Imagine a dinner of grass-fed rotisserie chicken with apricot and peach sauce, vegan dirty rice, organically grown grilled vegetables and chipotle sweet potato salad. After dinner, a hot cup of locally roasted coffee.
It may sound like dinner at a fancy restaurant in Manhattan for those who fancy clean eating. But it's not. It's the work of Fresh Fanatic, an all-natural, organic, local foods market and cafe in Brooklyn.
Just two months ago, Fresh Fanatic, located at 275 Park Avenue (at Washington Avenue) in Fort Greene, expanded, adding more products, a kitchen, a hot and cold bar and community tables for dining in.
"We wanted people to have a full experience," said Andrew Goldin, 27, who co-owns Fresh Fanatic with his brother David, 35.
"[My brother and I] both have lived in this neighborhood for the past ten years, and the biggest problem was that we couldn't find a market with fresh, organic or local produce; couldn't find any grass-fed meat or chicken; and we weren't able to find organic dairy or perishables.
"Also, for lunch, we couldn't find anywhere to get a good sandwich. There were no prepared food markets in the area. There were no organic juice bars nearby. And coffee shops were scarce."
So, in 2009, the Goldins opened Fresh Fanatic, inviting residents from the surrounding area into the organic paradise they'd created from what was formerly a food dessert.
With the addition of a kitchen, upgraded equipment, in-house refrigeration and more products, Fresh Fanatic has matured into a one-stop-shop where you can come in, have your breakfast, lunch or dinner prepared, or purchase the products you want to take home to cook along with something already prepped.
They make fully prepared meals. But any of the dozens of hot and cold sandwiches are our top choice, as everything is fresh and handmade—from the bread, to the marinades, to the sauces to the locally grown vegetables. All of the grass-fed meat is cured, cooked and sliced off the bone, on-site. The difference in the taste is remarkable, and everything is reasonably priced.
The store offers six choices of hot soups; their turkey chili has a cult following, said Goldin, and then there's always one vegan and one vegetable choice soup. With two chefs and two prep cooks, they give their food preparers the freedom to freestyle new dishes, as a variety of deliveries come in each day.
"There's always fresh food that can be made as we get different deliveries," said Goldin. "In this neighborhood, it's great for couples: they come in after work; they may purchase the meat to cook and then grab some of our dips, marinades, toppings, all of which are organic and made fresh daily, it makes their life much easier."
The grocery store has a freezer devoted entirely to vegans, a section of all gluten-free products, as well as top-of-the line exotic cheeses, produce and meats: smoked fish, duck bacon, ground buffalo, ostrich, goat milk cheese and sheep's milk cheese . They even grind, season and package their turkey, chicken and lamb burgers.
Recommended: Do not leave the store without trying:
- The homemade olive hummus (blended to smooth perfection from fresh, yummy olives and a top-notch olive oil);
- The Mahummara dip, made from pomegranates and walnuts, with mild Middle Eastern spices (it's dip for chips, but try not to eat this hungry. It's so good, it will easily turn into your entire meal);
- The grass-fed duck bacon (chop this up and bake in the oven with brussels sprouts and a dash of salt and black pepper, and you will feel like a culinary genius); and
- The Raspberry Walnut Rugelach Cookies (I think, quite honestly, these may be the world's most perfect cookie. Try it!)
And if you're worried about prices, don't. The Goldin brothers were meticulous about including one or two name-brand options mixed in with the higher-priced items, (which really are not that much higher priced at all). The prices are reasonable, and for what you're getting, well worth the few extra quarters. For example, a box of gluten-free macaroni is $2.99; freshly ground and hand-prepared grass-fed lamb burgers with spices is only $9.99/lb; and a single serving of grass-fed filet mignon will cost you about $10.
The options, the aroma, the colors, the freshness and the doable prices will have you running through the aisles like you're in the Healthy Food Olympics, grabbing everything all the while singing this!
Yep, that will happen. Eating clean has a way of making you feel pretty darn good about yourself.