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Essex Crossing, Essex St. Market, and More


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#16 Seth Gordon

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 11:16 PM

It’s beautiful. It raises so many questions. My main fear is that it turns into Chelsea Markets, a sardine can of tourists gaping and lollygagging.


It doesn’t feel like it’s going to get those sorts of crowds. At least what’s there now feels kinda the same as before, stuff for the locals. Whether it turns into some sort of destination food hall, I can’t say, but it doesn’t look like it’s headed that way. Will be curious if there’ll be a section with restaurants that stay open later than the main market, to take advantage of the movie theater crowds next door.

Chelsea Market is much better since they expanded - and they arranged it right, with the businesses where locals actually shop clustered in the basement and the tourist stuff on the upper level. If I wanna go in and hit Buon Italia, MFE and Dickson’s (my most likely three) they’re all right there together with no one to elbow out of the way in between.

#17 Seth Gordon

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 11:20 PM

Agree totally (re: butcher) and I saw that chicken breast - oy. But did you happen to notice a price for whole birds?

Top Hops has a nice little counter too. Gonna take a while to really get settled, and I imagine the bulk of their business will be on weekends.

Don't you wish for a great greengrocer, actually peddling some local produce? Or does green market NYC make sure no one gets that, to remain the only game in town for that?


What I’d really like nearby would be an A-level fishmonger. Like, the place in the market is fine for regular stuff, but there’s nowhere nearby for sashimi-quality sea critters.

#18 small h

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 11:53 PM

 

Don't you wish for a great greengrocer, actually peddling some local produce? Or does green market NYC make sure no one gets that, to remain the only game in town for that?

 

 

We have that youth market on Thursdays in the summer, on the north side of Grand. It's not that great, but it is local.

 

 

 

What I’d really like nearby would be an A-level fishmonger. Like, the place in the market is fine for regular stuff, but there’s nowhere nearby for sashimi-quality sea critters.

 

 

Amen to that. Except that I don't think the current places (Rainbo and the other one) are fine. I tried them a couple of times and was not happy.



#19 Orik

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 12:08 AM

I'm sure the existing vendors were given incentives to make this feasible for the next couple of years, but then they'll become decor for another feedlot or close, just because that's how the pricing works.

 

I'm not even sure why the basement operations at Chelsea Market are still there, certainly they're not economically viable as they are (and the wholesale portions of BI and MFE have long moved elsewhere)


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#20 Wilfrid

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 01:35 AM

Essex St Market 1.0 was never about pristine local produce, but about acceptable produce at low prices not out of a freezer.

#21 joethefoodie

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 02:00 AM

 

Don't you wish for a great greengrocer, actually peddling some local produce? Or does green market NYC make sure no one gets that, to remain the only game in town for that?


For basics I’m fine with - I think it’s Essex Farm, the Korean one? And there’s always Union Market or WF if I want my kale to have a pedigree.

 

 

 

Essex St Market 1.0 was never about pristine local produce, but about acceptable produce at low prices not out of a freezer.

 

 

Sure, but that's not the question I posed. 

 

I'm not so concerned with the pedigree of my kale, more so its age. It takes a while to get here from Cali/Mex, which is where 99% of the stuff at the 2 extant greengrocers comes from. (OK, maybe some citrus from FL and AZ).

 

The Euro model I'm thinking of is the one with lots of stuff from say, within a couple hundred miles. But it's a pipe dream, as this ain't California.

 

I'll stick to most of my fresh fish buying at Union Sq/Thompkins Sq. But I have bought a decent whole body fish at that vendor in ESM, just gotta know when he's getting a fresh delivery!



#22 joethefoodie

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 02:04 AM

. Will be curious if there’ll be a section with restaurants that stay open later than the main market, to take advantage of the movie theater crowds next door.

 

 

I think that's the whole idea of the Market Line. In addition to exposing those vendors to a different sort of crowd.

 

I do think the old school regulars will keep coming - especially for anyone south of Delancey, it's like a million times more convenient.



#23 Orik

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 04:00 AM

Essex St Market 1.0 was never about pristine local produce, but about acceptable produce at low prices not out of a freezer.

