Fresh Market - Memorial Drive (Also Two Saints)
I stopped by the newly opened Fresh Market last night after Sushi Jin.
It's been open a week in the former Rice Epicurean on Memorial between the tollway and Gessner.
I like it.
Nicely designed, clean, modern, efficient. LOTS of prepared foods and semi-prepared foods.
Some good prices, (a carton of button mushrooms for $0.99, a package of three hearts of romaine for $2.50), and some ridiculous prices, (Duke's mayo for $4.99!).
Nice cheese selection, bulk bins, etc.
I suspect it will be an every-couple-of-weeks-on-the-way-home-from-work-stop for me. (Which is far more than I can say for the Rice it replaces.)
Two Saints - If you have ever been there and liked it, I strongly suggest you go back soon, as I can't imagine it will be around much longer.
I wasn't even going to bother telling this tale, as I suspect that Darwin will be resolving it soon, but as it's almost next door to Fresh Market... well... what the heck?
We had a family dinner there a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday night. My aunt, (who lives the life of Riley in the Caribbean), had been talking up this place and as she was in town, insisted we meet there for a dinner. It reminded her of Europe she said, where she and my uncle frequently visit. The atmosphere, the food, the BYOB wine...she just loved it.
So we make reservations for five at 5:30, (opening). We arrive and no surprise, we are the only party there. (I mean they just opened and it's five freaking thirty for goodness sakes!)
My aunt had been bragging on their prime rib, only available Friday and Saturday. We ask if it's ready and the waiter/maitre informs us that we're in luck! He has exactly five portions left.
Didn't you just open?
Ah..."yesterday's" prime rib. Got it.
So my aunt, uncle and brother order the prime rib. My mother orders the macaroni and cheese, a dish she'd had there before. I ordered only a salad and a bowl of crab and corn bisque. (I was down to 200.4 lbs. this morning from a high of about 215. Yay me!)
Anyway, the meat was OK. A little overdone. The mashed potatoes that came along side were absolutely horrid. I have no idea how old THEY were, but they weren't made to order, that's for sure. They had that old, crumbly, dry texture of refrigerated mashed potatoes. Unappetizing to say the least.
I'm sure there must have been some kind of vegetable on the side, but I really don't recall. Mom's mac and cheese was very good. It had bacon and jalapeno's in it. Excellent.
Worth $18? Uhm.
My salad and bisque were very good. I have no complaints about MY food at all.
We drank a few bottles of our own wine. Well, I had iced tea, but I'm a sip, doncha know?
We left around 7:30 and were still the only table in the place.
So like I said, if YOU like it, go soon. I can't imagine that they will hold out much longer.
P.S. My aunt was very disappointed and apologetic as if she were at fault. She even asked if I was going to write on here about it.
I probably lied.
(Balance deleted at the insistence of the Chowhound Moderator.)
Made it to TFM on Holcombe yesterday for the first time and was impressed. Hadn't realized they only took over half the space of the former Rice Epicurean, a nice cozy store. I prefer the smaller markets over the mega stores.
Very good looking produce, unlike the stuff I saw at Sprouts. I got some of the campari tomatoes on special. Very nice selection of bulk coffees with four samples available. I picked up some decaf 'Kona blend' that I like so far - I have to drink half-caf and there aren't that many good decafs out there. The FPF (freshly prepared foods) looked good, much better than Sprouts; it's a small selection compared to CM but looks comparable in visual appeal, anyway. Very small selection of deli meats but not the usual brands; in fact, I didn't recognize any labels and will have to do some research and testing. Breads looked good and I picked up some of the hamburger potato buns, the main thing I went looking for.
I saw some interesting looking jarred Low Country soups, on the pricey side ($10/qt). I was looking for some Carolina rice but didn't see any.
All in all I was impressed. Of the new grocery options in town, I think this and the new Fiesta Market Place in Sugar Land are going to be on my regular list. I've found hits and misses at TJ's and I'll only go occasionally for special items. As i posted before, Sprouts didn't impress that much. I haven't been to an Aldi, yet.
The new Fiesta has already become a favorite and has all but eliminated Kroger Signature, Randall's Flagship and the big HEB Plus store on 6 in Sugar Land from my rotation. This place will likely replace some visits to WF which I don't go to that often anyway.
It is on the pricey side but like any store, there are bargains to be found. I recommend checking out the weekly specials online before going.
The meats and BOGO Tuesdays have become the focus among my neighbors. A couple of weeks ago, they had NY Strip steaks for $6 each (10 ounce). A friend bought two for dinner and then went back the next day and bought 2 dozen. I managed to snag two before they went back to the regular price of $16 or so/lb and they were very nice. So check regularly on the meat specials.
Yes we gave up on Two Saints long ago. I really like the chicken salad in the deli at Fresh Market. I didn't find too many other things to buy there. The prices are out of sight and the inventory is very narrow. They kept the See's Candy kiosk which is a plus for those who like the candy, and I do like the lollipops.