Foodcellar & Co.: The Rematch

Foodcellar & Co. Market
4-85 47th Road
Long Island City, NY
(212) 606-9786

About a month ago, I offered my first impressions of the new grocery store in the neighborhood. Since I haven't stopped shopping there, I thought I would offer my revised opinion of the store and some new observations.

Foodcellar offers a great deal on the muffins in their bakery department at $1.59 apiece. The muffins are incredibly fresh, so I wonder whether they bake them on site. My research on the price of a muffin at other neighborhood establishments has led me to conclude that Foodcellar offers the best product for the lowest price. However, finding someone to actually help you at the bakery department is a different issue entirely. There is a sign posted instructing patrons not to reach over the glass, but I'll admit I've been quite tempted to just snag a muffin after waiting a while to be helped. It's not that the bakery department is large or busy or not noticeable if you're in a different department. There's just no one there. Hopefully, this situation will improve because I do like their muffins. Nom nom nom.

One of the appealing features of Foodcellar is their hot bar and salad bar. This is probably what I utilize most at the store given the proximity to my office. Unfortunately, I'm at the point where I'm already tired of the offerings at the bar. They have a lot of prepared salads, which is nice, but the basic salad bar leaves much to be desired. They have quite an assortment of greens, which is nice because I like to change it up between baby spinach, mixed greens, and romaine lettuce, but the toppings get old really quickly. Also, I'm not that impressed by their choices for salad dressing because I'm not a huge fan of creamy dressings. I don't want this to sound like I'm complaining too much, but if I'm going to pay $7.99/pound for the salad bar, I just want... more.

I'll close with two brief observations.

First, on the weekends, they offer breakfast items at the hot bar. When I was buying my muffin last Saturday, I took a peak at the spread: scrambled eggs, sausage patties, bacon slices, French toast, biscuits. Your typical fare. But for $7.99/pound, I would skip the breakfast bar at Foodcellar and have a lovely sit-down brunch at any of the restaurants on Vernon Boulevard.

And second, for those who choose to eat their purchases at the store (there's a place designated for "dine-in" eating), you can also tote along your laptops, for Foodcellar now offers its patrons free Wi-Fi access. I haven't actually seen anyone taking advantage of this, but I spotted the tiny little sign as I was leaving the store the other day. Hopefully the network is reliable!

So I guess my views about the store can still be filed in the "meh" category. I want to love it, but the store could be so much more.

ETA 9/22/08 11:43am: One more thing... Foodcellar does not accept manufacturer's coupons, so if you can actually manage to find a coupon for some of the high-end products they sell, you're out of luck. Womp womp.

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