 

The truth is I only ever used it for naranja agria, cilantro, and limes. The fish is scary, the meat was fine when that apparent drug addict was there but then sketchy again, the pantry products are often more expensive than in Union Market, for example. If I lived nearby I'm sure I'd go more often but as you say it was never about pristine or anywhere near that.

 

Btw, do y'all know AAA Avocado?


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#24 Wilfrid

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 06:19 AM

Saxelby’s (no longer), Formaggio, Pain d’Avignon, Luis for meats not readily available just anywhere, there was a lot of good stuff under one roof for the neighborhood. Surprised some prices are higher than Union Market, of all places.

#25 joethefoodie

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 11:11 AM

 

Essex St Market 1.0 was never about pristine local produce, but about acceptable produce at low prices not out of a freezer.

 

The truth is I only ever used it for naranja agria, cilantro, and limes. The fish is scary, the meat was fine when that apparent drug addict was there but then sketchy again, the pantry products are often more expensive than in Union Market, for example. If I lived nearby I'm sure I'd go more often but as you say it was never about pristine or anywhere near that.

 

Btw, do y'all know AAA Avocado?

 

 

Jeffrey was no drug addict! (okay, maybe he liked to dabble...) But man, when he would freshly grind me some eye of chuck, I could make a mean hamburger! Weirdly, I've always been able to get good cilantro and limes at Fine Fare.

 

I'm familiar with AAA (I think I read an article or two about the place) but have not shopped there.

 

Saxelby’s (no longer), Formaggio, Pain d’Avignon, Luis for meats not readily available just anywhere, there was a lot of good stuff under one roof for the neighborhood. Surprised some prices are higher than Union Market, of all places.

 

Yep - the neighborhood had and has very little competition for much of this type of stuff.  The Korean greengrocer's prices for non-produce items easily approach upper east side bodega prices. Now, there's competition from Trader Joe's, if that's your bag. I have found one or two products there which aren't bad and well priced; the produce must be inspected before purchase.



#26 small h

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 09:16 PM

I found it unsettling, like dreaming of a place that you recognize, but everything looks different. Also, $5.75 for an ice cream cone? Yikes. I'll probably get the squid ink flavor come summer, though, out of morbid curiosity.



#27 Wilfrid

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 11:22 PM

Yes, yes.

#28 small h

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 07:28 PM

Summer's here, so I got myself a small cup of squid ink ice cream. It tasted nothing like squid ink - just sugar - although the color was quite dramatic.So that's $5.75 gambled and lost. I was much happier with my $10 Nordic sandwich. It's very pleasant to eat in the upstairs area, looking out over Broome Street, as long as you don't sit near the trash cans, which I don't think have been emptied since the place opened.



#29 Wilfrid

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 10:20 PM

Oh I didn’t see the upstairs. I am a regular at Formaggio now after the huge falling out with Bedford Cheese on Irving.

#30 joethefoodie

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 10:50 PM

Funny, because the couple of times I've eaten upstairs, I've found myself looking out at the market itself. And all I've ever seen is people cleaning upstairs. Be aware, that's during the week at off hours, so ymmv.

 

I really like the Japanese vendor (Ni). Good lunch bento box, and actually a decent hand roll too. Super nice team.

 

One little aggravation: they know longer bake/sell the small loaves of nut and dried fruit breads at Pain. They were great for a cheese course. But their breads in general still really good.

 

The expanded offerings in the expanded space of Essex Farms (the Korean greengrocer) are nice to browse; lots of stuff there. And probably just the new digs, but her produce looks fresher and better cared for - all in my mind, I'm sure.

 

Davidovich's bialys are better than Kossar's, but that's a low bar these days.  We were surprised that they are as good as they are.

 

Nordic Foods product is good enough - but don't expect slicing (and in many cases product) to be anywhere near what you get at Russ.

 

Overall though - I am thrilled to have this new version of an old favorite as a new neighbor.

 

Oh - we're also getting a new market, in the Fine Fare space on Clinton Street, called City Acres Market. All of a sudden, there's a lot of competition.