New York Mart in Sunrise is set to open tomorrow in Timberlake Plaza at 8 a.m. The chain has set off heated responses in New York, chronicled by the Wall Street Journal in "Changes in Flushing Set Off Food Fight" when the grocery store replaced a crappy Key Foods to accommodate the growing number of Asian residents in Flushing. Gawker parodied the incident in "White Folks Demand Freedom From Weird Asian Food."
There are at least five New York Marts in that city, which Serious Eats calls "the best supermarket in town"
for its "crazily impressive" selection of American goods, "along with
butchers and fish and live frogs, a bakery and steam tables
and a rotisserie, a huge produce selection and a bigger frozen section.
Just about anything you could want, under one roof."
I'm guessing we won't have the live frogs here in Florida -- who needs a
supermarket for that when you can just get 'em outside? -- but there are
plenty of reasons why this Asian market might just kick Fresh Market's ass, should it ever actually open on its scheduled date of February 1.
In an article I wrote for the Washington Post, I
reported that Asian grocery stores such as H Mart are reporting 10 percent gains a year, while Whole Foods and
Safeway reported plateaus or worse: double-digit drops in net income.
Why are Asian markets so appealing? They offer
diversity and superfresh stuff at lower prices (provided that organic isn't
your priority). For example:
There's high turnover of fish, so it's often of better quality than what you'd find in other grocery stores and
You can get a broader range of cuts -- LA style or Korean cut short
ribs, for example-- as well as organ meats, etc. you don't
find at a standard grocer.
The condiments are insane, as in, twenty types of soy sauces, from
dark to malty; chili pastes. Then there are the noodles: rice-, egg-, soba-, or glass
noodles made with mung bean. That's just a start.
The range of produce and herbs is rich. We're talking lotus stems, bitter melon, tindora squash, persimmons, and Fuji apples. And it's cheap. Five lemons can cost just $1, compared to 79 cents a piece at Whole Foods or Publix.
Figuring out the details of whether the Sunrise store is the first New York Mart in
Florida -- or anywhere outside New York-- is like a South African
talking with Siri.
Clean Plate Charlie: When do you open?
Manager: Tomorrow at 8 a.m.
CPC: Are there other New York Marts in Florida, or are you the first?
Manager: We're the good one.
CPC: So are there other New York Marts in Florida -- or any other state?
CPC: Are you the same as the one based in New York?
Manager: Yes. Come see us tomorrow at 8 a.m. and you'll see.
Then I called all of the branches in New York to track down corporate, each of which led to a Who's on First? loop, which I had also experienced while researching the Post article.
In any event, should you find yourself that way, check it out. It's in
a newish strip mall with a terrific Cuban place and a respectable Italian
New York Mart, 10063 Sunrise Strip, Sunrise. Call 954-748-0065.
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