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  1. #1
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    Default Grocery store recommendations for a foodie?

    Any suggestions for good stores near MB? I'm willing to drive & can go in off-hours during the day. Here are my thoughts on the stores I've visited so far:

    - Publix. Not bad for a big chain. Surprisingly decent cheese selection, okay produce & meats. Not too impressed by Publix brand items & there's not much of an offering of specialty or ethnic foods. The 20th Street store seems to have a slightly larger selection than the 5th St. one.

    - Meridian (6th & Meridian). Thought it would be great using a neighborhood, independent market, also thought it would have great Latin products for experimenting. Not so. Had to throw away the meat that I bought. Produce can be okay & is cheaper than Publix. But everything else is just packaged foods, typically lower-end brands. So it's just a smaller sub-segment of a Publix market.

    - Epicure looks nice, but appears to be a very small selection. Also, I have issues with a store that doesn't put any prices on its meat or fish (if you have to ask the price,...).

    - Whole Foods. Doesn't seem to be as complete as other WF I've visited. Cheese person didn't know much about cheese, appeared to be a person slicing & wrapping product vs. a specialist. Olive bar isn't really any different than Publix's. Fresh meat section is sort of a joke, it's so tiny. They do have some ingredients that I couldn't find anywhere else, but their prices perpetuate the "Whole Paycheck" joke.

    - Fresh Market in Coconut Grove seems to have a good produce selection & lower prices than WF.

    - Malim's in Coconut Grove has also been mentioned as a good choice. Have not yet visited.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    The Winn Dixie in Key Biscayne might be off your path, but for us, it's the best grocery shopping experience in Miami.

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    Editor Carlos Miller's Avatar
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    I find it hard to believe that a Winn Dixie can offer the best grocery shopping experience in Miami, but maybe the KB one is different from all the ones in Miami.

    I personally loathe WD and only shop there on occasion because I can walk across the street to it.

    I like the Milam's in the Grove, especially since they revamped it. They have a good selection of Boar's Head meats, which is important for me, and they have a decent produce section.

    They also have a good selection of wines and they sell the chocolate almond milk I drink cheaply, unlike WD.

    You might like the Whole Foods in Coral Gables, which is just off US 1 and Red Road (57th Ave), but that might be a little drive for you.

    I found that Publix's specialty brand items are very good. I forgot what they call them, but the pasta sauces are better than much of what you buy that costs twice as much.

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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Miller View Post
    I find it hard to believe that a Winn Dixie can offer the best grocery shopping experience in Miami, but maybe the KB one is different from all the ones in Miami.

    .
    You need to check that WD in KB. It's not like any other I've been to. I'll hit a WD from time to time because they got the best prices on meats and some 2 for 1 deals as well. It's not out of this world, but I like shopping there.

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    Thanks for those recommendations. Had never thought of KB (it does seem a bit far), but I will check it out.

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    Senior Member GandJ's Avatar
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    Check out Fresh Market in Coconut Grove.

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    The Winn Dixie in KB is easily the nicest one I've ever been to. Then again that's kinda like saying Police Academy 5 was the best Police Academy movie ever. In comparison it's not bad, but it still kinda sucks. Best you're doing on the Key, though.

    Miami is a little lacking in the fine food store selection. I think the Fresh Market/Whole Foods variety is about the best you're going to do. Although seriously, if your standards are higher than what those places have to offer, you really need to take yourself a little less seriously. That's the pejorative "you," by the way. I'm not directing that at anyone.

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    There are also several farmers markets. There's a partial list at the following url:

    http://www.florida-agriculture.com/c...rs_markets.htm

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    YES! The Grove farmer's market is, or at least was as of a year or so ago, pretty solid.

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    Made a tour of the stores today (starting with my inaugural visit to Costco). Have decided that Fresh Market is the place for me. Definitely the nicest selection of produce (including organic at pretty reasonable prices), good cheese & butcher & probably the nicest environment. Will supplement with visits to Malim's/IGA on the way home for staples that Fresh Market doesn't have & swing by Whole Foods for any remaining items. I wish that there were a Fresh Market in MB, but will have to settle with a weekly visit to the Grove (though stopped by Jaguar for lunch & it was pretty good, so maybe will make that a part of the shopping excursion).

