Monday, August 18, 2008

Three Latest and Best

Salted Caramels from Blu Boy: All of Blu Boy's exquisitely hand-crafted chocolate jewels are delicious in every flavor -- complete with hand painted tops. But my favorites right now? Salty, sweet, chocolate caramels. You won't be able to eat just one.

Chouda with Fons: What's better than eating Trader's Point Creamery Chouda -- a cheddar/gouda blend? Eating with Fons Smits, the cheesemaker, of course! (I almost didn't recognize him without his trademark knee high boots, white shirt, and paper hat!

Golden Plums from Locally Grown Gardens: Cold, ripe, sweet, and so juicy, you'll need a napkin when you bite into these home grown bounties of fruit goodness. Yet another reason why summer is my favorite season. All from the every-day farmer's market at 54th and the Monon Trail.

Two-Minute Warning: Is the honeymoon over? I'm kind of over Fresh Market, or maybe I'm wishing it would get over itself. Popped in today for some necessities and a little inspiration and found them lacking in both...again. Produce was scarce and some of the baked goods were bordering on day-old. The quality of their cute little cakes and breads really isn't that high to begin with, and I find I'm really disturbed by the total lack of local *anything* (along with those horrible, horrible plastic bags.) I almost always hear conversations between customers about how mass produced meat is so bad. People! You can get local, natural meat in Indiana so easily! Their prepared salads, soups, and dips are fine, but not above average. And even hungry, I find nothing I really want to eat. But perhaps most of all, I am over the check-out staff. Sullen, unfriendly, unknowlegable, attitude-laden -- it's adding insult to injury at the ridiculous prices. If I want stone faced silence, no smile, and a lack of product knowledge, I can go to Marsh up the street. Either way, Fresh Market's failures give me an excuse to keep patronizing my local faves. They won't displace my Goose-love anytime soon.


John said...

My wife and I used to live in Chattanooga several years ago, which had a Fresh Market before many other markets. We loved it then, so I was pretty excited about seeing it pop up here more than 5 years later.

But my first time entering the store was like watching a balloon deflate. I realized I didn't need anything in there anymore, and this was particularly true when they didn't stock my favorite nose-blisteringly spicy German ginger-ale.

The next time I went in there was for horse radish root (only place I could find it, to be honest) I wanted to tell all the people at the meat counter, "Go twenty streets south and you will get local, better meat for less money."

I'm sure it's nice for anyone within walking distance, and it'll be nice for a single item here and there, but I'm with you on the doneness.

Kevin said...

I wasn't crazy about it from the start (because of their lack of local produce), but I'm still going there often as I live so close. I do love their huge selection of fresh nuts, though.

American Friends Service Committee said...

I agree. I am coming from Chicago where even our Whole Foods is 10 x better than Fresh Market. Other than Goose and the Farmer's Market's, where do you suggest shopping for local produce and other goodies?

NN said...

Agree. FM proudly displays their California peaches. 2 blocks east on 54th, fabulous peaches from S. Ca. and Ga. can be found.

And I am disappointed that FM is being a bad neighbor to the other 54th & College merchants who suffered patiently when FM took away a full block of street parking on College with their construction fence. Now, FM employees fill all the on-street parking by 9 each morning. When FM was seeking permits, they showed us nearby residents thier plans and stressed that the rooftop parking was needed for their employees. Now the roof is empty and I can't find a place to park on the street to run into the News stand. I complained to the manager who blew me off. He said "corporate" had directed employees to park on the street! Yeah, I'm over them.