Sunday, August 03, 2008

RIP Atlas

In the midst of our corn-storing day, Rob and I took advantage of nap time to run some errands, including a stop at the new Fresh Market on 54th street. Truthfully, the only reason we stopped is because Rob has been infatuated by the rooftop parking lot for months now. Plus -- a couple of hours to burn together while the child sleeps? Bring on the new store!

Actually, I have had very mixed emotions about the Fresh Market for some time now. As a Broad Ripple native I was beyond disappointed when Atlas closed and had pretty much decided to boycott whatever new grocer might try to fill it's void. Like almost everything these days, I have lots of fond memories of the place: it's ridiculously narrow aisles (no small feat wheeling a triplet stoller through that place, let me tell you), Sid holding court on the platform that allowed him to oversee the entire store, browsing the aisles for new treasures, knowing that, no matter how obscure the ingredient, I'd be able to find it at Atlas. And of course, the famous Atlas meat counter that was ultimately it's undoing.

But if I've learned nothing over the past few years, I have most definitely learned that life has a way of going on whether you like it or not. And so rather than begrudge the new kid on the block, I tucked away my fond memories of Atlas and stepped into the Fresh Market.

Well, I didn't actually "step in." To be more precise I "rode down" into the Fresh Market from the rooftop parking deck. It was kind of cool. And I have to say I'm glad I did. Although the place continues to be packed by people like me just wanting to check it out, there was plenty of stock ("fresh," no less) and all of the staff was helpful and pleasant. The new meat counter, while nothing like Sid's, was pretty awesome. I finally found a close source for fresh raw-but-already-cleaned-because-really?-who-wants-to-bother shrimp, which we bought & had for dinner last night (with... come on now.... sweet corn!). Their dessert case was just as impressive and could prove quite dangerous -- I told Rob he needed to move me along.

The place is heavy on unique/organic items, a lot like Trader Joe's or Wild Oats, but also carried a few token major brands (so if you absolutely must have your Doritos, you're in luck). They've got a case stocked with a couple dozen varieties of cold, quirky sodas (Frostie Blue Cream Soda anyone?) and the bulk bins are like nothing I've seen before. And to top it all off, Rob found - and quickly grabbed -- a bag of Peet's coffee, which you really ought to try if you haven't already.

So yeah, we'll be back. It's definitely not going to replace my staple shopping and I'm going to have to save my pennies before I venture back in (or down, whatever). But it's a nice place to pass a half an hour and grab a few things for an extra-special meal. You know -- one fit for my Uncle Paul's sweet corn.

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