozing in the bay the day before! And, shrimp and crab and, and, and...

        Harvey's often has more local produce and other products (sausage, smoked meats, etc) than any other place in the area. They even have boxes of Apalach oysters, still in the shell, in their freezer section.

        6 Replies
        1. re: onrushpam

          Where is Southern Seafood??? I, too, live in Fort Lauderdale and am unhappy with the seafood I've found.

          1. re: gblcsw

            I don't know where Southern Seafood is, but there is a fish market on 44th St in Lauderhill (I think - it's between University and Pine Island). It's called the Fish Peddler and they typically do have a great selection of seafood. It just so happens that I was not over in that area that day

            1. re: nmurawsk

              The Fish Peddler is a wonderful, bountiful fish market. Everything is fresh and you can even by grouper heads for stock--in fact that's how I found the place; I asked for fish heads at Publix, but the seafood guy told me they never have them and he directed me to The Fish Peddler. As mmurawsk said the Fish Peddler is on 44th Street just west of University Dr. In Lauderhill---or is that Sunrise?

              The strip where the market is located is an overall delight. There's a great Mediterranean bakery/grocery that has killer falafel sandwiches, a great variety of baklava, mounds of herbs, spices and condiments, and really nice people.

              Then there is the vegetable and fruit market, an indoors farmer's market actually. I stock up on limes, tomatoes and honey. They have low prices and wonderful variety. Until recently Doris' Italian Market was there too.

              I like The Fresh Market, too. :-) I go often for a shot of coffee.

            2. re: gblcsw

              many positive comments on posts here regarding Triar Seafood in Hollywood
              great, fresh fish, fun folks and lots of fish heads
              fresh rock shrimp and key west pink shrimp

              1. re: gblcsw

                Southern Seafood is a couple of blocks from the Fresh Market in Tallahassee. It's a wonderful place too. We are fortunate here in Tallahassee to have such wonderful local seafood. I would never (gasp!) buy seafood from the grocery store. As for local produce we have several farmers markets in town and lots of roadside venders too.

              2. re: onrushpam

                Southern Seafood is in Tallahassee....

              3. I agree that you have to take Fresh Market's name with a grain of salt: it's a national chain, after all, with a chain approach to sourcing. I doubt the store managers are free to seek out local sources even if they wanted to.

                I had a ridiculously awful experience at the fresh market in S. Tampa on Sunday: floor staff were rude and indifferent, manager was in way over his head, the deli counter was messy and disorganized, and the cashiers, all teenage boys, were also rude, snickery. Getting a wedge of cheese cut from a wheel was an epic battle. And I noticed that the price of canteloupes was twice that at Publix Greenwise.

                So I'm avoiding Fresh Market from now on--there are too many better-run shops nearby. I wonder if the bad economy has hit FM hard?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Miss E

                  I've never had issues with the Carrollwood one, but I wonder if it is because S. Tampa has WF and Greenwise as well as FM. In N. Tampa all we have is FM. I can't say I expect overly local items in FM though.

                2. I am moving to Tallahassee shortly and on a recent house-hunting visit stopped in New Leaf market. I didn't explore it extensively but they did seem to have a number of local products. Might be worth a look.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Procrastibaker

                    Procratibaker, One of the first things I did when I moved to Tallahassee was join New Leaf Market Co-op. There is a weekly growers market every Wednesday at Lake Ella (Monroe Street) with a number of local organic farmers setting up stands. I plan my weekly menu based on the produce I can buy at the growers market. From what I hear, Publix on Thomasville @Capital Circle will be Greenlife (Publix own organic brand) and a new Publix will open up a short distance down the road at Albertson's old spot.

                    1. re: Windsor

                      Thanks Windsor! And I'm always up for any more Tallahassee tips you might have. It's such a pretty little town-- we are excited to move, though dreading moving in July heat!