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Salumi in Brooklyn - best place/best prices?

A group of colleagues and I are putting together a party for two of our colleagues who have reached a significant career milestone. We're aiming for something a little bit fancier than our usual cheese doodle, hummus and box wine office affairs, so we discussed making our own cheese and salumi platters.

Unfortunately, we're also working on a fairly tight budget and couldn't bring ourselves to spring for the pre-assembled Brooklyn Fare salumi and cheese platters, so we're trying to make our own. I'm already hitting up Sahadi's for hummus and olives, Damascus for pita bread and Trader Joe's for the cheese platter, but I'm drawing a blank when I think about a good place to buy the prosciutto, sopressata, salami, ham and so on. (Besides Esposito's on Court Street, which - though I'm sure the quality can't be beat - I remember being somewhat on the high end of prices.)

Does anyone have any suggestions? I don't have a car, but I do have a fairly free weekend so I can make a deep-Brooklyn trek if it will save some serious dough.

Thanks!

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Damascus Bread & Pastry Shop
195 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Sahadi's
187 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

G. Esposito and Sons Pork Store
357 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Brooklyn Fare
200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Trader Joe's
130 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

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  1. Unless you really want locally made or artisanal meats (and both will be fairly expensive) I would think trader joe's meats would do just fine, since you are getting your cheese there anyway. they have proscuitto and several types of salami and a new rosemary ham that looks pretty decent.

    4 Replies
    1. re: missmasala

      I wanted to recommend a particular trader joe's meat product which is their german "prosciutto" actually a lightly smoked product made in Bavaria. Its great and very reasonably priced for what it is.

      Costco has large packs of pre-cut prosciutto and salumi as well if you are a member there which could do the trick.

      We are on a bit of a salumi kick recently, and one thing we noticed on our last visit to Italy was that very thin slicing could enhance the quality of the eating experience. Otherwise good meats seem waxy and too heavy if they are not well cut. And thin cutting means your salumi goes farther, as well. I think its important to find a place that will slice your salumi for you - its hard to achieve the right cut at home, If you are not buying the vacuum packed products, you should get the meat cut as close as possible in time to your party and keep it refrigerated and covered as long as possible so it does not dry out and oxidize. It is notable how much more delicious these meats are when freshly cut - in Italy, they are sliced in the kitchen just seconds before they are delivered to your table.

      Fairway has a fair amount of salumi at good prices but I have nort had good experience with their slicers - maybe others have had better service. I think I would stick with Italian markets or places like Brooklyn Larder , They have a great aged prosciutto di parma and a finocchiona sausage right now that just rock, but it might be more than you want to spend.

      Finally, pate can be excellent on your salumi plate - a nice hunk of one of the bulk pates that Sahadi sells, surrounded by cornichons, olives etc would be great.

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      Sahadi's
      187 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

      Fairway Market
      480 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

      Bklyn Larder
      228 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

      Trader Joe's
      130 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

      1. re: jen kalb

        You know, I saw that German proscuitto the other day and was wondering about it. Thanks for the review.

        I agree with almost everything Jen says. (I usually do), especially about slicing the salumi properly thin. Fairway has good quality stuff but it can be expensive and their counter staff don't always slice well or even ask you how you want something sliced.

        Again, I think Trader Joe's might be your best, cheapest option. It's conveniently presliced and packcaged to last, and once it's all prettily arranged on a plate, no one will know where it comes from.

        About the pate, though, one caveat—sometimes the pate at Sahadis can be less than fresh. Eyeball it well before buying. I stopped buying it there years ago because it didn't seem fresh enough or well-kept enough. But maybe they've gotten better.

        I can also recommend the spanish chorizo in the cheese section at sahadi's. This is a very tasty product, but it comes unsliced and it can be hard to slice it nice and thin at home.

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        Sahadi's
        187 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

        Trader Joe's
        130 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

        1. re: missmasala

          Thanks for the warning - Sahadi sells the trois petit cochon pates in bulk - it should certainly be possible to ask for a sampe before buying or to avoid pieces that look like they have been hanging around too long. But I am sure other places like fairway must carry the bulk versions of these pates also, and many places carry smaller, packaged cuts.. . I think TJ has packaged pates - some of the Canadian packaged pates if you see them aroundare pretty good,. My main point is that pate is nice to augment this type of display.

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          Sahadi's
          187 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

          1. re: jen kalb

            Thanks everyone!
            My main concern with Trader Joe's meat was just that it seems like you get a better bargain sometimes when buying "in bulk" instead of a bunch of small packages. But you're probably right - their prices are usually so low anyway, I bet it'll make up for whatever "packaging" markup there may be.
            Fairway is also a great idea - maybe I'll take a trek out there and ask for a few samples of their meats to see how the slicer's doing before buying. Also, pate! Yum. Awesome idea too!

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            Trader Joe's
            130 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

    2. Caputo's. Court Street at 4th Place.

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      Caputo's Fine Foods
      460 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

      2 Replies
      1. re: thegforceny

        Caputo's is pretty great, but more expensive than Esposito's. If the OP wants to spend that kind of money (and stay close), I would recommend getting the soppresata and dry sausage from Esposito's, because they make their own, and everything else from Caputo's.

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        G. Esposito and Sons Pork Store
        357 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

        1. re: missmasala

          I agree. Esposito's sopressata (I like their hot) is spectacular. I remember one year I was shopping there to assemble a birthday salumi plate. When I told them it was my birthday, they sliced up a bunch of it, handed me the paper to eat right there and on the way home. Very sweet guys. Caputo has great cheese too.

      2. If you have the time to shop around, let me add Garden Of Eden on Montague to the list. I'm not a huge fan of the store but they are a decent source for certain items. They have some selection of meats and pates with occasional specials.. Maybe someone else can comment on quality--I'm not experienced enough with high end stuff to compare.

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        Garden of Eden
        180 Montague St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

        1. You may want to try the C-Town in Dyker Heights. Specifically 80th Street & 13th Avenue. It's been a while since I've been, but I can tell you it wasn't your run of the mill C-Town. If they happened to have stopped with the salumi there are plenty of places on 13th Avenue nearby that sell it at not such a high price.

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          La Bella Marketplace
          7907 13th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11228

          1 Reply
          1. re: David11238

            Thanks! I mentioned this to my boyfriend, whose mom lives in Dyker Heights, and he was like, "Oh yeah, that's where Mom goes for salumi. I'll go visit her on Monday and pick some up for you."

            Problem solved!

          2. My fave in Brooklyn is Frank & Sal's on 18th Avenue between 80th and 81st Streets. It's the real deal and not overpriced at all. You can take the D Train to 18th Avenue. The store is a short walk north (4 blocks).

            http://www.frankandsal.com/

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            Frank & Sal
            8008 18th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11214

            4 Replies
            1. re: Sluggo1407

              I like Frank and Sals stuff too. Do they do platters? Given the delicacy of the thin sliced cured meats, presentation (getting them out of the packaging and attractively onto the plate can be an issue.

              1. re: jen kalb

                Yes, they do platters. They will cater your party if you like.

              2. re: Sluggo1407

                That sounds perfect! Thanks so much!
                I also love any excuse to take the D to 18th Avenue so I can swing by Villabate. :)

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                Villabate Alba
                7001 18th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11204

                1. re: Sluggo1407

                  I was going to recommend Frank & Sal's. They cut mortadella even better than at Eataly. Everything is fresh. Their rice balls are great. The price is right. This is a terrific place. I

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                  Frank & Sal
                  8008 18th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11214