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Fairway in Pelham is Open!

OK, I'm far far away, but so happy that I will have Fairway to return to this summer. So, Westchester hounds, how is it?

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    1. I've been waiting so long for it to open, it would have taken a lot for me to be disappointed. It's a beautiful, big store. Today it was crawling with helpful folks to be sure your first visit was a good one. Checkout was a breeze. I was there about an hour, didn't buy much (best buy was 2 whole Murray's chickens, .99/lb) but I know it will become my major grocery store. I live just a bit over a mile away. I got a "gift bag" because I was among the first 200 or something like that, with a liter of their nice olive oil, a pound of coffee, balsamic vinegar, and some other doo dads. Very nice. It'll take more visits to really get the lay of the land over there, but I bet you'll like it!

      3 Replies
        1. re: anonymouse1935

          It's hard to know how parking would be on a normal day, because some of the spaces were roped off for the opening. But I got there about 8:15 fearing it would be a circus, and ended up parked very close to the front door. By the time I left the store there were lots of people inside and the predictable confusion caused by no one knowing where they were going! The parking lot looked pretty good to me. Tomorrow it opens at 8. It'll take a while to figure out when the best time to go would be. I think going when it opens might be my choice. We'll see.

        2. re: Pat Hammond

          I would have liked to go for the gift bag, but I had a 9-10am meeting at work, and once I could not get the free bag it wasn't worth schlepping down from Hawthorne (where I am today) and putting up with the crowds. I suspect that this weekend will not be good, either. Maybe I will try to get there one day next week when I am sure it will be much better.

        3. (repost)
          OMG what craziness, do not go today unless you are REALLY bored. I went around 10 am thinking most people would be at work and that it couldn't be THAT crowded. I was wrong. I left around 12 noon and there were police everywhere directing traffic and not letting anyone make left hand turns so getting home took forever and the line to check out went to the back of the store and was not moving quickly. parking was also hard to find, but the parking lot looked a little less chaotic when I was leaving than it did when i was arriving.
          The store has a slightly confusing lay out, sort of like Stews,so I think I missed about half the store. i'm sure it will just take some getting used to. I wanted to check out the cafe but never saw it. Prices were good but I was underwhelmed by the cauliflower and english cucumbers both of which looked a little wilted.
          The aisles are much wider than Harlem and UWS which is great. And there is definitely a much larger selection. I'll probably still use Fresh Direct for a while (so much easier than grocery shopping with 2 small children) but hopefully the crowds will die down a bit and this will be my go-to grocery store for produce and such!
          I just had some of their smoked salmon on a bagel for lunch yummy!

          12 Replies
          1. re: SweetPea914

            Anyone been since the morning? Had to go to city today and couldn't get there this am. Want to go now and am afraid but think I shall try.

            To RLee --- Thank you for remembering and yes, I started the Fairway coming to Westchester discussion on a thread that is now archived on the much missed TriState Board. Link below. Started almost three years ago in May 2007. We Chowhounds are certainly dedicated.


            1. re: SweetPea914

              When you say the layout is like Stews, presumably the layout is kind of like their Paramus store, which is a single path from the entrance through produce, past the bakery and ending up at deli meat and seafood in the back of the store. Then multiple aisles of groceries heading to the front.

              I was at a family event last night and asked a relative who lives in Tuckahoe whether she was going to the grand opening. She had no idea what Fairway was and asked if it was like Stew's. I told her no, it was like Whole Foods, only much cheaper.

              1. re: MisterBill2

                Your description of the interior layout sounds about right to me. I've talked with folks in Pelham who hadn't heard of it either. By the way, the prepared food section looked mighty good. Who knows how long it'll be until one can sit quietly for lunch there, though.

                1. re: MisterBill2

                  I haven't been to Paramus Mr. Bill but I did go to Fairway this afternoon and while it was still crazy, I am so happy. It is not like Stew's with respect to layout - you can go in whatever direction you choose at any time. Your description sounds about right. I don't think I saw everything because of the crowds - getting through with a wagon was extremely difficult.

                  Many people, myself EXcluded, were less than congenial so that made it a tad unpleasant. I was just so happy they were open I could tolerate just about anything and the counter guys/people couldn't have been nicer.

                  Going to try and get there again later this week..

                  1. re: laylag

                    Sorry to hear about the lack of congeniality, although I would probably describe it as uncivilized. A story I saw on TV seemed to imply they'd be getting a lot of their customers from the Bronx. If the clientele makes the shopping experience less than pleasant, I will probably just keep going to Paramus, which isn't that much further for me up in Northern Westchester.

                    1. re: MisterBill2

                      >> they'd be getting a lot of their customers from the Bronx.

                      If you've met the shoppers in Westchester, you'd know they are highly uncivilized.

                      I won't have the option of Paramus, so I'm going to try the early morning visits in a month or so. From all indications, it sounds like a store that can easily take the place of the other supermarkets. It should be fun to see how the others try to compete.

                      1. re: anonymouse1935

                        That;s too bad. I guess I was being unfair since people from everywhere can act uncivilized in a crowded situation. I may (probably foolishly) try to get there this weekend.

