Food is something most people need sooner or later for general aliveness and energy for riding Ferris wheels. For $15, today's Groupon gets you $35 worth of natural and organic groceries from Fresh Fanatic. This 7,000- square-foot boutique grocery store in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill specializes in fresh everything. You’ll find fully prepared dishes, spices, and international cheeses on the wood shelves and coolly lit cold cases around the store.
The store itself is fresher than Will Smith trapped in a Rubbermaid 5-Liter Thermoelectric Travel Cooler, just having opened in August of this year. Its selection focuses on quality over quantity. Instead of having to hold a mental debate deciding which of 20 pasta brands to buy, you can relax, because brothers and owners Andrew and David Goldin have already narrowed it down for you. The outcome will always be all natural, organic, or a combination of the two. They also specialize in an array of vegan and gluten-free foods, for those with moral or dietary qualms about eating things made of things.
Aside from the packaged goods, you’ll find a bakery (with gluten-free options); a salad bar; an expansive produce section; and meat, fish, cheese, and gourmet prepared foods departments. A New York Times feature describes some offerings: “artisanal cheeses, whole fish to be filleted to order and meats that are marinated and ready to cook. There are exotics like ostrich, and... cold and hot prepared foods and breads and pastas made in-house.”
The brothers strive to keep the prices moderate despite the built-in premium associated with natural and organic foods. You can pick up a dozen large organic eggs for $2.50, prosciutto di Parma for $15.95 per pound, or Sockeye Salmon reasonably priced at $14.50 per pound. If you’re wondering what Sockeye Salmon is, a knowledgeable butcher or fish-person will happily give you the answer. According to review on the Clinton Hill Foodie blog, “everyone there has been exceptionally friendly and helpful. Stop at the fish counter and you can end up getting a 15-minute lesson on fish. Everyone wants to know what they can do to help, and what they can do better.” So whether you’re new to the boutique grocery scene, or just like befriending supermarket staff, there's a friendly Fresh Fanatic employee waiting to help.
An article in the New York Times highlights Fresh Fanatic’s offerings:
- A food market a stone’s throw from the Brooklyn Navy Yard and in the shadow of the B.Q.E. may hardly seem a shopper’s paradise. But Andrew Goldin... and his brother, David, have lined the shelves, bins and display cases of Fresh Fanatic, the 7,000-square-foot boutique supermarket they own with... artisanal cheeses, whole fish to be filleted to order and meats that are marinated and ready to cook. There are exotics like ostrich, and... cold and hot prepared foods and breads and pastas made in-house. – Florence Fabricant, The New York Times
- The deli and especially the cheese counters looked great. I'm a long way from Greene Grape Provisions and the other great markets in that part of town, so having this kind of cheese and deli selection close by is fantastic. This is probably instantly the best meat counter in this part of the neighborhood as well. – Brian, Clinton Hill Foodie
If you're an even-tempered sort not prone to flights of zealotry, don't steer clear; Fresh Fanatic is just a hyperbolic name to emphasize the quality of the goodly grown greens one can garner at this grocer. If you do, however, suspect you might be coming down with actual freshness fanaticism, check for these telltale symptoms:
- Refuse to wait until tree produces apples to begin eating one.
- Will only buy milk from the far back of cooler time-stamped EXP 2018.
- Passive-aggressively encourage blind dates to become "fresh" with you; leading to mixed messages, long silences in parked cars, and more Mylar apology balloons than you can realistically show off to coworkers.
- Refuse to check out Shanghai Knights until it comes out on Blu-ray.
- Unable to determine which came first, and is therefore fresher, the chicken or the egg, you simply opt to try and eat the sleeves of your straitjacket.
Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.