Did you know there’s a new Fairway in Queens? I HEART Fairway. I remember my life before Fairway and it’s so much better now. Before my awakening I had a faint inkling about Fairway because Ronit would go hours out of her way to shop at the one uptown. But I really developed and deepened my love of Fairway when we moved out to Brooklyn. Not only does it have a parking lot and fantastic cheese and delicious homemade products and olive oil and organic bulk but it’s an amazing place to shop for my groceries and everyone who works there is super nice and helpful and knowledgeable and everyone smiles at the babies sucking on bread and with one major exception (they don’t sell decent flour tortillas) it is (if I hit it at the right time) a fine place to spend my grocery money there. AND there’s the bonus points of the ships and water taxis in the harbor right behind it, a HUGE selling point for my children. And NOW, there’s a freakin Fairway where the old Waldbaum’s was next to the Movie World and the Macy’s. I caught wind of this development well over a year ago from my soon-to-be ex-sister-in- law and it blew my mind then. A Fairway. In Douglaston. And today I went and shopped there.
I love grocery stores. I love checking out the feel of each store and figuring out if I can shop there based on a few touchstone items. Edible looking produce, hummus, cheese and hot sauce selection. I fell in love with grocery stores in Austin, Texas which is the birth place of Whole Foods AND Central Market, which is, as far as my experience goes, the greatest grocery store I’ve ever been to. We were there when the big one opened and learned from a friend that that Central Market had been designed with loads of research based on what made a great supermarket, and man, did they nail it. But also, as with everything in Texas, any and all grocery stores are bigger than anything you can imagine and you could easily spend hours looking if you lost someone.
Anyway. Today I had to drop off some stuff at my mother’s church for their annual Holly Bazaar and had a few hours to while. Left the kids with Grammie, hopped in Bruce, and drove over the highway to the new Fairway Market. I love that it’s called a Market. As with all Fairways, they have a gorgeous produce department that smacks you in the face when you enter the store. Every imaginable fruit or vegetable you could want (within reason, I didn’t see any rambutans) with signs promoting local produce and mostly with an organic option, equally as attractive and not so much more $. When I don’t have children with me, I like to stash my cart to the side of the produce and maneuver the aisles, I can be more nimble and spend more time examining the goods. Even without the cart, it was almost impossible to get around the local seniors whose minds were being blown by the grandeur that is the Fairway produce department. They were also loudly exclaiming how come it’s so cold in here, and they were right, it was cold, but it’s a produce department, it SHOULD be cold.
As with all great grocery stores, Fairway does not subscribe to your typical grocery layout. It does have the produce in front, meat, dairy, deli and bread around the back and sides, but the aisles, whoo, you could go crazy trying to find anything in that store. ESPECIALLY if you are a little old Korean lady with a shopping cart bigger than you are. At the much more established Brooklyn Fairway, the people there have been working there so long, they can recognize that lost look on someone’s face and direct you to exactly where you need to be. Every single person shopping in the store today had that look on their face. Including the employees. I got my Columbian coffee and local from Queens Tom Cat bread from very friendly people. And the checkout lady was really sweet and I didn’t even have a baby with me.
Tuesday afternoon is a clutch time to shop there. There was nobody in the store and I was in and out in under an hour. I got everything I needed (except tortillas) and I made it back home in time to meet the in-laws. According to reports, which I trust, it’s been a bit of a madhouse there since they opened, and while I love you my northeast Queens peeps, I do not want to ruin my Fairway shopping experience with the folks that constitute that particular brand of madhouse. And since I’m not normally out in Queens with time to kill on a random Tuesday morning I doubt I’ll do much shopping there. But then again…sometimes I just need to escape for an hour.