Fairway in Pelham Manor: First Look

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Reporting for last week’s story on the (dining) pleasures of Pelham, I (naturally) had to go to Fairway. I mean, that was the point of the story, wasn’t it? To tell you what else there is to taste, once you’re picked up all your amazing groceries at Fairway? So while I was there, I snapped a few photos.

As we’ve reported in several stories before — and I’m quoting Linda Lombroso here — the supermarket is 75,000-square-feet — the biggest of the chain’s six stores. It carries all the usual Fairway fare, plus kosher fish, an expanded hot-food section, store-made pasta, a salad counter and a 60-seat cafe.

Walk in and you’ll see the produce first — a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including organic. Head to your left and you’ll arrive at the dried fruits, nuts and granola section, followed by the bakery, the deli, the cheese counter (600 varieties), the olive bar (70 types), the fresh pasta section and the seafood department.

After the jump, a little tour.

You start out in the produce aisle:

Lots of chopped and prepared vegetables to make cooking easier:

See, two kinds of onions, already chopped:

Frisee. I hardly ever see frisee at grocery stores. Only at farmers markets. But here it is, ready for your lardons and poached egg:

Here’s the bakery:

I was completely astonished by all the different charcuterie available. Look, it’s even listed by brand:

First, here are some of the prepared foods:

Now for the deli. This was a rather long and arduous process, I must say. I was trying to order some of the more unusual meats (come on, you expected me to go to Fairway and go home with Boar’s Head turkey?), but nobody behind the counter seemed to know what they were or where to find them.

For example, I saw a placard advertising the Iberico ham, below on the right:

I inquired. The guy told me it was $100 a pound — and he didn’t think it was worth the money. He afterward admitted that the workers are not allowed to taste the food, which leaves me wondering: how could they possibly make any recommendations?

But before I found this out, I was asking whether there were any other Spanish hams. (I had also seen a sign advertising some lomo, the cured pork tenderloin from Spain.)

The guy told me no. But guess what I found just a few moments later?

Right next to the Iberico was the Serrano. (At a much more affordable price, too.)

Anyway, it just went on like that. I asked for some of that Kentucky porchetta that was also advertised; nobody could find it. I asked for some of the La Quercia lardo (also on the signs) and they said they didn’t have that, either.

Look, this is not a deal-breaker for Fairway. There are some amazing foods there — ones you can’t find anywhere else. I’m just telling you: be sure to know what you want and be confident in your knowledge about it — or else ask to speak to a manager to help you. I would bet that a customer who didn’t know lardo from lardons would be hard-pressed to get just anyone to help them understand the difference. (Just in case: lardo is cured pork fat; lardons are cubes of smoked slab bacon. Hey — I get paid to learn these things.)

Moving on from the deli, here is the amazing olive bar:

Some of the prepared dairy and other items:

Beautifully fresh seafood:

The cheese department (on the right, below):

As I was walking past this hot buffet bar, I overheard two kids pleading with their mother. “Mommy, please? Can we eat here? Well can we at least come back?”

Pretty funny.

I was really looking forward to buying some freshly made tortillas. (I’m originally from Texas, where they’re made fresh, even at the corner H.E.B.) But turns out, the tortilleria at Fairway did not work out. Something with the machine. Really too bad. That was one of my reasons for coming, too. There’s nothing better than fresh tortillas. I’m really bummed.

Other prepared foods:

A little sit-down area:

The coffee selections:

Roaster:

And tea:

Now for the butcher:

Some of you may remember last year when I did a video with Fairway’s Ray Venezia, the third-generation butcher, about some cuts of meat that won’t break the bank:

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No question — Ray knows what he’s talking about.

Here are the dry goods aisles:

And the kosher meats.

Here’s another great quote. A woman was walking away from the meats here and says: “$5 a pound! I like the meat at BJ’s, but you can’t beat this price!”

Also pretty funny.

Here are the other dairy aisles:

And the checkout:

Obviously not so crowded as it was when the store first opened.

So despite a little trouble at the deli counter — and in the end, I went home with some beautiful hams, so who am I to complain? — my trip to Fairway was very fruitful, very fun and, once I got home, very flavorful.

Let me know how your visits go!

The 411 on Fairway: Post Road Plaza, 847 Pelham Parkway, Pelham Manor. 914-712-0011. fairwaymarket.com

PS: Fairway Wines is set to have its grand opening tomorrow. It’s a wine shop just next door to the grocery store. If you go, let me know about the selection.

Also, here’s a recap of the story that Linda Lombroso wrote when the store opened six weeks ago:

Fairway opens in Pelham Manor

The wait is over: Fairway opens its first Westchester store today, just off the Hutchinson River Parkway in Pelham Manor.

The 75,000-square-foot supermarket — the biggest of the chain’s six stores — will carry all the usual Fairway fare, plus kosher fish, a tortilla machine and burrito station, an expanded hot-food section, store-made pasta, a salad counter and a 60-seat cafe.