                        1. re: MisterBill2

                          I was there this morning, a few minutes after it'd opened at 8. I didn't really need anything, but wanted to see the level of activity around there. Parking, no problem and people were shopping but the store seemed to be just waking up. Nice and relaxed. I got 1/4 lb. of smoked salmon, a container of natural cream cheese (wonderful!), a tomato and 3 still warm bagels. I was in and out in about 15 minutes and invited my daughter over for a bagel breakfast. First thing in the morning, if convenient, is a good time to go and I'm fortunate that is convenient for me.

                            1. re: Pat Hammond

                              Was the natural cream cheese Ben's Natural? That's the one that they sell in the nyc store and it's just wonderful. But I'm curious if there's a different one out there too.

                          1. re: anonymouse1935

                            your right people will act uncivilized in large crowds that's why its very important to have excellent people skill's in such situation's and lot's of folks to answer questions. their is no comparing stew's two different stores.

                  2. Opening Day can be best described as organized chaos. ... Period.

                    I too arrived around 10am and left a few minutes passed 12. Hundreds of irritable people walking aimlessly about in a store that size was a true test of ones patience. At 10am there was a line to get IN the store and once you were in, the store was so crowded that many of the aisles were impassable. It certainly wasn't a day to do much browsing, but I enjoyed myself all the same.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Cheese Boy

                      I was there at 6:00PM yesterday. It was organized chaos but parking spaces were available and you could get through the aisles. We did a walk through but didn't buy anything. They have a fantastic selection of prepared foods and a number of tables for "dining". We had "kobe" pastrami sandwiches with cole slaw and pickle...delicious. It makes Stews look like a mini mart and is a totally different experience. I could spend a week in the cheese department alone. A great addition for Westchester.

                      1. re: cookiez

                        We were very happy with our shopping experience yesterday (Friday). We arrived around 9:30 and there were a choice of parking spots. The owner, Howie, was walking around and was amiable but anxious. DH wants to pitch a tent and move in next to the olive station. This store lives up to its promise and will be a great addition to my personal food hunting and gathering.
                        As for Mr. Bill's veiled sneers at the shoppers from the Bronx, by all means do your shopping in a rarified atmosphere where you won't have to rub shoulders with those you feel are less than "civilised". Fairway, and the unfortunates of the Bronx will have to make do without you.

                    2. I went at around 1 pm on Thursday and had a good experience, overall. I really do like the store, despite some issues with organization (and annoying patrons!). We got very lucky with parking, as someone just happened to be pulling out of a prime spot as we were approaching - other than that, the very large lot was a sea of drivers looking for a place to park. I'm not so sure that Fairway's traditional outdoor produce section is such a great idea for Pelham - there were way too many really inconsiderate "browsers" who were apparently oblivious to the hordes of shoppers muttering under their breath while trying to maneuver large shopping carts around them toward the entrance. I think the interior flow of the store is pretty good, considering that it is very large, and probably contains more actual food products than any other in the tri-state area. I was impressed by the sheer number of high quality choices for just about every item, be it olive oil, chocolate chip cookies or yogurt. This store is definitely the nicest of the three Fairway locations I've been to, as it was spacious, airy and very clean - three qualities that city stores just can't offer the same way that Westchester can. The deli has a good selection of both cold cuts and prepared salads, and the people working the counter were very competent. Their fresh turkey breast was just that- juicy and lean and natural. I only got a very hurried glance at the hot prepared foods bar- it looked good, and I was glad to see a small seating area, as well. We had some lox sliced for us just because we could - its a rarity around here! Oh, and their bagels, while not quite as good as my local favorite (Park Place in Bville), are a very good option. The cakes in the bakery looked divine, as did the pastry. We got a raisin walnut loaf that was out of this world, which we ate with a wedge of triple creme selected from their most exciting and diverse cheese selection.
                      I was also happy to find Olympus yogurt in the dairy aisle - its my new favorite Greek yogurt - actually made in Greece!
                      All in all a very good experience. I wouldn't call the prices a bargain, though some items I use regularly, (such as Frantoia olive oil by Barbera in Sicily) were significantly less expensive than Whole Foods or shops on Arthur Avenue, where I usually find it. The staff seemed friendly enough, and helpful, where needed. We'll see how long that lasts!
                      I'll definitely be back soon, but I'll stick to Tues-Thurs 10-3 PM for now, as the shopper traffic jams made it difficult to see everything, and I like to be able to move at my own pace.

                      EDIT: I forgot to mention how pleased I was with the dried pasta selection. A good number of brands, shapes and price points, and a good selection of Italian canned tomato options (both DOP and not). They also had small (but decent) English and Asian grocery sections, as well as a generous assortment of Kosher options in nearly every section.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: vvvindaloo

                        Thanks vvindaloo for the comprehensive report! I can't wait to try the Olympus yogurt and fresh turkey breast among all the other offerings. The one good thing about all the crowds is that everything turns over really quickly. I'm so looking forward to this store as an option. And I agree with you 100% on Park Place Bagels! They are the best.