    Did not make it over to the Key Biscayne WD. While I'm sure it is very good, I think that the chain stores are more limited in their buying selection than the independents. Also, it just seems so far (plus a toll) just to get groceries...

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    Editor Carlos Miller's Avatar
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    You sound like me. I often have to do a tour of stores to get all I want, including Costco, which rocks. I wish there was one closer. Perhaps in that Home Depot in the Grove. We already have a Home Depot on Calle Ocho.

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    Just found out that Fresh Market is coming to South beach. Their web site says it is coming soon. The New Times says that it is planned for 18th & West Streets & is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Yeah!

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    Default Re: Grocery store recommendations for a foodie?

    Quote Originally Posted by zekedad View Post
    Just found out that Fresh Market is coming to South beach. Their web site says it is coming soon. The New Times says that it is planned for 18th & West Streets & is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Yeah!
    Oh that is awesome! I LOVE the one in the Grove.

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    Editor Carlos Miller's Avatar
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    Fresh Market is also one of my favorites. And luckily very close to me.

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    So there's gonna be a Whole Foods and a Fresh Market within like three blocks of each other? That's crazy. Should be good though as it will keep the crowds down at both.

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    Senior Member GandJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grocery store recommendations for a foodie?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    So there's gonna be a Whole Foods and a Fresh Market within like three blocks of each other? That's crazy. Should be good though as it will keep the crowds down at both.
    I'm not sure those two stores get most of the same cstomers. Janet and i like Fresh Market, but we don't like Whole Foods.

    Glenn and Janet

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    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Out here in California, we have an interesting new chain called "Fresh & Easy". It's great for people on a budget, because they have a lot of refrigerated dinners you can prepare in a microwave. They also have a lot of healthy type cuisine, though not as healthy as what you'll find in Trader Joe's. The prices are very competitive, and the check-out is all do-it-yourself. They have people nearby to help you bag the stuff, to authorize alcohol purchases, and to hand out coupons. It's just about a block from my house here and very habit forming!

    Meanwhile, Ralphs Supermarket recently had criminal charges filed against it for overcharging for their prepackaged food. It seems they were charging for the ice and the packaging along with the food. On the average, their prices are pretty close to Publix.

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    Just found out that there's another source for fresh, organic produce. Farm Fresh Miami (Farm Fresh Miami; Organic. Local. Direct to You.) makes bi-weekly deliveries of local organic produce (in 15 or 25 lb shares) for $30 or $50. It's a subscription model, but seems intriguing. I haven't talked to them yet, but they were delivering in South Beach at First Surf (though they've closed & haven't put up a sign indicating where they're moving, I thought it was to Continuum).

  19. #19
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi Zekedad! You should pick up a copy of Edible South Florida. It is chock full of foodie info! Edible South Florida Magazine - Local Food Magazine of South Florida

    It's my understanding though that our growing season is pretty much over as the summer approaches. Usually it's in the late fall/winter.

    Here are others CSAs to consider:

    redlandorganics.com
    teenaspride.com
    anniesbuyingclub.com
    organicbuyingclubsofla.com

    We are forgetting one of Miami's long-standing fine markets (est. 1912) : Gardner's. Though their website says they are for catering, they are open for retail ... do not be fooled! My favorite ones are the stores in South Miami and Pinecrest. There's also a small one in Coconut Grove, right near Milam's behind the Home Depot. Gardner's Markets

    Zekedad, although we are going into mango/avocado season (no more veggies), let me know if you want to do a "Maria" tour of the Redlands. I can show you this agricultural area and we can stop at Robert's for produce and Schnebly Winery for a tasting.

  20. #20
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Forgot to add ...

    By the way, Epicure has an excellent deli. Tuna salad, turkey meatballs, prepared salads, all very delish. Oh and there ready-to-go hot meals counter is amazing ... great for those days you want a nice hot meal but don't want to eat out.

    Zekedad, have you been to the "George Jetson" Publix by Sunset Harbour or did you go to the one on Dade Boulevard?

    The Whole Foods on West Avenue is not a full-service one. It used to be called Wild Oats. The one in Coral Gables is huge and has EVERYTHING.

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