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Restaurants & Bars

New Farm Fresh market in Altadena - I'm impressed!

Will Owen | Jan 3, 200705:38 AM     13

I've always like much about the Farm Fresh on Orange Grove, besides simply that it's close by, but it's horribly cramped and usually smells bad enough to make me take another look at that "A" rating card in the window. But now I can drive just a bit farther and go to the new and really huge one up on Lincoln, just north of Woodbury in Altadena. As you could expect, the variety of offerings is a whole lot wider, including a four-island wine section next to the huge produce department, and a greatly expanded butcher counter. The seafood selection, curiously enough, is considerably smaller than that on Orange Grove, but the fresh meat selection is pretty good. Service is good, too: I asked about the ground pork, which I didn't see, and the woman behind the counter took me over to the package case and showed me that they didn't have any. When I mentioned that it was a sale item in their flyer, however, she immediately went to consult with one of the butchers, who asked me how much I wanted and then ground it for me! Last butcher I asked to do that spent twenty minutes telling me why he couldn't...

Besides a greatly expanded grocery selection, they have a fresh bakery and a deli section. They also have several prepared-food counters, some of which aren't yet in operation. The ones that are include one with Chinese foods and a sushi bar (!!!), with a barbecue place to come.

It still ain't Gigante, nor even quite up to Monrovia's King Ranch in the meats, seafood and Latino foods categories, but it's the best thing close to me. I just hope they'll make a go of it - the store is really a lot more upscale than its neighborhood. We'll see.

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