Haven't heard much about the selection of groceries at Best Market? The regional chain is looking to add nine former Waldbaum's and Pathmarks to its current roster of 16 Long Island locations. Its stores have the standard layout of most local supermarkets, but care and attention to detail are evident in almost every aisle.
Best's produce is abundant, varied, well tended and fairly priced. Some recent highlights from the Huntington location on Jericho Turnpike: Italian pole beans, Persian cucumbers, Japanese eggplant, jicama, chayote, green and yellow plantains, papaya, prickly pears, persimmons, okra, Brussels sprouts on the stalk and, from the squash family, cucuzza, delicata, acorn, sweet dumpling, spaghetti, hubbard and red kabocha.
The bread counter features loaves from the vaunted Tom Cat Bakery in Queens, Teixeira's Portuguese Bakery in Newark and others sourced from Featherstone, a leading New York distributor of artisanal breads. The beer department boasts hundreds of brews, local and imported.
Calabro ricotta (from Bridgeport, Connecticut) packed in old-fashioned tins and Garofalo pasta (from Gragnano, near Naples, Italy) are two items Best Market carries that are usually found only in Italian specialty stores.
Four of the Best Market stores offer house-smoked barbecue, including lush, peppery brisket, meaty beef ribs, delicately smoky chicken and tangy pulled pork. Currently you can find barbecue in West Babylon, Patchogue, East Meadow and Lake Grove.
Once Huntington's renovation is complete, its smoker will be fired up again, according to Jonathan Sender, Best Market's vice president of marketing. He said that some of the new Long Island stores also will smoke their own barbecue.