Posted by johngl
Along about the middle of February, there came a new game to town. They call themselves Newflower Farmers Market and they resemble a farmers market about as much as any chain grocery store might. These guys are the “serious food at silly prices” people I mentioned in an earlier post. The silly price on my first visit was a fresh pineapple for 88 cents. Yes, I bought it.
Here is the way the store really looks:
Upon entering the store, the first thing you see is this sign that relates their silly slogan:
The thing is, I live in Austin, TX. The headquarters and flagship Whole Foods is here. Central Market, the high-end division of HEB is here. I can find nearly anything I want here.
What brought me in this particular day was the most glorious spousal unit’s quest for lobster. They had advertised tails at a reasonable price. Or so I thought.
I paid the same price for each of these. The only one that actually came in at the advertised weight was the one on the far left. The one on the far right was more than two full ounces lighter than it was supposed to be. This didn’t make me happy.
This made me happy, at least at the time (I hadn’t weighed the lobsters yet):
The one on the left is ground elk. The one on the right is ground ostrich. Normally, you don’t see this in a grocery store. It gave me hope that this could be a wonderful shopping experience. I picked up the 88 cent pineapple and some actual coconut oil (great for Thai food).
We hit the checkout:
We waited, and waited, and became well acquainted with the guy behind us. Nice guy. Great sense of humor. We joked about the pineapples. They were so cheap he was buying them for decoration.
None of us were amused at the waiting. Yet, we waited some more.
We finally checked out and headed home. I got to work on the lobster bisque.
The bisque turned out well, yet I was still not happy about getting rooked on the lobster.
I’ve done some research on yelp.com and the Austin Newflower scores a 3.5 stars after 42 reviews. Some love it, others not so much. I am in the not so much camp. I don’t like that they have “farmers market” in their name. It isn’t — it doesn’t even resemble a farmers market. Farmers should revolt.
Every week, they have their “silly prices” on a few things like produce items, but the prices on a lot of other items are on par with or higher than HEB. Since this visit was soon after they opened, I am probably going to give them another chance, but I am not really sure why I should be nice and spend more money there.
For the bulk of my groceries, I will stick with HEB. For specialty items I will stick with Central Market or Whole Foods. For certain ethnic foods, I will stick with Fiesta. For fresh produce I’ll hit a real farmers market.
I might go back to Newflower for another pineapple or maybe give the ostrich and elk a whirl…