I have always been underwhelmed by the produce at the Red Hook Fairway, but liked the cheese a lot--cut to order, great selection, good prices. But yikes--I was there a few days ago and the cheese situation seems to have taken a turn for the worse. They were charging around $18/pound for Parmigiano reggiano--pre-cut and smothered in plastic. I'm sorry, but for that price I can go to Di Paolo's and get amazing Parmesan cut to order--and know its exact origin. Or, I can patronize my charming but wildly expensive neighborhood gourmet store. Or, I can go out to Bensonhurst and get the same quality Parmesan as Fairway's for $12/lb, and cut to order. Fairway's Parmesan was always pre-cut, which is not the end of the world, but they seem to be moving away from cutting many cheeses to order (particularly cheese w/rind)--or was it always this way? All the Gruyère (different varieties) was sitting out on tables, precut and wrapped. I wanted a pound, and asked the guy behind the counter if he could cut me a piece (so I wouldn't have to find two smaller wrapped chunks that added up to that). He said no--it was all cut and wrapped at the warehouse then sent to the store. They had precut so many of the cheeses that some were piled on a ledge in front of that area where they cook the fresh mozzarella (which is oddly tasteless and good only if you get it while it's still warm and eat it right away; they wrap it in plastic while it's still hot--ick--instead of storing it in water). Cheese wrapped in plastic piled against a hot steamy pane of glass--Dutch Parrano, I think it was, sweating into its cellophane. Hardly worth the $14/lb (or thereabouts) that they were charging. Perhaps this is the result of Fairway having opened to many stores-it's a supermarket chain instead of a "market"--but a supermarket without good prices. Prices are really high on the other items as well, including the mediocre produce. Organic milk and interesting yogurt are still fairly cheap, but not many other bargains. Right?
480 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231