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Old world Food Market - Nyack - Any Opinions?

I've been here several times. Unfortunately, Im not impressed although I had hopeful expectations. I'm willing to elaborate, but Im curious what other people's impressions are.

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  1. I went a few weeks ago and had a middling experience. I tried to get some food from the prepared foods section in the middle of the store. I encountered and issue in that there were only 3 people working behind the counter. Now there were only 2 other people waiting to be served but the 1 of the people behind the counter was stuffing kale in between the plates in the case while the other 2 were plying the other customers with free samples. I think its great when deli guys offer to give you a sample but these guys were offering everything. I just kept thinking: "I want to BUY something, please help me".

    After a minute or 2 of making eye contact and waiting I went over to the hot bar and the food looked ok...a woman on the other side was frantically trying to get the attendants attention because the bbq chicken didn't have any utensils.

    Finally I settled on some prepared chickpea salad, and some mozz and tomato salad.
    The chickpea salad was under salted, but contained too much black pepper. The mozz/tomato was average.

    Biggest shocks are:

    -The place has a sushi bar.
    -The lighting is absolutely awful.

    Other than that I didn't stay to check out the groceries. Moving forward...I'll just go to the Iron Tomato in White Plains if I want any of this stuff. Similar concept, better execution.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rifkind81

      We loved this place for the prepared food (not expensive compared to the prices of comparable dishes at other gourmet places of this quality), the upscale, carefully selected stock, the many choices. Much thought has gone into creating this food store. We were hungry when we went and ended up with an overflowing basket of food items we couldn't resist taking home. It was fun. This was last Friday afternoon, and, btw, in case the proprietors read this, there were too many under-occupied employees. Which worries me, as I'd hate to lose this place. It fills a need in Rockland County. There's a little cafe-type area with tables you can sit at on the right as you enter. You choose from the cases I assume. Next time, we'll have a bite to eat there before we shop and will maybe have more self control! I wish Old World Food Store luck. There was a helpful, nice young woman named Diane behind the counter where we got [deliciously flavored] broiled tilapia. Otherwise, the employees seemed to be taking it pretty darned easy! Still, we'll go back, and back again.

      1. re: Yliane

        I went to this place on Saturday for the first time and have nothing but good things to say about it. It's the first place I've come across in Rockland that has the gourmet, European and organic products that I miss no longer living in the city. In particular: variety of teas, Looza juice, chocolate, superfresh hummus, local apples for 59 cents/pound. The hot food buffet looked appealing, but didn't try anything from it or the meat department which also looked nice. Didn't have any problems with the service --although there were only about 6 other shoppers in the store-- the lack of crowds was refreshing, but I hope it eventually grows in popularity. Like the last poster says, this place does a great job filling a void.

    2. I am ecstatic to see a market like this in Rockland County. They have opened in a really poisonous economy; I hope others will try them and be patient with them as they shake out the "bugs." I found the food of high quality (produce, packaged, fresh for eating); the staff did seem a little unfocused. I assumed that was because the volume of customers is still low. Fairway is too far for me; so I hope we can all support what is local instead of driving to the other side of the world for something a little better.

      1. I've shopped there a few times and my overall impression was good. The prices were better than I expected. I really liked their cheese selection and the few items I had from their bakery section were delicious. I haven't tried their prepared foods yet so I can't really say.

        I do agree that the lighting is absolutely HORRIBLE!
        I really hope they stick around.

        1. The lighting is atrocious and gives me a headache. Who picked that horrible yellow?

          The selection is wonderful with some items (you can find Plugra butter!) but horrible with others (doesn't even carry Stonyfield yogurt). The prices are random (sometimes 5$ for a jar of peanut butter). There is a severely lacking produce selection, with almost no organics. The signs are all mismatched, the lights in this section are harsh flourescent, and when I went last time they didn't have garlic. They don't carry hot peppers. Some of the produce is competitive, and some is old, like wrinkled parsnips.

          I haven't tried the prepared food station. I was happy to order a cornish hen from them, which was delicious. The fish station always smells fishy. They don't have bulk spices, but they have their own "store brand" spices in jars.

          They still aren't organized and prices will vary greatly between shelves (one shelf will have Bare Naked Granola at 2.49, the other at 3.49).

          It's another cute market in Nyack. Born of Earth, downtown, is better organized with competitive prices, more organics, and friendlier service. Looking forward to what the Chef's Market will be like: any idea on when that's opening?

          2 Replies
          1. re: passionate_sense

            The first time I visited last about 2 minutes because the lighting caused me to hallucinate. Since when do grocery stores/markets attempt to jazz up their ambience with alternative lighting? The quality of food at this place should speak for itself, but I am so disturbed by the lighting that I struggle to shop here.
            Secondly, I was attempting to purchase some "Jumbo Shrimp" last week and had to wait for 10 minutes although 2 workers were at the seafood station, one helping customers the other preparing foods for the following day. Eventually the woman ahead of me had finished and it was my turn, when I asked for "1lb of Jumbo shrimp" the sloppy, unshaven, uneducated worker replied, "oh they're frozen they'd have to sit out for a while". I wanted shrimp that night so I explained to him how you could run water to thaw out the shrimp. His response "oh but that will cook them", I said "no you don't need to use hot water but cold water also will defrost them".
            The quality of food here is really exceptional and I want to like this place. It has great potential but simply should replace the lighting and house knowledgeable/friendly staff.

            1. re: homegrown84

              I gave the OWM a second chance recently when I was hoping to surprise my better half with some cannoli. I ponied up to the pastry counter which also serves coffee. There was one girl working and one woman ahead of me ordering tea. The customer was chatting up a storm with the counter attendant. The process of making tea for this lady lasted about 4 minutes while the counter attendant described in depth her plans to travel to Europe and proceeded to put too much honey in the tea.

              While I was waiting a man from the meat counter came over and asked if he could help me. I explained I wanted cannoli and he said the girl behind the counter would assist me.

              Finally the tea was made...and when I asked for 2 cannoli I was told they don't make cannoli.

              I want to like this place so badly. It really is just what Nyack needs. But some of the inconsistencies are really glaring. Perhaps in some time it may outgrow the issues desribed here (and others that remain unsaid). In the meantime I say again skip this place and go to the Iron Tomato in White Plains...

          2. They need to come up with a better toothpick sample system. I won't go into details, but ask for a toothpick before assuming the one you are taking is clean. I spoke with someone about it, but I haven't been back to see if anything has been done. Other then that I have found a few things there to be reasonable and a few things to be much higher then other places. Overall it is a nice addition to the area.