                        1. re: vvvindaloo

                          Thanks for the review. It sounds like my worst fears of inconsiderate people (with cellphones I betcha?) are turning out to be true, and the parking will be horrific.

                          Sounds like my best time is a weekday at 8:00am. The bagel special for opening week of $4. a dozen was amazing -- at $10. plus a pop at the bagel place in Hartsdale, while the best, is outrageous.

                          A large selection of cheese, and cakes/breads -- like those in Zabar, dare I hope? -- what more could I ask. Oh, yes, incredible donuts.

                          1. re: anonymouse1935

                            I think their normal price for bagels is 50c, which is still much cheaper than the normal places.

                        2. I can't wait to go back. Fairway really is a lot of fun. For the uninitiated, bear in mind that prices here are not like Dean and Deluca nor are they like Bravo supermarket, but they are somewhere comfortably in between. The more you shop, the more you'll go back because the quality of most items is unsurpassed. Within two or three shopping trips you will certainly have amassed a "favorites" list for yourself. It would take a lifetime to sample every item in the store, but don't let that stop you.

                          The indoor eatery aka "The Cafe" looks like an excellent option for a quick bite. I might stop by just for that on any given day. Their steam table looked VERY good with some attractive options -- and all for only $4.99/lb. I distinctly remember seeing oxtail stew and chicken marsala for the few seconds I was able to glance that way, but I didn't stop to identify the rest that was there.

                          If you stop at the Cafe, be sure to vist the olive bar right near by, and the cheese department, and the coffee area, and the seafood department, and the meat department, the olive oils, the bulk bins, the produce section, the deli ... give it time. Leave yourself an hour plus to truly enjoy the experience. : )

                          1. Did anyone go on Saturday? We're going to try going on Sunday. Hope not to get there too late...

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: MisterBill2

                              We stopped by at about 4:30 Saturday afternoon. It was a madhouse! We did find a good parking space and approached the store with the hand held basket, rather than trying to maneuvre a cart around since it was jammed backed. There was a bottleneck at the entrance door where there is a beautiful display of fruits and veggies. Then through some aisles. The lines to check out (20 registers) were ridiculous, so we left with nothing. Will return-- not at that time. There were loads of people working, lots to see, and, of course, plenty of confused first time shoppers. Definitely worth seeing-- hope I can get some shopping in next time!

                              1. re: debmom

                                >There was a bottleneck at the entrance door where there is a beautiful display of fruits and veggies.

                                Wow, this sounds pretty stupid. I wonder if they'll revisit this idea. What may have worked in other stores doesn't sound like it's going to work in Pelham.

                                1. re: anonymouse1935

                                  Maybe they just need for the initial furor to die down, or to reorganized the position of the fruits and veg. It never really interfered with getting into the 125th St. store, so maybe they have yet to figure it out.

                                  1. re: anonymouse1935

                                    I didn't find this to be the case when I was there on Saturday, although there was a bit of a backup when I looked as I was leaving. This is the same thing I saw in Paramus shortly after they opened. People walk in and they can't figure out where to go so they just stand there (and it's not like you can just walk straight down the aisle, because you have to turn right). I think it's a function of the store being unfamiliar to many people, and many people coming because they've heard about the place. As things settle down (and it gets less busy, which I am sure it will), there won't be a problem. The entrance is WAY bigger than that little alley way they call an entrance in Harlem (I hadn't been there in a long time until recently, it was the first time I saw it, I didn't even realize it was the entrance!).

                              2. We got up of our butts and made the pilgrimmage. Yes, it was crazy but at least there was no line of cars to get in the parking lot. Found a spot pretty quickly though not very close to the door. There was a slight bottleneck at the front door, but we got in quickly. Considering it is the busiest supermarket I have ever been in, the experience was not as bad as we thought it might be. Even with a shopping cart we made it through the entire store (except for the aisles that sold mostly "normal" items that I could get at Super Stop N Shop).

                                Of particular interest to us was: Olives, Sausages, Meats, Cheeses, Seafood, Beans, Canned Sardines, and Spanish Olive Oils. I could have stayed in the olive oil department for a while. Yes we tasted (the Catalan olive oil) but I swear I did not double dip or allow my hand to go IN the oil. It is probably a bad idea to go there on an empty stomach. But hey, it didn;t kill me. (I wonder if they posted the double dipping sign in response to the comments above).

                                One good find was Abrahams Hummus which is the only one that does not have soybean oil in it (even the Sabra brand has some kind of garbage ingredient like that). So I tried it and it is REAL GOOD. Also got a rotisserie chicken which was also vastly superior to the awful ones around here (however I am reserving judgement til I try the Peruvian one on Central ave).

                                We also ended up with a pack of Boquerones (they have several flavors but I am a purist so I got the traditional). One of these days I will pick up some of the anchovies too. I was pleased to see they have the Ortiz brand of tuna and sardines in olive oil.

                                I also bought the d'Artagnan uncured chorizo, but I can get that in Bronxville or probably Stop N shop. While d'Artagnan will do, it's not anything EXTRA special in the Spanish sausage department.

                                The cheese department is first rate, but I think I will continue to support our store in Bronxville as much as I can.

