Best: Fairway Market. Great prices. High quality produce. Brilliant selection. Trader Joe’s (for its prepackaged nonsense) and Whole Foods (for its “Whole Paycheck” pricing) can shove it. New Yorkers, make the trip to Fairway. Both your wallet and body will be thankful.
Worst: Mario Batali’s Eatily (which I will not link to, as I don’t want to build its credibility). Beyond the overcrowding, long lines, inability to sit (or even stand) in places that you like without being shooed away by staff who say things along the lines of, “I’m sorry, sir, you’re not allowed to eat a sandwich at this standing table in the pasta section,” the quality of the food on sale at this market/deli/restaurant hybrid is terrible . If you’ve never been to Italy, you may enjoy Eatily. But if you’ve stepped foot in a place where decent food is the norm (France, California, Japan…), then you’d be appalled by looking at the ingredients of what Batali sells. One egregious example: I picked up a $10 chocolate bar to see that the first ingredient on the damned thing was sugar…and it wasn’t even an organic chocolate bar. This is just another example of marketing over quality. Typical America. And suckers line up by the boatload for it. Overpriced. Bad food. And he must pay a fortune to rent this huge space near the Flatiron…When will Americans learn?