As someone who really enjoys cooking and all that goes along with it, it shouldn’t surprise you that I also love grocery shopping, markets (green and super), and more. In fact, I once got into a huge fight with a family member, ran out of the house, and took off in my car – drove to a supermarket to calm down, and wound up shopping for about an hour. I didn’t walk out empty handed, either. You could say it’s my form of retail therapy – delicious, delicious edible retail therapy.
So when I was invited to check out the newest location of Union Market recently, I was excited to see what this Brooklyn-based market was all about.
The focus while I was there lay mostly on the prepared food section, which was filled with lovely goodies – hot items as above…
Basque style pintxos… lovely
And a plethora of very yummy cold items. I really enjoyed how the chef stayed mostly within cooking seasonally, but managed to still have everything taste bright through the use of citrus notes. In the winter, oftentimes cooking seasonally seems to translate to blah and boring, or soups and stews that all taste one note, heavy, rich… which isn’t bad, but can be very dull to the palate after a few months!
While I enjoyed the prepared foods section a great deal, the entire market enthralled me. Note that the market looks small on the outside but actually opens up and is quite deep going back… and has a fabulous produce section when you first walk in, which leads into the amazing cheese selection… and then opens towards the various aisles filled with their own labels of goodies (olive oil with super reasonable prices, pasta sauces, chocolates, and more). I tried their coffee and found it so good that it didn’t need my usual splash of cream to cut the acidity and for a touch of sweetness (you read that right: I drink my coffee near black) – roasted and brewed perfectly, all it needed was to be consumed. In fact, I liked it so much that I met Dessert Zombie an hour later and insisted we go back for him to buy and try the coffee so I could get another opinion as I’m no coffee expert. He also really liked it (or he humored me enough to say he did!), so I must’ve been right. It was super smooth.
There’s also a really fresh seafood section, directly next to the butcher counter – complete with cute butcher, haha – with a large variety of great cuts of meat and different seafood… including sea urchin, which I don’t see at every fish market.
The entire market is worth a look if you’re in the area or if you need a specialty ingredient. I wish I lived in the area – this would totally be my go-to market… maybe they will open up in Forest Hills! While I have some decent markets nearby, another one – especially one as well-organized, stocked and staffed as Union Market – would most certainly be welcome. Maybe even closer to me than the current good markets (the supermarket closest to me is pretty awful, and only suffices in a pinch and/or when I’m feeling lazy).
Total East Village/Lower East Side envy for me!
240 East Houston Street at Avenue A
New York, NY 10009
Please note that all food and drink were on the house. I was under no obligation to post about my experience, and received no monetary compensation to do so. Opinions expressed are my own.