                                Fish department is also outstanding in that I saw none of that sad sack pre-fileted crap there seems to be so much of around here...even at the specialty seafood stores. If I had had a plan in mind, I would have got the squid or octopus as it looked super fresh. (ditto the whole red snapper).

                                Also didn't get to spend a whole lot of time looking for the Jamon although I think i did see a whole leg hanging up behind the deli counter. As for olives, they did look better than the supermarket, but I didn't see anything imported from Spain so I was a little disappointed there. (and there were too many pitted/stuffed things). However, I would investigate a little closer next time.

                                All in all, I will not stop going to Super Stopn Shop, but if I need fish, jamon or sardines (and hummus), I think I am going to Fairway, cause compared to it, everything else is just crap!

                                So we were in and out in an hour and the check out would have been OK except for the lady in front of us who had OCD and inisted that her final tab be exactly $75.00 to use the coupon. If it was $76.40 she had to remove an item.....or add an item, until the total was EXACTLY $75.00. I must say the cashier really kept her cool, because she would have been justified in telling her off.

                                14 Replies
                                1. re: jcmods

                                  >> If it was $76.40 she had to remove an item.....or add an item, until the total was EXACTLY $75.00.

                                  Nooooo, seriously? And you kept your cool with this nutjob in front of you? Good for you!

                                  Sardines, cheese, olives, fish -- that all so makes it a worthwhile destination.

                                  1. re: anonymouse1935

                                    I'm a former retail manager and I would have honored the $10 off coupon at $73.50 or whatever she got the total to that was close to the $75 minimum. Just to get the line moving. "Thanks for shopping Fairway, have a nice day, BYE!" Then I would have acknowledged the other people in the line and thanked them for their patience and understanding. I don't know how much time jcmods waited or if a manager/supervisor was involved, but that's how it should have played out.

                                    I also went to the new Fairway this week-end and found the customer service outstanding, until the check-out. Not so good as a last impression. But that was one individual experience that may be unusual (judging by the majority of previous posts), so I will not let it stop me from a return visit.

                                    1. re: Sloth

                                      For the record, the customer in question spent about 10 minutes haggling. Two supervisors were called over and her husband (I'm guessing) had to make 3 seperate runs to get "one more" of whatever that would make the total just right. When my order was rung up the supervisors had left and the cashier had basically shut down emotionally. Sorry, didn't mean to start a non-food tangent. If anyone wants to further explore this, I'll start a new thread on Not About Food.

                                      BTW, she was so fascinating that I forgot to check my total and use MY coupon. I thought I had spent around $55 but it was really $100. I had the coupon!! I COULDA BEEN A CONTENDER!

                                      Edit: I'm being proactive. Here's the new thread on Not About Food

                                  2. re: jcmods

                                    We also went today, had a pretty decent experience which I will write more about later. But since you mentioned the coupon, I got upset when I saw the woman in front of me using a 10% off coupon. Apparently she got it in the mail because she is on the Fairway mailing list? They've seen fit to advertise in the Westchester newspapers (even all the way north in Yorktown) and I am on their email list, but never got a coupon. I had to fill out an entry for their contest and that will allegedly put me on their list but I was pretty upset about that.

                                    1. re: MisterBill2

                                      Not sure how they decided where to mail, but the coupon was not for people specifically on a Fairway mailing list because I received one in the mail addressed to "resident".

                                      I have not been to the new store yet. Since I am going on vacation next week, I will wait until I return, and then go in the morning during the week to shop and check it out. For many years I lived a few blocks from the original Fairway and shopped there. Then we moved downtown (and got a car), so my store became the Red Hook store (it was so easy to get to from downtown).

                                      The crowds will die down after the novelty has worn off, I am confident of that. That is not to say that you still do not need a strategy to shop at any Fairway. Best times are always in the morning (weekday or especially weekend) and good luck to anyone who dares to shop there the day before a major holiday.

                                      1. re: valerie

                                        I broke my cardinal rule and went to Fairway on a weekend. The shopping took only five minutes, as I was making a surgical strike, but geeze louise, how many people can just stand around with their carts! Three carts wide per aisle! And most people had one or two things in their carts! Once I got to the line (sans cart and basket, thank you) a runner came and got me out of line to put me in an express line, which was great.

                                        I look forward to sticking to my old rules- Fairway, only after 8pm and never on a weekend.

                                        And, by the way, I was really happy that I saw so many people of color shopping there. That's definitely something you don't see in the city stores.

                                        1. re: julietg

                                          Scary reports, all. Never on weekends, and never, ever, never near a holiday. Rude people are apparently all the same, no matter the store.

                                          In a few months, at 8:00am, I will venture forth.

                                          I can't wait. I will no doubt drop a bundle on cheese and olives and seafood and bread and cake and outstanding glazed cake donuts, hopefully.

                                          1. re: anonymouse1935

                                            Never on weekends is not true...just early on weekends. Like getting before 10:30. I have 2 small kids so getting someplace by 10:30 is not even early to me anymore.

