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What Fairway items do you recommend?

hungryinmanhattan Dec 17, 2011 11:31 AM

I have never shopped at the Fairway because I live on the east side. Now that Fairway is on East 86 street, I have become a regular. I would love some feedback on which items you CHs recommend. Can i have your input on which items you buy from Fairway? Thanks

Fairway Market
240 E 86th St, New York, NY 10028

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  1. d
    dyrewolf RE: hungryinmanhattan Dec 17, 2011 12:16 PM

    All of the produce
    The grocery items are well priced.
    I like the deli counter
    The meats are fine, not Lobels... but fine
    Murrays chicken
    I buy all my dairy there

    1. s
      Simon RE: hungryinmanhattan Dec 17, 2011 12:26 PM

      organic berries....chicken soup...cage-free eggs...chestnuts in a jar...

      1. erica RE: hungryinmanhattan Dec 17, 2011 12:38 PM

        In my opinion, their private label olive oils are the single best reason to visit the store. I often buy one of the several varieties from Spain but you can taste to see which you prefer. Most bottles are under $20 for a liter although I did notice that the price for at least one Spanish variety has risen recently to just over that amount.

        Look, too, for their bulk grains/beans, and their coffees. And yes, the dairy prices are very good.

        I am NOT impressed with their fish department; far too many farmed species from Asia.

        6 Replies
        1. re: erica
          AubWah RE: erica Dec 17, 2011 01:25 PM

          agreed on the fish, the asian farmed stuff groses me out no thanks

          1. re: AubWah
            PesachBenSchlomo RE: AubWah Dec 17, 2011 01:33 PM

            They stock a choice of _two_ brands of Norwegian lingonberry preserves.

          2. re: erica
            dyrewolf RE: erica Dec 17, 2011 02:06 PM

            Agree on the fish... And on the west side citarella is next door. That is about the only counter I don't hit

            1. re: erica
              Jez RE: erica Dec 18, 2011 06:42 AM

              They also have exccellent balsamic vinegar.

              1. re: Jez
                erica RE: Jez Dec 18, 2011 08:22 AM

                I think their entire department of oils and vinegars is one of their strengths. They now have four new store-label Catalan vinegars including vermouth vinegar that sound promising (I bought but have not yet tried the chardonnay). In the same area they offer saba, verjus, vin cotto and a great range of specialty vinegars. And lots of range in nut oils, olive oils, and their own brand of grapeseed oil. Unfortunately, there is virtually no sales help but you can often sample these products.

              2. re: erica
                bob96 RE: erica Dec 19, 2011 11:40 PM

                Agree heartily on the vinegars and olive oils, though some brands can be a little old--check the use by dates. Olives are fine, though I can't understand why none are available in brine. Fish is really so-so (squid from India?), house mozzarella nice, eggs/dairy pricing and selection good, canned tomato selection broad and fairly priced, and produce is getting better. There've been excellent greens (chards, kale), melons, root veg, among others.

              3. p
                preppie foodie RE: hungryinmanhattan Dec 19, 2011 10:56 AM

                total agreement on the meat/fish. I love their roast chickens--delicious and very reasonable. The cheese counter is cheaper and has a greater variety than citarella or graces. Love their bran and morning glory muffins (they freeze well) and also the balthazar bread supply. Their house brand coffee is also a good value.

                9 Replies
                1. re: preppie foodie
                  erica RE: preppie foodie Dec 19, 2011 02:52 PM

                  How can we convince them to sell Sullivan Street bread? That would make me very happy.

                  1. re: erica
                    hungryinmanhattan RE: erica Dec 20, 2011 08:26 AM

                    This is all very helpful. Which olive oils do you CHs like the most? I love that the oils are dated.

                    1. re: hungryinmanhattan
                      erica RE: hungryinmanhattan Dec 20, 2011 09:41 AM

                      Unfortunately their own Fairway brand oils are NOT dated and I spent a half hour last week trying to get information on the dates of other oils, to no avail. But even without dates, I like several of their Spanish oils very much. The lone Greek Fairway-brand oil, Koroneiki, is also very good. No doubt there are others, but I always buy ones from Spain or Greece from their own label.

                      I was just in the store this morning (East Side) and was struck by some pricing on the produce that seemed high to me considering their reputation for value in this department. Verona (round) radicchio@ $4.99 a pound vs $2. per pound at Eataly this morning. Eataly was also lower on the Kumato tomatoes and there were quite a few other examples. Perhaps Eataly just offers unsung value in their produce section. The upshot is to never assume that just because it is Fairway that the produce prices are low.

                      1. re: erica
                        bob96 RE: erica Dec 20, 2011 09:49 AM

                        Right about the house oils--though I suspect they're fresher because of turnover and lean inventories than branded bottles that can sit on the shelf for 2 years. I do like the Spanish Estremadura and Arbequina; the Trevi-Umbria is also a fine. balanced mid weight oil. Of others, Manfredo Barbera's Frantoia is always a great bet, and I found a fresh, sophisticated organic Spanish oil from Murcia called Casa Pareja that is really a super value.

