23 May 2012

Fruit & Veg

I have a love/hate relationship with Eately, Mario Batali’s behemoth marketplace in the Flatiron District. The hate part comes in to play whenever it’s crowded (which is almost every time I’ve ever been) and the isles and passageways become almost impossible to navigate. The bad lighting doesn't help matters either. But the hate turns to love when I am finally able to manevour my way over to the fruit and veg section.

While I am fortunate to have many choices for groceries in my neighbourhood, Eately has been scoring points with me lately in the produce arena. For a relatively small produce department, they offer a wide array of choices. Armed with a grocery list, I rarely leave an item unchecked. Basics like strawberries, cherries, and asparagus? Check. Tomatoes? Red or Yellow? They have both. Check. Zucchini? Check. How about some Zucchini flowers too for your risotto? Check. And the fresh herbs. Unlike other shops that routinely seem to be out of whatever herbs I need (Whole Foods, I’m talking about you), Eately has a small but strong selection. And the prices are the same or lower than the local competitors. And they even have a vegetable butcher who will chop and clean your vegetables for free (ok, I'd feel kinda strange asking someone to chop up my vegetables for me but I like knowing I could ask).

On a recent trip, I came away with some lovely strawberries and red grapes, zucchini, baby artichokes, and butter lettuce, golden yellow tomatoes, and big bunches of fresh dill and basil. Everything was delicious and affordable (as was the fresh mozarella, bread, and coffee I picked up from other departments). Eately, I'll be coming back (but please figure out a way to improve the traffic flow).

For information about Eately, visit their website here.

Photos taken by Michele on her iPhone (which contrary to what many people claim, is not the same as taking photos with an actual camera).

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