A few questions about The Fresh Market - long
I could have sworn I posted this before, but I cannot find the post. Allergies have clouded my thought processes. Anyway, TFM just opened up today in my neighborhood. I paid them a visit and so far I am overwhelmed, but from what I sampled and what I saw I will definitely return. I have a few questions.
How are the fish/meat dishes that are semi prepared like the beef wellington, rolled chicken items and fish en croute?
Did the TFM in your area start out carrying a lot (as in an overwhelming array) of different foods and then scale back? Were the prices/sales good at first and then were prices raised after awhile?
How are the okra chips (they look very good)? I love fried okra, but $10 for a container is steep.
How are the cannolis?
So far I sampled and liked the honey roasted peanut butter, fresh squeezed OJ, zucchini bread, edamame cranberry salad and appetizer toast rounds.
The sushi, chicken salad, coffee, chocolate chip cookies were pretty average.
I wanted to sample the pie, but I was fearful I'd eat a whole one for dinner if I liked it. If the pies are good which varieties do you recommend (except for apple)?
Do their floral products have good longevity?
Lastly, what products do you recommend?
I have only been once and from what I remember they have really good store-made guacamole. I apologize that' snot the most helpful suggestion but I usually don't bother to make it but know that if I need some Whole Foods or Fresh Market will work. I also bought a few grass fed strip steaks which were fairly good. It seemed like the meat counter had some good buys, but the fish seemed a bit lacking
Get on their mailing list! Bogos on Tuesdays for the whole month! This month in my area was pork tenderloins, strip steak.
They do other sales too; like every Thursday if I remember right.
Everyone's likes are different. Try what you think you might like and get some regular items. We hit them every week or two.
I recently tried the okra chips I think. My SIL had a crunchy, very addictive okra thing she said was purchased at FM. It was really good! The texture reminds me of the pea pod snacks WF's, etc carry.
I have had very nice pies and sweet roll items from them. I have been disappointed in gorgeous tarts and individual pastries though.
Their prepared soups are good, especially the clam chowder and lobster bisque. Jalapeno pimento cheese is really good too!
I find their prices on the high side. My budget doesn't allow frequent trips to TFM. But they often have hard to find items. Their produce is very nice as are their meats. When I lived in the mountains TFM had the best fish for my area. Now I live closer to the coast and have many other options for fresh seafood.
The one thing we would go out of our way to buy there is the Homemade brand of ice cream. It truly tastes homemade, and with no stabilizers, it softens very quickly when it comes out of the freezer. Both the vanilla and the caramel cone flavors are fabulous.
TFM here has remained pretty consistent. I can't tell that they've scaled back. I haven't tried a lot of their prepared foods, but wasn't impressed with what I have tried. I did not care for their frozen pizza. Ditto the tiramisu and their chicken sausages. As a rule, their breads are not corner bakery quality but not bad. I've sampled several of their sweet breads and they are generally good. Kalamatas from the olive bar are very good. The okra chips are very good, but like you, I have a hard time paying that price. The malt balls are great; the peanut butter ones are addictive.
Their produce is expensive but usually much better than the other grocery stores here and they carry things I can't find elsewhere. Their prices on creminis and the 3-pack of Romaine hearts are usually better than Kroger.
The one product that I keep going back for regularly is their feta that they cut in-store and sell in brine. I refuse to buy prepackaged feta.
They carry a brand of ricotta that is superior to any other I've found. Sorry I can never remember the name. I like the Amish butter.
Things I watch for sales on: O champagne vinegar, Frantoia EVOO, the Amish butter.