                                            Separately, I remember when Whole Foods opened in the Time Warner Center. I lived on the UWS at the time. You would have thought that people in NYC had never seen a supermarket before, it was that insane with crowds. My friend from Chicago called to say that it was on the news in Chicago. But, like everything else, the novelty wore off and it became another store (yes, nicer and more expensive than other NYC supermarkets, but still just another store). My point is that the crowds (and clientele) at the Pelham store are no different than at any other store that is big and clean and new. The smoke will clear.

                                            I love Fairway and I am excited to have it nearby. But I still wouldn't go on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and expect to enjoy the experience, even months from now.

                                            1. re: valerie

                                              With all the anticipation of going to an amusement park, I think my mother and I are going to venture forth one day next week at the seemingly safe hour of 8:00am.

                                              Obviously, a coffee on site will be a must. It sounds like bagels, lox, and a schmear of natural cream cheese are the must haves for noshing after the outing?

                                              Also, the cakes, olives, sardines, cheeses, and fish dept. are the must not miss?

                                              Anything else? I will reread here and make a list.

                                              1. re: anonymouse1935

                                                I was there at about 10:30 am yesterday. No problem parking, store was busy but not a madhouse. When it was time to checkout (with $53 worth of stuff, when my intention was just to browse...) there was zero wait for a cashier.

                                                1. re: Boswell

                                                  On an impulse,I ventured over today at 1:30, after having my car washed next door. Parking was fine, cars pull in and out all the time, so I got a nice spot right away. I wanted some more bagels and they were again nice and warm. I thought I was just lucky, but a guy came by and told me that fresh bagels were brought out every 15 minutes! This time I went to the bulk bins of grain, etc. and found some steel cut oats for .99 a pound. I stopped to pick up a roast beef sandwich to go (very rare, very tasty) and noticed that there was plenty of cafe seating. I don't know the store well enough yet to do a big shop, but I'm getting there!

                                                2. re: anonymouse1935

                                                  There's a guy in the cheese department making fresh mozzarella. I had a sample and it's very good. I bought a nice brie today, but wanted just a small slice. A regular wrapped portion was unwrapped and sliced for me, and rewrapped. Yes, the fish looks beautiful. I asked about some lovely scallops and found they're not "dry". Those I wouldn't buy.

                                                  1. re: anonymouse1935

                                                    Dried goods (nuts, fruits, etc) are great. Olive oil and vinegar aisle (yes, I said AISLE) is awesome. Coffee beans are fab.

                                                    1. re: anonymouse1935

                                                      I received a map of the market on opening day and I still find it very useful. Get one when you go in, if you can

                                        2. I've been twice now in the last few days-- one on Thursday morning around 9 am, and once at 2 pm on Sunday. Thursday morning plenty of parking, friendly people, and the store was blissfully uncrowded.

                                          Sunday the store was crowded but not too badly, pretty good parking, and lots of help in the aisles to help me figure out where they put stuff.

                                          The store is great-- I'm equidistant from the Harlem store (I live in Yonkers) but it costs $6 less since I don't need to pay the bridge toll-- (although traffic on the Hutch can be a bear) I'm trying to figure out a backroads route to avoid the Cross-County/Hutch

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: kafclown

                                            It's round about, but you can take the Saw Mill to the Mosholu Parkway, which will put you onto the Deegan. Then get off at Exit 9, which is the 209th Street bridge. At the end of the bridge, turn left in front of the Pathmark, then right on 202nd (or maybe it's 203rd--whatever the last right is), then left onto 10th Avenue. Turn right onto Dyckman St, and take it to the West Side Highway and proceed to Fairway at 125th.

                                            Definitely not efficient, but you can avoid the toll on the Henry Hudson bridge.

                                            1. re: kafclown

                                              When the store first opened they had wonderful maps of the layout for those of us who showed up on opening day. It'd be worth it to ask if they still have those maps. I keep mine in my purse and it's getting pretty ragged!

                                              1. re: kafclown

                                                It seems like from where you are heading you should not be getting on the Hutch at all. You can probably take 95 to Co-op City and head over from there. I do not know the exact route but it's right on Boston Post Road (US1) and there are obviously other ways to get there. Bring up Google Maps, and drag the route away from the Hutch and see what it does. Absolute worst case you take 95 to the exit by Costco and drive over (although you will have gone a couple of miles out of your way).

                                                Also glad to hear it wasn't too bad at 2pm on Sunday. Having shopped at the Paramus store on the weekend, I was amazed at all the people saying "oh, it's going to be too crowded on the weekend, I'll have to go there at 8am on weekdays if I want to get into the store". It's just not the case. Is it less crowded at 8am weekdays? Sure. But you shouldn't have to start thinking that you have to shop at ridiculous hours if you want to have a reasonable experience.

                                                BTW I have not been there since opening weekend. I prefer Paramus, it's just as close to me and not at all crowded (and has a much better kosher meat section).

                                                1. re: MisterBill2

                                                  I think that the directions Elisa515 gave were to the Harlem store...

                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                    Yes, my round-about directions were to the Harlem store. The poster said she is equidistant from the two stores but would rather not pay a toll to go to the Harlem store.

