food 03.17.09

Less is More Week: Food

Today in our week-long series, we look at some of the city's best sources to eat (and drink) well, especially if you didn't receive an AIG-sized bonus.

Lobster Place in Chelsea Market, which expanded not long ago, and at 252 Bleecker [6th/7th] 212.352.8063, has MUG's vote for the best overall seafood purveyor in the city. Price check: Halibut at Citarella: $25.99/lb. At Lobster Place, $17.95/lb.

Yes, you can find cheaper beef around town than what's at Florence Meat Market, 5 Jones [Bleecker/W. 4th] 212.242.6531. For extraordinary quality, old-world service, and pricing, though, Florence is unbeatable.

Fruit and Vegetables
Shopping in Chinatown isn't exactly a cozy experience. Still, for fruits and veggies, since the turnover is high, you can count on freshness as well as the best prices in town. Case in point: you probably pay $1.99 or more for an avocado from your corner market. In Chinatown, they're $1.

Dried Fruits and Nuts
Sahadi's, 187 Atlantic [Clinton/Court] Bklyn 718.624.4550, has been selling all kinds of wonderful comestibles at their emporium, with an emphasis on the Middle East, for over 60 years. You want dried cranberries (sulfur-free)? Most places charge you $7.99 a pound. At Sahadi's, they're $3.50 a pound.

A little work here pays off. If you can carve out some time on a Friday, between 8am-1pm, you can score wholesale prices from Acme Smoked Fish, 30 Gem [N. 15th/Meserole] Bklyn 718.383.8585 – the only time they sell directly to the public. Show up for deals on smoked salmon, sable, trout, whitefish salad, and more.

Trader Joe's veterans inevitably develop a binary system of stuff they love and stuff not to buy again. In the former category, reliably delicious dips, salsas, chip-py things, plus frozen hors d'oeuvres, all at how-do-they-do-it? prices.

Virtually every wine store now has their best deals front and center. Some of the players, though, have been emphasizing value for years. The top three are Garnet, 929 Lex [68th/69th] 212.772.3211, Gotham, 2517 Bway [93rd/94th] and Warehouse Wines, 735 Bway [8th/Waverly] 212.982.7770.

MUG's Cheapish Eats
Cheapish Eats Readers' Edition

Indispensable Website
When it first launched, Eater, was a fun, gossipy, blog about the local food world. Over time, it's only gotten better and tuned in more finely to the zeitgeist: their Dealfeed is especially helpful to those who still want to eat out, but don't have an unlimited expense account.

"An image is a stop the mind makes between uncertainties."
– Djuna Barnes


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