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Gourmet shops in northern NJ

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croslan Aug 21, 2009 08:11 AM

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).

Thoughts?

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  1. goodhealthgourmet RE: croslan Aug 21, 2009 08:16 AM

    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.

    -----
    Jerry's Gourmet
    410 S Dean St, Englewood, NJ 07631

    1. z
      zhelder RE: croslan Aug 21, 2009 10:31 AM

      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.

      4 Replies
      1. re: zhelder
        goodhealthgourmet RE: zhelder Aug 21, 2009 12:39 PM

        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 ;)

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
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          lovessushi RE: goodhealthgourmet Aug 22, 2009 11:37 AM

          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....

          1. re: lovessushi
            goodhealthgourmet RE: lovessushi Aug 22, 2009 12:06 PM

            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 :)

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
              l
              lovessushi RE: goodhealthgourmet Aug 22, 2009 05:07 PM

              Wow...that's disgusting. I told him no thanks btw but I should have told him exactly what you said above ;-)

      2. b
        bropaul RE: croslan Aug 21, 2009 10:46 AM

        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.

        www.famigliagourmet.com

        1. b
          berna RE: croslan Aug 21, 2009 12:21 PM

          The Market Basket in Franklin Lakes is a wonderful market. The best (and only place imho) to buy fresh fish. Great cheese counter with charcroute (sp?) great produce, though a little pricey. They also have a really good butcher and alot of prepared foods for takeout.

          3 Replies
          1. re: berna
            z
            zhelder RE: berna Aug 21, 2009 12:30 PM

            Oops! Forgot about Market Basket. Some good stuff, but they are expensive, and the crowd there is pretty highbrow. Maywood Market and Corrados have food of comparable quality for about half the price.

            1. re: zhelder
              b
              berna RE: zhelder Aug 21, 2009 03:18 PM

              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.

              1. re: berna
                l
                lovessushi RE: berna Aug 22, 2009 11:39 AM

                I like Market Basket a lot even though the "element" there is super annoying - the store is expensive but the quality of the meat and prepared foods is outstanding...

          2. sixelagogo RE: croslan Aug 21, 2009 02:33 PM

            My Favourite Middle Eastern/Greek:
            Arek Mediterranean Groceries
            470 Kinderkamack
            Riveredge, NJ 07661

            Chinese/Asian (though not specifically Korean) FoodStuffs:
            King Fung Food Market
            625 Kinderkamack Rd River Edge

            Spanish:
            Ole Ole Foods
            Ole Ole Foods Inc
            www.oleolefoods.com
            54 Schuyler St
            Belleville, NJ 07109-3045
            (973) 759-0333

            1. f
              fourunder RE: croslan Aug 22, 2009 08:36 AM

              Two top butchers, who also sell prepared foods, smoked foods, cold cuts, sausage, kielbasi, Polish and German specialties respectively for their stores....

              Piast Provisions in Garfield
              http://www.piast.us/

              Kocher Continental Specialty Meats in Ridgefield
              (201) 945-7086
              634 Bergen Blvd
              Ridgefield, NJ 07657 40.8292 -73.9936

              http://offthebroiler.wordpress.com/20...

              The Black Forest Ham at both places are incredible.
              \
              For Chocolates.... Matisse Chocolatier in Englewood. They make great holiday/party platters and I recommend their chocolate covered fruits and cookies.

              http://www.getfreshchocolate.com/stor...

              2 Replies
              1. re: fourunder
                j
                jomi53 RE: fourunder Aug 22, 2009 05:35 PM

                Piast in Garfield is great homemade coldcuts , potato salad . Good take out in rear of store at good prices . Great rye bread in bakery next door

                1. re: fourunder
                  z
                  zhelder RE: fourunder Aug 25, 2009 03:51 PM

                  Piast is terrific. Great food, and great prices. The crowd is hardcore Polish, but the staff will accommodate you if you speak plain ol' English.

                  Swiss Pork store is a great German butcher in Fair Lawn. Unbelievable chop meat and homemade salami.

                2. Curlz RE: croslan Aug 22, 2009 06:38 PM

                  Is C'est Cheese still open in Summit? That used to be a lovely store...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Curlz
                    m
                    MattInNJ RE: Curlz Aug 25, 2009 08:57 AM

                    As far as I know it is still there.

                  2. y
                    YEAHHEKNOWS RE: croslan Aug 23, 2009 06:38 AM

                    Latona's Specialty Foods - 279 Harrison Ave, Garfield, NJ 07026
                    Homemade Italian Specialties

                    www.latonagiftbaskets.com.

                    1. s
                      Sdenred RE: croslan Aug 24, 2009 10:41 AM

                      La Strada in Midland Park for Italian specialties:
                      http://www.lastradagourmet.net/s/

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Sdenred
                        d
                        doxy216 RE: Sdenred Aug 25, 2009 08:37 AM

                        Stay away from Jerrys in englewood. Their store in Ridgewood closed, people caught on to the stale nature of his "fresh" food. Also, the jarred and bottled offerings are often out of date, check your dates I'm a big fan of the Market Basket, everything is fresh and the selection is great. I happen to live near it and don"t consider myself or my neighbors as "annoying elements". I find the element in Corrados much more offensive, if not barbaric. I have the scars on my ankles (from being run down from behind with a cart) to prove it.

                        1. re: doxy216
                          goodhealthgourmet RE: doxy216 Aug 25, 2009 11:17 AM

                          i'm sorry to hear that about Jerry's. i've never had a problem with anything i've purchased there, though since i usually just stop in to pick up things like preserved condiments and vinegar, dates aren't much of an issue. i know my parents stock up on Fage yogurt there, and i don't think they've had a problem with spoiled product.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                            menton1 RE: goodhealthgourmet Aug 25, 2009 11:57 AM

                            I've had similar spoilage issues with Jerry's, not to mention that if you happen to look up you notice that the ceiling is in a state of disrepair, who knows if asbestos dust or whatever is falling regularly on the food? Yuk.

