I don’t mind telling you it took me four careful walks around East Fremont’s new Market grocery store to satisfy my usual grocery list, only because the Market is strangely organized and a little sparse. And when it comes to finding deli meat, I have the patience and determination of a lion chasing a honey-glazed gazelle.
Only a week or two after opening, Market’s inventory misses a lot of the things that make a stop at Smith’s or Sprouts so successful: Any substantial cuts of protein are shoehorned between the beer cooler and the hot food deli, and the produce offerings, at least right now, leave a lot of dietary holes. This is exactly what I bought: oatmeal, milk, broccoli, half a pound of swiss, half a pound of turkey, Greek yogurt, pita bread and a dozen eggs. This is after dodging an impressive and noted-for-later-impulse selection of almost exclusively craft beer, good cheeses and plenty of fancy chocolate. With that in mind, it garnered a familiar comparison: Whole Foods, only crammed into the square footage of a Cuban restaurant.
Despite the high-priced unnecessaries—how many kinds of kale chips does one need?—you can shop cheaply here with some caveats and substitutions. I escaped with the aforementioneds, plus a cup of Portland’s Stumptown coffee and an absurdly good grilled brie and apple sandwich, for about $45—roughly what I’d spend for the same things at Trader Joe’s (minus the Stumptown and the sandwich, to Joe’s chagrin).
My hate for favoring expensive snacks over more foods of substance notwithstanding, Market has a promising future. Both because it has a bigger deli in the works, and because it doesn’t try to be a million things like so many new Downtown businesses do. It doesn’t have a stage. It doesn’t have a machine that makes books. It’s a grocery store. Period.
The Market 611 Fremont St., 702-586-3401. Sunday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 7 a.m.-midnight.