                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                      And my comments were in response to kafclown (note at the top of my post it says "re: kafclown"), who said "(although traffic on the Hutch can be a bear) I'm trying to figure out a backroads route to avoid the Cross-County/Hutch". If they are talking about the Hutch, clearly they are referring to the Pelham store. And I was giving suggestions on how to avoid it.

                                                      PS it is easy to avoid the traffic at the Hutch exit of the Cross County. Just get onto it heading north instead and take the first exit. From there it's a few blocks to a much emptier southbound entrance. If you have GPS, it will direct you fine once you take the wrong exit.

                                                      1. re: MisterBill2

                                                        Just to be clear, the poster was referring to both stores. She wants to avoid the Hutch/Cross County to get to the Pelham stores, because she doesn't want to pay $6 in tolls to go to the Harlem store. She lives equidistant from both sites.

                                                        I went there today, from work in White Plains (I live way north in Westchester, in a river town). Made me wish I knew the local roads around there, because going home the Hutch northbound was a mess of traffic (7 p.m.-ish on Sunday) for no discernible reason besides volume. I ended up instead of I-95 where I was surprised there's still a toll.

                                                        I liked the store, and it wasn't crowded at the day/hour I went, but I need to figure out more about the roads down there before I'll bother to go again without already being in the area.

                                                  2. re: kafclown

                                                    I Have been driving down fulton avenue from Mount vernon but on Saturday (and yesterday) the Fulton Avenue bridge was up with detour signs. I had to go down Rte. 22 into the Bronx following signs to Rte. 1 then go North over the "bridge" on rte 1 and make a left into Fairway which was difficult. I don't know how long this will last. for now you could go to Sanford Blvd on Rte 22 or Fulton, make a left, pass the Hutch exit, cross into Pelham (Sanford Becomes Colonial) then make a right at Pelhamdale, taking that to Rte. 1 and drive South. I am looking at Hagstroms later today to see if I can find a better route.

                                                    1. re: rolise

                                                      Just use Google Maps, and drag the route to avoid roads you don't want to be on. Much better than a printed map.

                                                  3. Why would anyone think of going to 125th st if Pelham is the same distance? There's no comparison between the stores, Pelham is triple the size and has triple the merchandise, modern bright displays and lighting, and they don't have that icky "cold room!"

                                                    P.S. To those who think Fairway/Pelham is a frenzy, you just haven't shopped at the original Fairway on Broadway/74th. This is the ultimate in tension shopping, with no room to move and feeling like a hockey player getting checked while shopping.

                                                    8 Replies
                                                    1. re: menton1

                                                      My only experience of a Fairway (must be close to 20 years ago) was the one on 74th. I was with a friend (native NYC'er) and I actually had to leave the store and wait outside for her-- I was completely claustraphobic, with people trying to maneuver past one another down those tiny aisles. It made me marvel at how anyone could actually shop there on a regular basis! I'm just a poor spoiled suburban gal I guess.

                                                      Don't think I'll make to it Pelham. Just too darn far from me (near Croton).

                                                      1. re: DGresh

                                                        It doesn't appear to be a go-to place, just a special place, to be approached on a weekday morning at 8:00am. Like the other special places in Westchester, it will have the special cheeses (Beemster) I seek, only it won't charge for parking, like the ripoff Whole Foods, $3.00 if you miss the 15 minute cutoff, and they KNOW people miss the 15 minute cutoff.

                                                        In addition, it sounds like a foodie's Disneyland, so I must, must get there.

                                                        DGresh, if you've gotten through Stew Leonard's alive, it sounds like Fairway is a piece of cake. And Stew's has zero in the way of originality.

                                                        I still haven't approached Fairway in Pelham, but I am looking forward to it, especially since the crowds have died down.

                                                        I 'think' it will be worth it. I will let you know.

                                                        1. re: anonymouse1935

                                                          I usually do my weekly shopping on Fridays. First went to Fairway the opening week, and it was understandably mobbed. But after going on subsequent Fridays, it's been busy, but not jam-packed - I think the key is to go before noon. I also went this past Sunday evening, around 5 p.m. - again, it was busy, but not oppressively so.

                                                          Fairway, to me, is a special and go-to place. Blows the doors off Whole Paycheck and beats Stew's as well. Used to shop at DeCicco's in Ardsley, but the only thing they have over Fairway is their beer selection.

                                                          1. re: kdgchow

                                                            It really blows away Stew's...I am NEVER going back to Stew Leonard's. Always hated the way you are herded through the aisles...

                                                          2. re: anonymouse1935

                                                            Does Whole Foods no longer validate parking (for one hour) if you spend $15?

                                                            1. re: MisterBill2

                                                              Whole Foods still validates parking (for one hour) if you spend at least $15. I'm glad you asked, since I wondered whether the poster was unaware of that.

                                                              1. re: Elisa515

                                                                What anonymouse1935 was saying was that if you shop at WF for more than an hour and 15 minutes -- say an hour and 16 minutes -- they will charge you for parking. If you stop to have a bite after shopping, it is entirely possible to go over that time limit, though I rarely do when I am just shopping. I think that, in general, the parking situation at WF in WP is pretty unpleasant, and for that reason -- and the outrageous prices -- I rarely shop there.

