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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!

                  2. I think the Fresh Market in Carrollwood is terrible. Sometimes I go in for their bulk candy and trail mix, but other than that I would rather travel south to Whole Foods. I have been dissapointed numerous times with their cheese selection. I'd rather get brie (or seafood) from Publix than Freshmarket. Maybe they will close and put in a Trader Joe's. One can only hope...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Jolie

                      Compared to the Greenwise Publix, the Fresh Market is a joke. I liked the Wild Oats but then they changed over to Whole Foods.

                      1. re: TampaAurora

                        I agree--Greenwise is really getting it right. I liked Wild Oats in the first 6 months it was open, but when HQ withdrew the mentors who had come from other stores to train the locals, things went downhill fast. Now it just seems hellaciously expensive to me.

                        Btw, my only complaint about Greenwise is cheese prices--Cambozola for $22/lb, for example, when everyone else in town, including small, locally-owned shops, is selling it for $18/lb.

                    2. There is an excellent wine shop called Vintage Wine on Henderson almost directly across from the S. Tampa Fresh Market that sells a wonderful selection of cheeses, fancy crackers and sweets, and wine, too, of course! I avoid driving to Whole Foods, and can help out a good local business. (They have a Vintage Wine in Lakeland, too, but I don''t know if they sell the same foodstuffs.)

                      1. We are trying to bring Trader Joe's to Tallahassee. Please join our Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid...

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: salkilmister

                          Just was in a MI TJ, and the check out guy said that they are coming to FL, but wouldn't say when. He said about six months before they come they announce it! I was thrilled as I spend most of the winter in the Sarasota area and really miss being able to shop there!

                          1. re: Mother of four

                            I am certainly hoping against hope, but I have heard this rumor in Florida and in TJ's I have visited in other states for a few years now. I'll believe it when I see it. But wouldn't it be loverly!

                        2. as a rule of thumb, i avoid shopping for seafood in supermarkets. I've never seen local seafood (tho i stopped looking years ago) and it is all treated with plumping chemicals. I admit i've been rather lost since the Seabreeze closed. I always went there for seafood, or Agliano's in Ybor, which has also closed.

                          i wish i could make it to mid-peninsular seafood in Guifport more often, and would love to find a good market in Tampa. suggestions welcome.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: andy huse

                            How about Cox Seafood on N. Dale Mabry?

                            1. re: andy huse


                              Have you been to Cox? I love it. Super fresh seafood at what seem to be reasonable prices. This is a great week to check it out seeing as stone crabs are coming back into season on the 15th.

                                1. re: CFishman

                                  We picked up a feast from Cox on Sat. Black Grouper, stone crab, and shrimp. Once again, everything was super fresh. Stone crab was amazing.

                                  1. re: rhnault

                                    I was there too! It would have been fun to bump into each other. The stone crabs were great. I was disappointed they were out of the fish spread. It's so good on the home made bread from Red Square Deli. So what size stone crabs do you go for? To be honest, I cannot really tell the difference between them.