December 15, 2007

Urban Rustic

Today after my weekly Saturday morning trip to the farmers market, I checked out the new grocery store/cafe in North Williamsburg, Urban Rustic, on North 12th across from McCarren Park. It's the new venture from Aaron Wolf, one of the owners of the Lodge restaurant and director of King Corn. I was very excited about the prospect of a place that offers local (mostly from within 100 miles), farm fresh goods just two blocks away from my apartment. However, I was disappointed to find that it is too expensive for me to frequent. This is strange considering that the owners claimed in this article that "Urban Rustic prices won’t eat your paycheck."

Although the ideology behind Urban Rustic thrills my heart, when I was inside it, it felt pretty similar to other "health food" or "natural food" stores in the neighborhood, with a similar high markup in prices. For example, Ronnybrook milk, which I had just purchased from the farmers market for $2 was $4.40 at Urban Rustic. They have bulk rice, beans, etc, but again it is much more expensive than I would pay at Fairway. (I guess I should look into whether these bulk items are also local, since they probably aren't at Fairway.) And moreover, the sandwich prices are also in the $7-9 range. I'm not like your average hipster who shells out money without a care; I am actually willing to put in the effort to make food in my home and save money. So for all those average hipsters who don't get up early enough on a Saturday to go to the farmers market...Urban Rustic is for them.

I will say, though, that I think this is where I will primarily buy my meat, now that Dines Farms at the Greenmarket has been replaced by Elysian Fields, with its outrageous prices. We bought organic whole chicken and chicken breast from a local farm today for $6.25/lb at Urban Rustic, which is acceptable to me. We're planning on making the whole chicken in our crock pot tomorrow, so I'll let you know how that goes.

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