                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                  Considering that Whole Foods is the only business that validates any parking in that center, it's not really fair to blame Whole Foods for this problem.

                                                                  Fifteen minutes of parking are free in that garage, which I believe is what anonymous was saying. One minute over an hour means the shopper is charged for a full two hours (the minimum charge).

                                                                  White Plains in general is a shopping/parking meter/parking lot problem, no matter where you want to shop. I think a lot more business would be generated in many parts of the city if the parking rates were lowered or eliminated.

                                                      2. I have been to the store every saturday morning for the past 3 weeks (get there at opening time). Every week has been substantially less crowded than the week before. Last weekend, traffic was very light in the store and it was a very relaxed shopping experience.

                                                        Never having shopped at any Fairway before, I have grown to really like the store. I love their fruits and vegetables, olives, and even some baked goods (chocolate cigar was excellent). I am making it a weekly ritual to be there early on the weekends....

                                                        1. I had to post another rave for Fairway. It's quite a schlep for me (~25 min) but SO WORTH IT. We spent almost 2 hours shopping and both agreed that it is completely amazing. We were especially impressed with the cheese, olive oil, organic/specialty/international foods, bread, fresh cheese (mozzarella), sliced to order smoked salmon (amazing), beer, herbs/spices......... We loved how they separate typical supermarket brands from the specialty brands... the prices are really fair to boot. Honestly, we probably went at the worst possible time to go to a supermarket (lunchtime on a Saturday) and we were not bowled over by the crowds. Yes, it's crowded, but it is so spacious that we had no trouble with maneuvering the oversized cart. We had no trouble parking whatsoever. Because it's so far, this is probably a monthly visit for me rather than weekly, but it is so amazing to have this in Westchester. If you're the type who likes to shop in an empty supermarket, don't bother, but if you're looking for a vibrant, fun food experience, then get there soon!!

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                            I am absolutely thrilled to hear this !!!

                                                            I went this past Wednesday at lunchtime and The Cafe was crowded, but the rest of the store was VERY quiet (disturbingly quiet). I'm wondering if the beautiful weather was responsible for such poor attendance by shoppers? Checkout was hilarious because there were NO LINES this day circa 3pm. NONE !

                                                            We ate lunch first around midday and then shopped, so our stay was for three hours total.
                                                            I highly recommend the mashed potatoes, oxtail stew, and chicken thigh preparation from the steam table. The mashed potatoes looked like they might be made with an assortment of potatoes including Yukon Golds, so give them a try.

                                                            I'm happy to hear the crowds are still a comin' !!!

                                                          2. The wine and spirits shop opens May 26th.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Pat Hammond

                                                              Wine and Spirits shop was open on my Sunday visit. For a market with great specialty buys, it is interesting to see the average wine selection.

                                                            2. I went again last week at 4:30 on a Wed and the store was VERY empty. And st. Andre cheese was ridiculously cheap. I predict I'll be ordering less cheese from FreshDirect from now on :-)

                                                              1. So, I was at Fairway yesterday, Saturday, at 3:30pm, which in theory should be a busy time. I got a spot pretty easily as soon as I entered the lot from the side street. A few people outside but easy to shop the produce display there. The store was busy but not at all crowded. My wife ran ahead to get a number at the deli, only to find that there were only 3 numbers ahead of her. When we got to the registers, we walked right up to an empty cashier. That's the good news. Now for the bad news.

                                                                The cashier made 4 errors ringing up my relatively small order. She rang up my tomatoes on the vine as plum tomatoes (they were not on the vine but they were not plum shaped and she could have looked at the sticker to get the code). Also, the display was rather poor, very picked over and I actually found some rotting tomatoes there. My watermelon was also rung up incorrectly, as a half rather than sliced (in both cases they rang up more expensive than they should have been). And the watermelon wasn't even in a refrigerated case or on ice, which even normal supermarkets do. Then the cashier put my two containers of olives together on the scale and rang them up together. At this point she was already pissed at me because I had corrected her on the tomatoes and watermelon, but I told her to take it off and weigh them separately because I was getting charged for the 2nd container by weighing them together (which, BTW, I discovered costs 25c at .05 pound @ $4.99/lb). So she took off the combined olives, weighed them separately and when I checked the receipt they weighed MORE separately than combined! So I went to customer service to complain, after weighing them on my own at a closed register and determining that she had not taken off the container weight (tare) on either (it turns out she had when weighed together, but only for one). So the customer service guy goes to get the front end manager, and they go to a register, and amazingly, when the front end guy rang it up, it did not take off the tare either! He had to do something different to get it to be run up properly without the container weight. Ten minutes later they have it all figured out and I get my 50 cents back. What a pain! They should have given them to me for free for my trouble.

                                                                Bottom line, watch the cashier to make sure they are ringing up stuff up properly, and that they are taking the tare when you buy stuff in containers. But do not be afraid of shopping there on the weekend, as the initial crush has subsided.

