Living in the rapidly gentrifying East Village for so many years has turned me into a bit of a snob, or at worse, a complete asshole. I normally shop for grocery staples at Associated or Key Foods, often overlooking the less well known supermarkets. For my recent collaboration with Adam a few days ago, I decided to go to Fine Fare on Avenue C & 4th Street.
They seem to cater to the Latino community in the area & I had often dismissed the place as 'ghetto'. I was pleasantly surprised to find a well stocked, clean grocery store. After buying some hideous leeks at my local Associated further up Avenue C earlier in the day, I was amazed at the freshness of the produce. Adam & I were able to find everything that we needed for our co-op meal (well, nearly everything, we had to substitute Gorgonzola for Goat's Cheese, but this turned out to our advantage) & then some.
Cuts of meat that I never find at other stores, plus varied vegetables & spices. Now most grocery stores have a 'Goya Section', but this one was truly amazing. More Goya products than I've ever seen in my entire life! One in particular; a bright orange Beef Tripe Stew (Mondongo) caught my eye & I just had to have it. I'm not a regular tripe eater (actually, I really try to avoid the stuff), but I was feeling adventurous & I actually ate it tonight with some bread & an avocado salad. It was pretty damn good and from a can no less! I'll be cooking my own tripe stew soon enough!
Basically, the point of this post is not to dismiss any store or ingredient, sometimes you find hidden gems behind an otherwise ugly exterior! Note: some canned goods are more appealing than others!