                            Fairway/Paramus has many many categories of "specialty foods" with outstanding selection and great prices. Fabulous service cheese dept.

                            1. re: menton1
                              goodhealthgourmet RE: menton1 Aug 25, 2009 12:40 PM

                              i love, love, love Fairway...but it's a schlep for me from Edgewater. i can really only justify the haul out there on Sundays, and then the store is inevitably a *zoo*.

                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                              s
                              shefchenko RE: goodhealthgourmet Nov 4, 2010 07:50 AM

                              Jerry's buy's closeouts from anyone and anybody at absurd prices then has a whole production line in back where things are repackaged,sell by dates"cleaned" and other tricks of the trade. As for his "fresh" foods, well, that's even worse.Preserves and vinegars are sfae but again, all these items are bought at absurd prices; everything in Jerry's gets it's start as a closeout item. EVERYTHING. Plus the man himself is as obnoxious as a hemorrhoid.

                          2. re: Sdenred
                            z
                            zhelder RE: Sdenred Aug 25, 2009 03:49 PM

                            La Strada is great. So is Italian Riviera in Waldwick a few miles down the road. La Strada gets the edge for prepared foods, but Italian Riviera has better sandwiches and mozzarella. Both places are terrific, but can get quite busy!

                            1. re: zhelder
                              s
                              Sdenred RE: zhelder Aug 26, 2009 12:50 PM

                              You're right about the crowds. My bad for mentioning LaStrada, leading to longer lines!

                          3. c
                            croslan RE: croslan Aug 27, 2009 01:44 PM

                            Thanks for all the tips! Much appreciated.

                            I'm surprised so many like Fairway. Based on the reviews, I went there for the first time over the weekend and did not like it one bit. It was a crazy zoo of people! I didn't like the setup either - if you forget something from another section, it's like going on an arctic expedition to try and get back to where you were. The flow of carts was in every direction and all the aisles stopped cold. The cheese section was okay, but nothing to go out of the way for. I glanced at the meats quickly but didn't see any prime aged beef. I won't be going there again!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: croslan
                              tommy RE: croslan Aug 27, 2009 01:57 PM

                              that have so much prime dry-aged beef at Fairway that it's amazing you missed it.

                              only a few aisles stop (although none actually stop. they just loop around and aren't through to the front, which probably has its advantages). most flow through. it's not all that hard to navigate once you learn that there's a path from produce to the rest of the store.

                              i avoid going there (and anywhere else) on the weekend, so i can't speak to the crowds you might encounter, but even at prime times the checkouts have always been quick.

                              fairway's meat selection is by far the best in the area. i think it's better than The Market Basket, which some people swear by. The prices are exceptional as well.

                              1. re: croslan
                                z
                                zhelder RE: croslan Aug 27, 2009 02:29 PM

                                Yes, Fairway is a zoo. We're gonna have to get used to it. It's not likely to change anytime soon. It's best to go very early in the morning.

                                But the store truly does offer many (not all) items at better quality and at better prices than the typical supermarkets. For example, most Boars Head meats are around $6.99 per pound at the deli. At a regular supermarket, you'll pay $8.99 - $9.99 per pound. I get three heads of garlic for $1.00 at Fairway, and they're nicer than any heads I've bought in a supermarket. Coffee freshly roasted on the premises go on sale for $3.99 or $4.99 per pound, and most regularly sell for maybe $6 or $7 per pound. Some of the bakery cakes and cookies are a little expensive, but they're made with quality ingredients: butter, cream, etc. Try finding any butter or cream in the typical supermarket cake.

                                Yesterday they had pork loin on sale for $1.69 per lb. They custom cut it for free. I got two beautiful roasts and twelve thin pork chops for about $12. Try to get that in the regular supermarket.

                                Fairway's meats are terrific, and so is the fish. The only thing that they get beat out on is the bracciole. Corrado's in Wayne has better and slightly cheaper bracciole.

                                The layout is unusual, but once you get used to it, it's not bad. And things have improved immensely since they created the short cut from the produce to the grocery department.

                                Fairway has become my regular grocery store. Sometimes I head to Shop Rite or A&P for soda, toothpaste, ice cream or toilet paper, and Trader Joe's frozen foods are unbeatable, but I have spent more time in Fairway than any of those stores since they opened.

                                1. re: zhelder
                                  Ambimom RE: zhelder Aug 27, 2009 04:28 PM

                                  I just spent my morning at Fairway....and though it was a Thursday morning...it was packed. I have to admit, I'm getting used to it. The first time I went, I did not notice that the aisles are actually marked. You just have to look up....way up. That's where the signs are that tell you where things are. The selection and quality is incomparable. I swore I'd never go back after the first time, but that store has stuff you can't find anywhere else and at very reasonable prices so I find myself going there every two or three weeks.

                              2. menton1 RE: croslan Aug 28, 2009 08:26 AM

                                I suppose Fairway is borrowing the concept of Ikea and Stew Leonards, where they force the flow of traffic so that you have to see what they want you to see. Actually, it isn't as severe in Paramus, there is free movement once you get past the produce section.

                                What about all the ruckus and all the lawsuits by Cafasso's in Fort Lee? I think once Fairway proved that they had the name 20 years longer than Cafassos it was "game over."

                                Fairway does have some exceptional selections of hard to find products. Canned belly tuna for example, exotic jams, great selection of dried fruits, analog meat products, and on and on.

                                While it ain't perfect, Fairway is a great resource and we are lucky to have one in NNJ.

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