                                                                Oh, and it looked like there are still coupons being sent out in local ads, but not to people like me who travel 30 minutes to get there. I thought I saw a $10 off coupon when I was at customer service. I am not happy about this but they do not seem to be interested in doing anything about it (they ignored a Facebook post I made about it, and they usually reply to stuff).

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: MisterBill2

                                                                  Glad I wasn't behind you in the checkout line while you fussed for 10 minutes to save $0.50.

                                                                  1. re: rjbh20

                                                                    The 50c for the olives was not while I was in the normal line. I had gone to customer service after I realized I had been mischarged (again) and they took me to another register which didn't have any customers to weigh the items.

                                                                    The other stuff was done at the normal register. If you don't like it when the other customer forces the cashier to ring things up properly (and at the correct price, since the tomatoes came up at 50c/lb higher and I had a bag full of them), go to another register. And who knows how many customers are being unwittingly overcharged for olives and other stuff because the tare is not coming off properly. Oh yeah, and it's the law.

                                                                    1. re: MisterBill2

                                                                      Went today (Monday) @3:00 PM and was delighted to see the hysteria had quieted down. I overheard a woman of at least 65+ complaining to a manager about the rice they had used in a cooked dish she had purchased in a prior trip. He allowed her to go on and on and then politely said, "I'm sorry about that. would you like to take some rice today on us?" You have to love a store that has such a compassionate policy.

                                                                  2. So, I went to Fairway in Pelham on Sunday afternoon and only had a 10 minute wait at the deli and maybe 2 minutes at the register. I can now safely say that everyone who was worrying about having to shop at 8am or 8pm on a weekday to avoid crowds had unrealistic expectations of how busy the place would be..

                                                                    BTW they're still not taking off the container weight correctly when you buy olives. I had to correct the cashier again, although she claimed that she thought she had. Fortunately this time it was before I paid.

                                                                    1. Has anyone else noticed many price increases at the Pelham (and Paramus) stores? I don't buy that much at Fairway but almost everything I buy has had a price increase. Kosher Empire turkey breast went from $7.99 to $8.49. Croissants were $1.49, now $1.79, almond butter, was $4.99, then $5.99 now $6.99, olive bar was $5.99 now $6.99, just today I noticed that kosher ground beef went from $4.79 a couple of weeks ago to $5.69. And kosher chicken cutlets were always $3.99 on sale and now they are $4.29. I can understand some price increases but it's not like prices elsewhere are going up significantly that would explain this trend.

                                                                      I mentioned the price increases to my cashier today and he acknowledged that other customers had said something about it as well. Maybe they figure that now that they have customers hooked they can raise their prices without losing business. Maybe they need more money to finish the Stamford store and to build the UES store they just announced.

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: MisterBill2

                                                                        I agree Fairway's prices have gone up. I surmise they built volume this summer with low prices that we unsustainable. Love the store but hate the trip. The Cross County ramp to the Hutch south is a mess.

                                                                        I notice the Shoprite in New Rochelle looks much busier than it did after the Fairway opening. Their prices are terrific. I had a nice lunch at the sushi area in Shoprite.

                                                                        Can't wait for Shoprite to open in Scarsdale and White Plains. Then I can do some quality shopping on the way home from work at convenient locations.

                                                                        1. re: Barrels41

                                                                          You can easily avoid the CC ramp. Just get on the northbound Hutch instead. Get off at the next exit and it's a fairly easy route to get onto the southbound Hutch at the next exit north. Get into the left lane and you avoid the merge and all of the traffic. If you have a GPS, it's simple, just take the wrong exit and let it recalculate (that is how I found the alternate).

                                                                          The worse part for me is getting back on the Hutch north and dealing with the traffic. Last week my GPS sent me up that street between Fairway and BJ's and after driving through a less than desirable section of Mt. Vernon, I was on the Cross County. Much better than sitting in traffic on the Hutch.

                                                                          BTW the prices seems to have gone up chain-wide, not just in Pelham. Their sales are the same at the suburban stores also (the cheaper sales only lasted a few weeks).

                                                                          1. re: Barrels41

                                                                            So, maybe business is down. Today's Fairway ad in the Journal News has a $10 off $75 coupon. We happened to go today because we were going to Queens but only spent $20 and didn't feel like padding my order with stuff we did not need to get up to $75. The deli was busy so we didn't bother waiting there. They were actually out of the 99c tomatoes on the vine that were in the ad.

                                                                            I have not noticed coupons in their ads in the past. I know that they sent out coupons in flyers sent to people who lived nearby when they first opened and was rather upset about not having a way to get one since I live in Northern Westchester. At least they are putting it in the JN ad now and they put the ad in the northern edition.

                                                                            1. re: MisterBill2

                                                                              I live in the vicinity sort of - Mmk- and for the last few months haven't been getting the flyers although I used to. I do my regular grocery shopping there as often as can and a $10 coupon would be nice to have again. I don't read the Journal News so will have to inquire next time I'm in the store since I don't read the Journal News.

                                                                              1. re: laylag

                                                                                They aren't any more likely to do anything for you (in terms of giving you a coupon) than they were when I complained about driving 30+ minutes to shop there only to find that I could not get a coupon when they first opened.