Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Let's dork it up some more: Grocery Store Options

With the future arrival of Whole Foods at Chrystie Avalon and at Union Square in a less distant future (as well as rumors of Trader Joe's invading the Union Squar-ish area), my grocery shopping routine may or may not change a great deal. So I figured I'd look at my current supermarket options.

All travel times from HopStop.com or just plain guessing
  1. Hong Kong Supermarket
    109 E Broadway (2 min walk)
    Pros: Closest to apartment, dirt cheap
    Cons: No variety, not always fresh
    Comment: This will always be my primary option for basic groceries, I think. Everything's cheap, especially if you step out and go to the produce stands. Freshness is... let's just say unpredictable, but dollar-for-pound, you can't beat this neighborhood. Sanitation leaves a little to be desired though, and as far as fruits and veggies go, it really is just the basics. They don't even have lime, for crying out loud. Also, I'm a little afraid of their meat section.

  2. Pathmark
    227 Cherry St (10 min walking fast, eyes down)
    Pros: Closest full-service grocery store to apartment, open late
    Cons: Neighborhood sketchy, quality of produce guaranteed - guaranteed to be poor
    Comment: To be honest, I've only been here once. It's not the most charming of locales - basically a suburban strip mall (sans Lexus SUVs and soccer moms) at the base of the Manny Bridge. I made the mistake of riding my bike there, not realizing that it's a steep climb going back. Looks like a suburban supermarket from the outside but inside, the floors and shelves were dirty, the produce was piss poor, shelves weren't fully stocked and prices weren't that good. No reason to go back.

  3. Gracefully
    28 Avenue A (13 min walk or M14A bus)
    Pros: Quality produce, has soup and stuff. It's non-chain, I think.
    Cons: Small space, sometimes impossible to move around, not the easiest to find what you're looking for
    Comment:I like this place, though it's best combined with Key Foods (below) because they're close together. I can get basic stuff at Key and then anything special or something Key doesn't have, I can get here. Also nice to have the option of hopping on the bus.

  4. Key Foods
    52 Avenue A (14 min walk or M14A bus)
    Pros: Eh. Better than Pathmark. You know what to expect.
    Cons: Eh, marginally better than Pathmark. You know what to expect. Always supercrowded.
    Comment:See above re: Gracefully. Whatever it's lacking, I can get a couple of blocks down. Still, most of the stuff I can get at Hong Kong Supermarket so it's not worth the trip on its own.

  5. JAS Mart
    35 E St. Mark's Pl (15 min M15 bus)
    Pros: Japanese specialties, household stuff too, quality meats, produce. Reasonable prices.
    Cons: Limited selection
    Comment: I don't come here unless I have a specific need like packaged foods or specially cut meat. Generally good quality and if they don't have something, I can always go to Sunrise Mart on top of St. Mark's Bookshop.

  6. Whole Foods
    250 7th Avenue (25 min by subway)
    Pros: Really, it's Whole muthafuckin Foods yo.
    Cons: The big crowds can be intimidating. Nothing's cheap here (duh).
    Comment: I guess the good thing is that quality is pretty much guaranteed and there probably isn't anything I can't get here. The packaged stuff is good too - I kill, ransack and pillage for blue corn chips. Still, this location, as well as the one at Columbus Circle, are just crazy with people and I imagine the Union Sq and Chrystie Avalon would be much of the same.

You know, from the looks of it, neither of the two new Whole Foods will affect my life that much. I want to give Fresh Direct a try and I'm curious to see what Max Delivery will bring to Downtown.

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