                        1. re: bob96
                          dyrewolf RE: bob96 Dec 20, 2011 09:59 AM

                          You can taste the oils... though I'd only recommend doing that first thing in the morning... way too many people are double diping those bread slices or even if they don't there is a lot of finger to bread to oils cross contamination... on second thought... don't taste the oils... even in the morning

                          they should put them in squeeze bottles or something

                        2. re: erica
                          rose water RE: erica Dec 20, 2011 10:10 AM

                          re value/Eataly's produce--I think that's the case. As much as I've been surprised by high prices of most of the fare at Eataly, I've been surprised by how reasonable some of the produce is there.

                          re the OP's query--organic eggs and milk (though they're getting more expensive, and I wish they'd offer their house brand organic milk in 1 gallon containers); cheese (though more and more is prepackaged/precut); olive oil; fairway brand canned tomatoes; seven stars farms organic yogurt (and other yogurts).

                          1. re: rose water
                            rschwim RE: rose water Dec 20, 2011 10:30 AM

                            Elite Naturel pomegranate juice (I've only ever tried the regular non-organic)

                          2. re: erica
                            AubWah RE: erica Dec 20, 2011 04:23 PM

                            Hidden secret Eataly's prices for most produce make Fairway look like greedy assholes. Compare the price of red onions!

                      2. re: preppie foodie
                        uwsgrazer RE: preppie foodie Dec 20, 2011 03:26 PM

                        Where are the bran and morning glory muffins? Are they in that self-serve section to the right, if you're facing the bread counter on the lower level?

                      3. t
                        TatyanaG RE: hungryinmanhattan Dec 20, 2011 12:04 PM

                        Their own smoked salmon. Much tastier than Zabar's and cheaper.

                        1. h
                          H Manning RE: hungryinmanhattan Dec 20, 2011 12:34 PM

                          I'd stay away from the prepared foods in the organic section. Some of it isn't fresh.

                          1. NuMystic RE: hungryinmanhattan Sep 5, 2012 11:32 PM

                            Yorgo's Hummus. I'm spoiled from regularly making this at home from scratch and with additions like ground basil and topped with roasted pine nuts. Even so this brand of hummus is scary good. Good enough that I'm making it at home less so that's a recommendation and a cautionary note.

                            Heads and shoulders above Sabra and the like available in most supermarkets.

                            1. f
                              foodlovergeneral RE: hungryinmanhattan Sep 6, 2012 05:43 PM

                              Fairway has smoked salmon that is handcut and compares very favorably with the best in New York. Not quite Russ and Daughters. The cutters at the 74th street Fairway can be as skilled as the Russ and Daughters cuttes. The salmon is almost as good. And it's much cheaper. They have many of the same and some other salmon that Russ and Daughters has, from Norwegian to Organic Irish, and many more. Their own in-house brand is great. It was on sale recently for about $20 per pound. PROBLEM: I went to the New Jersey-Red Hook fairway. The cutter was so-so compared to the cutters in the upper westside Broadway store.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: foodlovergeneral
                                Jez RE: foodlovergeneral Sep 7, 2012 05:52 PM

                                "New Jersey - Red Hook fairway"


                                1. re: Jez
                                  foodlovergeneral RE: Jez Sep 7, 2012 06:03 PM

                                  It's on 480 Van Brundt Street. Big warehouse.

                                  1. re: foodlovergeneral
                                    Jez RE: foodlovergeneral Sep 8, 2012 06:04 AM

                                    That's Red Hook. Not NJ.

                                    1. re: Jez
                                      Beau711 RE: Jez Sep 8, 2012 11:40 AM

                                      Red Hook, Brooklyn

                              2. w
                                wecook RE: hungryinmanhattan Sep 6, 2012 08:09 PM

                                I've been shopping at UWS Fairway for years and assume that the eastside and westside are similar. Besides the great coffee selection- I also like Ben's Cream Cheese in the cheese dept and the Parm Cheese. Also Rafetto's fresh pastas and the prepared pasta sauces for fast easy dinners - I'm also a fan of the house made chicken veggie burgers in the meat dept - I turn one into two since they're so large. I also like the selection of nuts and chocolates (although Trader Joes offers a better deal on nuts)

                                1. alkonost RE: hungryinmanhattan Sep 12, 2012 10:04 PM

                                  When I worked in the UES Fairway was a godsend for lunch in an otherwise god-forsaken dead zone for food (Papaya King and Shake Shack being the exceptions).

                                  Their croissants are surprisingly good and flaky/crip. I was shocked to find them that good at a grocery store.

                                  I enjoyed their salmon salad, and their smoked salmons were quite excellent and a very good value (this would usually adorn my fairway croissants).

                                  Their hot lunch bar was usually excellent, especially their fish dishes and roasted chicken. I normally avoid hot buffet bars like the plague, but Fairways is different: it's small, not a lot of dishes, but each is VERY fresh and nicely seasoned. When I bought my lunch there whoever was running the kitchen knew what they were doing. If only all lunch buffet bars were prepared so well.

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