Before you enter the market, you are greeted by fresh produce stacked neatly in front of the building, similar to the Upper West Side location. Too excited to even look at the specials outside, I grabbed a cart and hurried my way inside to find even more produce! Organic versus conventional. Everything looked great, but the first thing I saw was white button mushrooms for 99¢ a pack. Then a section for grapes of different varieties. A section for potatoes, apples...you get it. It was a bit overwhelming pushing my shopping cart and dodging other customers during opening night, but I managed to go up and down the aisles of the market twice. Why? Cuz I love food, and cuz I wanted to see what the market had to offer, and what it could possibly offer and defect me from going to my usual markets for groceries - Super Stop & Shop, and my beloved Whole Foods Market - both within minutes of my apartment. Not to mention, Stew Leonards is in Norwalk, a few towns away.
Moving along, yes, I passed the cheese section, which boasts having 600 artisinal cheeses on display for purchase. I just took a quick glance, as I tried to resist the temptation of even adding more cheese to my cheese drawer in my fridge. You can only have so much, right?
|Pickles and cornichons|
Olives selection - $6.99/lb
Alas came the deli department, where you have a choice of the traditional Boars Head brand, Applegate Farms, or even the good ol' Italian proscuitto. You can also pick up other deli counter items, like potato salad, macaroni salad (a little heavy with the mayo), chicken salad (very rich, and I think there's also skin on the chicken), shrimp salad... prepared salads galore. If you don't what something tastes like, just ask for a sample. Oh, don't forget to grab a deli counter ticket first. This area is popular.
|Goodies at the Deli counter|
Now a quick comparison of deli prices - Boars Head is similar to other grocers; Applegate Farms meat was slightly cheaper than Whole Foods. The proscuitto will cost you about $21.96/lb.
You can also order smoked salmon, prepared at the store. Sorry, I didn't sample it. I'm not a big fan of smoked salmon, but I was a bunch of people savoring their samples of it.
Across from the deli section is an area devotes to olive oil and vinegars. Dipping bowls and sliced bread are set up around a column so you can sample various kinds of oils and vinegars. I kept my sampling to 3 items - Italian Olive Oil, Australian Olive Oil, and Balsamic Vinegar. All were good.
|Oil and vinegar tasting|
Need a caffeine fix? There's an aisle for that, well at least a coffee roaster and whole bean coffee. The aroma of freshly roasted coffee is just as good as drinking a cup of joe. Don't drink coffee? No problem, turn around - there's a selection of loose tea, and other exotic leaves.
There's a great selection of flavored coffee, organic coffee, and even Blue Mountain and Kona coffee beans. All palettes would be pleased with their selection. The staff is helpful with helping you find a blend that suits your needs.
Okay, what about seafood? Yeah, there's a department for that. Fresh fish all on ice for reasonable prices. Fillet of salmon, whole fish, shrimp, lobsters, mussels. Whatever you're looking for, it's bound to be there. In doubt, ask a friendly fishmonger for help.
The meat section even has butchers! Beware! These butchers are hard at work cutting meat, and there's even carcasses hanging on meat hooks behind them.
The rest of the market, I don't think I need to get into detail. There's a lot to cover in this 80,000 square foot space. I was able to find Coconut Extract - imitation and the real thing. I couldn't find that in other markets when I was on my hunt last weekend. =)
|Fine selection of meat|
In summary, gigantic supermarket, great selection of food, great prices, and, best of all, I've read that the market has provided 500 new jobs in the region.
699 Canal Street
Stamford, CT 06901