Gourmet shops in northern NJ
I'm doing some research and am looking for suggestions re: the best small gourmet food shops in northern NJ. These can be for stuff that is made locally or imported products and can include foods from any ethnicity (Italian, french, spanish, middle east, etc), any butchers, bakeries, coffee/tea specialty shops, chocolate shops, cheese shops, etc.
Just needs to be high quality (not mass produced/supermarket crap).
Jerry's Gourmet in Englewood has a really good, albeit random, selection of cheese, wine, and ethnic ingredients. they also have a huge deli counter with all sorts of prepared foods, though i've never tried any so i can't vouch for quality.
410 S Dean St, Englewood, NJ 07631
There are plenty. My favorite has become Fairway Market in Paramus. You name it, they have it. There's also Maywood Market in Maywood. A great small market, they have good produce and some gourmet items, most at very good prices. Corrado's in Clifton and Wayne is also great. They have a lot of Italian specialties. The Clifton location has some Middle Eastern foods as well. The Clifton location is larger and more urban than the Wayne location. Finally, there's Zeytinia in Oakland and Englewood. I've been to the Oakland location a few times and I like it. They have a lot of gourmet products and dry-aged beef.
i don't know about the Oakland location, but i definitely wouldn't recommend the Englewood Zeytinia. their prices are higher than Whole Paycheck, the place is NOT clean, and some of the product looks as though it's been sitting on the shelves for years. ick.
the Paramus Fairway, however, is a Chowhound's utopia! i *love* that place...i just hate how far i have to drive to get there ;)
I had a terrible experience at Zeytinia in Englewood - awful, awful. Dirty, some products look old as you said, and the one time I was there I tripped and fell over a box they had in the middle of the aisle (of course I should have been looking where I was going). The manager, who happened to be nearby, saw me land on one knee (really hard mind you) and proceeded to come over and ask me if I was ok...but he never apologized for leaving the box in the middle of the floor, and then he kept asking if I was ready to check out (with my one bottle of purell). And when I checked out, he offered me a piece of chocolate for free to "make it up to me". I'm not sure what I was expecting in the way of an apology (none might have been better) but offering a 30 something woman a square of chocolate to apologize for leaving a hazard in the middle of the floor is not really what I'm looking for...maybe if I was 5 years old....
i'm glad i'm not the only one who has a problem with that place. the one time i was there, i nearly tripped over a bucket full of filthy, stinky water that was sitting in the middle of an aisle. i was more fortunate than you because i managed to sidestep it before falling - the stench alerted me to its presence before i walked into it. there were quite a few flies buzzing around there too. man, that place is nasty.
for the record, if i *had* tripped over that bucket and been offered a piece of chocolate to "make up for it," i probably would have told the manager precisely where he could shove said piece of chocolate. but that's just me :)
Northern New Jersey is loaded with these kinds of shops. Just stopped in for the first time at LaFamiglia in Mendham. It looked like they had a good selection of prepared foods and imported cooking items. I was just looking for some fresh mozzarella - which they had, but also bought some wildly expensive dried pasta from Abruzzo that was incredibly good. I'll be going back.
Corrados in Wayne is really hit or miss. You have to know your produce because some of it is past its prime. That being said you can find some good bargains there. And yes, Market Basket may be a little bit "highbrow" (not that most of those people know what they're buying) but I believe that you will almost always get a quality product there.
My Favourite Middle Eastern/Greek:
Arek Mediterranean Groceries
Riveredge, NJ 07661
Chinese/Asian (though not specifically Korean) FoodStuffs:
King Fung Food Market
625 Kinderkamack Rd River Edge
Ole Ole Foods
Ole Ole Foods Inc
54 Schuyler St
Belleville, NJ 07109-3045