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Dec 17, 2011 11:31 AM

What Fairway items do you recommend?

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

        1. 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

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

            1. re: AubWah

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

            2. re: erica

              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

                They also have exccellent balsamic vinegar.

                1. re: Jez

                  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

                  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. 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

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

                    1. re: erica

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

                      1. re: hungryinmanhattan

                        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

                          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

                            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

                            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

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

                            2. re: erica

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

                        2. re: preppie foodie

                          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?