Walk in and you’ll see the produce first — a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including organic. Head to your left and you’ll arrive at the dried fruits, nuts and granola section, followed by the bakery, the deli, the cheese counter (600 varieties), the olive bar (70 types), the fresh pasta section and the seafood department.

The cafe, near the seafood section, has everything from pizza and paninis to sushi and store-carved meats.

There’s also an olive-oil section (about 100 varieties) and a large meat department, with kosher meat in a separate room.

Although all Fairway markets contain grocery items, the arrangement is new in Pelham Manor: Each of the 10 aisles in the center of the store is organized by category (cereals, sauces, etc.), with separate sections within each aisle for traditional, organic and specialty items.

The market also offers an extensive selection of beers and coffees, a full dairy department, a large variety of gluten-free offerings, plus paper goods, health and beauty products and cleaning supplies.

Fairway, run by the Glickberg family of Irvington, opened its first store in the mid-1930s as a fruit and vegetable stand on Broadway and 74th Street in Manhattan. The company has since expanded into Long Island (Plainview), Brooklyn (Red Hook), Harlem and New Jersey (Paramus). The seventh Fairway is set to open in Stamford, Conn., in the fall.

At the Fairway in Pelham Manor, CEO Howie Glickberg — grandson of founder Nathan Glickberg — and his son, Dan, the company’s executive vice-president, plan to be on hand daily, overseeing everything from the bagel-making to the cheese department (where they’ve got those 600 types of cheese and a mozzarella-making station).

To accommodate the anticipated crowds — Fairway serves between 11 and 12 million customers each year, estimates Dan Glickberg — they’ve set up 22 cash registers, with cashiers trained to move fast.

But it’s not just the speedy checkout that lures customers —it’s the freshness of the store’s merchandise and its variety of products, says Howie Glickberg.

“We like to say we have everything from caviar to pig’s feet,” adds Dan Glickberg, a 2001 graduate of Irvington High School who majored in English at Trinity College before deciding to join the family business.

Fairway’s something-for-everyone appeal is likely the reason customers drive great distances to shop at the stores, says Dan, who also hosts a weekly Fairwaycooking segment Thursdays at around 5:45 p.m. on NBC’s LXTV.

“We have the high-end olive oils, the prime meats you can’t get anywhere else, and then we have the Goya beans that are going to be cheaper every day than any other supermarket,” he says. (The Glickbergs have employees who keep track of the prices at other supermarkets, just to ensure that Fairway beats the competition.)

Also on track for late spring: an adjacent 6,500-square-foot liquor store, Fairway Wine & Spirits, set to open in mid-May.

For now, however, it’s unlikely customers will walk away from the new Fairway empty-handed. “You can’t get DVD players, flat-screen TVs or books in our stores,” says Dan Glickberg. “But anything food-related, you’ll be able to find it.”

If you go

What: Fairway in Westchester

Where: 847 Pelham Parkway, in the Post Road Plaza shopping center (at the intersection of Boston Post Road), Pelham Manor. Just off Exit 7 on the Hutch south.

Hours: Opening at 9 a.m. today with a ceremony and live music at 10. Starting tomorrow, hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Information: 914-712-0011 or www.fairwaymarket.com


Joe Larese/The Journal News

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About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

6 Comments

  1. I went to Fairway last weekend and I was very impressed by just how much they had. There was a lot of stuff I’ve never seen anywhere else.

    Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed too. I was SO excited to have actually found real FLAGELS (large flat bagels). I’ve never seen them anywhere in Westchester. When I brought them home though, they were inedible. They were so stale, I couldn’t even bite into them. Same thing with a loaf of wheat bread I bought. Fruit I bought also ripened VERY quickly.

    I’m not planning on rushing back anytime soon. Maybe for their impressive assortment of freshly ground coffee. Or the mini gherkins I bought –love those.

  2. I’ve been to Fairway three times; I’ve been satisfied each time. We’ve eaten at the cafe twice – the food is great. The olive oil and vinegar tasting area helped us make 3 tasty purchases. Each department we shopped at was filled with plenty of choices. Were there a few unanswered questions, as reported by Liz? Sure, but we chalked it up to the newness of the place. Almost every worker went above and beyond to make the experience special. We’ll be back.

  3. To whom it may concern i’m a frequent shopper mostly at the cafe and i must say the food is outstanding the customers service is the best an there is one of your employees is one of the reason i visit the cafe i think his name is mike i’m not sure i’m not good with names but i know he wears glasses tell him keep up the good work.

  4. I am also a regular shopper at Fairway and I must say that the short lines are refreshing. I appreciate the various selections of food Fairway offers. However, their fruit tend to be sometimes stale and it’s hard to detect until you get home and either peel the fruit or bite into it. Not a good look by Fairway, please do a better job at keeping those weird batches of fruit off the shelves. Thanks

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