Coming around on shopping at Eataly
I live just a block from Eatly and have been somewhat of a skeptic since it opened. Seemed to me to be a lot of flash and a lot of expense. Plus, who wants to battle those throngs when shopping for provisions?
But a few weeks ago, after a trip to the Union Square green market, I found I had forgotten something. So I went to Eataly to find what I was looking for. I also found that I could have gotten everything I had needed at a comparable price. So last week when I was shopping for dinner, I did it all at Eataly, and was plenty happy with the selection and price. (No, it wasn't cheap, but it wasn't ridiculous.) My only complaint is that the cheese counter was understaffed for the after-work rush (there was only one person behind the counter, although a second showed up after about 10 minutes of waiting).
I don't mean to suggest that Eataly will replace the green market for me; there's something special about shopping there and supporting local farmers and purveyors. But when it's not convenient to do so, I'll now choose Eataly over Whole Foods or any of the other alternatives.
I think the people who are negative about shopping at Eataly never really attempted it with an open mind. We've been shopping there regularly on Sunday afternoons (as we did just today) for quite a while now and enjoy it. Yes it is crowded and yes some things are overpriced and not worth it, but that can be said about any place, including the Union Square green market where I bought some of the blandest and priciest heirloom tomatoes a couple of weeks ago.