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  Fresh Farms in Niles, a Treasure Worth the Trip!

  Fresh Farms in Niles, a Treasure Worth the Trip!
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  • Post #31 - March 8th, 2015, 7:50 pm
    Post #31 - March 8th, 2015, 7:50 pm Post #31 - March 8th, 2015, 7:50 pm
    Think when you use the word "great" it answers the question.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #32 - March 10th, 2015, 4:33 pm
    Post #32 - March 10th, 2015, 4:33 pm Post #32 - March 10th, 2015, 4:33 pm
    turkob wrote:On the other hand, though, when I think of what a GNR grocery store would look like, I think of someplace smaller with a proud proprietor that helps you sift through a well-curated selection of unique items. Shopping at Fresh Farms, as wonderful a supermarket as it is, still feels a lot like shopping at a big box store.

    While Fresh Farms Niles is large, I shop it like a small store. For example, I know most of the department heads by their first names, in the case of the meat department I even have his cell phone number. Though all departments answer the phone through the main number for questions and/or the occasional special request. Examples being spot checking they have fresh fennel and turkey legs on hand or cutting lamb breast to Denver ribs.

    Since transitioning to restaurant work my requests are fewer and further between, but going back ten years, when I was developing recipes for Low & Slow, an early am Fresh Farms ingredient run happened multiple times a week. Similar, though not the same frequency, for recipe testing development for Low & Slow 2.

    I fully support Fresh Farms Niles for GNR!

    Fresh Farms Niles, count me a fan!
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #33 - March 14th, 2015, 4:36 pm
    Post #33 - March 14th, 2015, 4:36 pm Post #33 - March 14th, 2015, 4:36 pm
    G Wiv wrote:While Fresh Farms Niles is large, I shop it like a small store . . .

    Me too. At an initial glance, it's easy to see why this might not feel like a Great Neighborhood Resource but having become a regular shopper there, I believe that it is truly worthy. Don't let its size deceive you. The people who work there are super friendly, and in many substantive ways, it feels like a neighborhood shop. I recently recounted just one of several examples of this on the main Fresh Farms thread.

    But beyond that, the store's offerings are great. It is the trump card of grocery stores -- offering myriad depth and quality in several different departments and categories. I cannot count the number of times that I've successfully procured items -- many of them difficult to find -- at Fresh Farms. Produce, breads, deli, ethnic ingredients, dry goods, fish & seafood are all quite strong there. Service is phenomenally friendly. Prices are reasonable, too.

    I will admit that the store is not perfect. I'm not in love with their meat department but I still think it's on a par with just about every other grocery store in town, not counting Whole Foods. Even then, I pretty much stick to butcher shops when buying beef, pork and lamb. In any case, I don't think this diminishes Fresh Farms' GNR worthiness at all.

    As I mentioned in another post, if I had to choose only 1 grocery store and cease shopping at every other store, Fresh Farms on Niles would be the one I'd choose. I've found everything I need there -- and tons of items I didn't know I needed :wink: -- too many times to choose anyplace else. I don't know if any full-on grocery store is an appropriate choice for the GNR list but if one is, this is clearly the one, IMO.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #34 - March 15th, 2015, 8:31 pm
    Post #34 - March 15th, 2015, 8:31 pm Post #34 - March 15th, 2015, 8:31 pm
    I don't go often enough to be on a first-name basis with anyone there but I do not find FF Niles to be anything more than a big, crowded store with a lot of different items. Not a GNR or destination for me-- I routinely drive on by, en route to the Niles Costco. The few times I've been on a quest for an ingredient, I haven't had good luck getting help finding stuff either-- I generally spend a long time fruitlessly scanning shelves. And no, I am not blaming FF for that case of rotten Ecuadoran mangoes they sold me a couple of months ago-- but it wasn't worth my time to drive all the way back to return them and I haven't been back since.

    Well-stocked grocery store, yes-- GNR, no-- at least not in my experience.

    Jen
  • Post #35 - March 15th, 2015, 9:06 pm
    Post #35 - March 15th, 2015, 9:06 pm Post #35 - March 15th, 2015, 9:06 pm
    I'm a fan and have posted in the main thread. Today I stopped by to pick-up some bread because I was too lazy to head over to Argo - it was more convenient time/parking-wise. I am hosting (professionaly) a group of vegetarian Armenians for the next few days. To my surprise, I was able to pick-up not only the pita and Afghan bread I knew they would have, but also some round loaves from Argo! They were hiding on a bottom shelf. That to me defines a resource.

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