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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Mother of All Supermarkets

Fairway Supermarket
Photo by myself at the olive counter at Fairway, in Red Hook.

This specialty supermarket is housed in what used to be a huge warehouse on the Brooklyn waterfront.


This weekend Mark and I drove out to Red Hook to Fairway, the huge supermarket housed in a renovated warehouse along the water's edge in Brooklyn.

The Fairway in Brooklyn is huge. Because of its location and the rough cobblestone streets leading up to it, you have to travel by car. If you ever need to use the ladies' room, you weave down several hundred aisles then hang a right when you're completely lost. Bring your bread crumbs.

Mark and I want to cook more of our dinners and were bent on getting ingredients for a chicken gumbo. We were fine until we forgot the red pepper and had to venture upstream, against a crowd of New Yorkers who seldom use shopping carts. Bad idea.

I'd lived near the Fairway branch on the Upper West Side for years. I've never been to the Fairway in the Bronx, which has a fabled meat locker. You're given a special heavy coat before going in, because it's so cold.

When people mention the meat locker, it sounds like Nirvana or some other make believe place. It's just a supermarket, but that's how New Yorkers can be - at once cosmopolitan and incredibly sheltered.

For earlier posts about Fairway, click here and here


Laura said...

Sweet! Reminds me of a local grocery store chain in Rochester NY called Wegmans. All of them are awesome and have great variety, but a visit to Rochester is incomplete without visiting the Pittsford Wegmans. I have never been in such a massive (and yummy) supermarket in my life.

sid said...

LOL! Loved the Hansel and Gretel reference.

Murphy_jay said...

Wow..that's sounds like a place I definitely want to be..

Kitty said...

Welcome Laura!
We drive a lot, but never so far as Rochester. Perhaps in the warmer months, lol.

Hi Sid, nice seeing you!

Welcome Murphy_Jay, I look forward to visiting your blog!

Ming the Merciless said...

Do you make your own rioux for the gumbo?

I make really good chicken & sausage gumbo when I used to cook....way back when I was in college in Louisiana. I don't make them anymore because I don't have 10 friends who live around the block anymore.

Ah....the college years were fun. Naive but fun.

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Years ago I would walk across the park to get my groceries from Fairway, I loved it, but it drove me loopy it was so busy and overwhelming. Life's tough enough in New York without getting myself stressed out buying groceries ;-)

Tammy said...

I have never seen so many olives before. Hope your having a good day my friend!

Spandrel Studios said...

My husband was looking at the photo over my shoulder and read the sign as "Live Bar" thinking they had live fish - or something - available! I pointed out the olive graphic, and he agreed that made much more sense.

I love stores like this and can spend hours among the condiments, marveling at the pickled things and pesto'd herbs. Looks delicious!

And I second Laura's vote for Wegmans... we just got one in our area and it's an excellent place to shop.

Mama Mayborne... said...

Sounds like a great place to shop. When I used to live in Brooklyn, we thought the big time was a tiny Pathmark store.

penpusher said...

I wish we have supermarkets like this Down Under, I can spend hours and hours roaming the aisles hehe...

The meat locker place sounds interesting, you should really pay it a visit and let us know all about it! :)

Kitty said...

Ming, Mark made the gumbo last night, including the rioux, which took forever. I could smell the thing from the fire stair. Delicious!

it's a lot of work, though. I can see how you need incentive to do it.

Fish, the little old ladies are killer. They are tough. I know what you mean, I only went on the UWS at odd times.

Tammy, nice seeing you!

Spandrel, that's cool. I never saw the 'Live Bar' in there. I'll have to take more photos another time. It's outrageous, what they have.

Mama, welcome.
lol about Pathmark. Brooklyn's gotten a little more upscale, though it can always improve.

PP, lol. Maybe it's time to open a nice grocery store down under? You'd make $$$!
I'll have to go undercover uptown!

Kate said...

Living in Mexico gives one a whole new outlook on shopping. Recently a state-of-the art store, called Mega, in Mazatlan opened to raves. But, I still prefer the small neighborhood tiendas. Shopping is more personal and contributes to community solidarity. Keeping one's larder stocked, however, is a challenge!

Kitty said...

Kate, thanks for visiting. It's great having other Daily Photo Bloggers come by.

I prefer the smaller stores, too. New York used to be comprised mostly of smaller stores. We're all brainwashed now to shop carrying little baskets, lol.

Mexico sounds wonderful. I'd love to see it.