|Address:||4-85 47th Rd, Long Island City, NY 11101, USA|
|Working:||8AM–10PM 8AM–10PM 8AM–10PM 8AM–10PM 8AM–10PM 8AM–10PM 8AM–10PM|
I have a love-hate relationship with Food Cellar. On the one hand, there are so many things to love: * The delicious fresh salad bar. * The hot bar with so much variety and different selections every day. * The great selection of beers. * The delicious pizza (kudos to the amazing pizza chefs!). * The friendly and helpful customer service and check-out staff. * The convenience. * The cheese samples (but some more variety would be nice, its always the same 3-4 cheeses). So many things to love. On the other hand, we have so many things to hate: * The terrible attitude of the manager Alfred, who seems to think that it is OK to sell you moldy and/or rotten food or badly made pizza, then try to refuse to let you return them, sometimes even if you are within their advertised return window of 48 hours for perishable items. Being friendly and helpful to your customers and apologizing for your mistakes will advance your business much more quickly, sir. * The refusal to give anything other than store credit for returns, even for items that have gone bad. * The constant bait-and-switch pricing - check your receipt VERY CAREFULLY, there is almost always at least one item which rings up at the wrong price, ripping you off by a few dollars every time you shop here. * The never-ending problem with the freshness of the produce, the refrozen ice-cream, the milk that has gone sour, the moldy bread and cookies. * The chaos, the lack of organization, the incompetent management. * The high prices. We have a running joke that everything here costs at least $5. All the prices are rounded up to the nearest whole dollar. They get away with it only because they have a captive audience. Hopefully the competition from Urban Market will force them to get their act together.
Location extortion. IM PRETTY SURE THEY SHARE THE SAME FOODSOURCE AS RIKERS ISLAND. I walked in with a friend of mine who works in Rikers in corrections and she was pretty sure she as seen some of the same foods. Considering how close Rikers is I wont be surprised. You will find yourself paying 2-3 dollars extra for any and everything. I cannot tell you about the overall grocery experience, im not really of a healthy food person. As for the Hot Bar buffet, salad and deli, it the most disgusting thing ever. Im pretty sure there paying off people to keep this place open. Food is constantly reused for day, I would see the same salmon from Monday called Honey salmon on Thursday will be called Ranch Salmon. You say hey why eat here, well is there really a choice between eating now, cooking, or waiting 45 minutes for a LIC delivery. I mean alot of the methods this store uses arent fundamentally right, who leave fish on a hot buffet open for hours, and who puts already made sandwiches in a fridge and sells them for $7 dollars. Ive been buying food all my life and have never seen bread keep in a fridge on a sandwich, just the thought is nauseating. I MEAN AS SOON AS YOU WALK YOU SEE ROTTEN ORANGE JUICES ON ICE SELLING FOR $6 DOLLARS. There is discounts here if you wait till 9 pm you can get items for half price but by 930 the food bar will be completely closed. The staff is amazingly friendly and hardworking is one thing i can say! I do not blame them I blame the over protocol of this place. This is the worst supermarket in NYC possibly. I am not mad at them I blame LIC developers for allowing so much condo buildings without any stores or supermarkets. Long Island city -GREAT VIEWS BEAUTIFUL SCENERY AND BAD SUPERMARKETS.
I bought a carton of milk and when I came home and had a sip, it tasted horrible that I had to spit out and wash my mouth. I am a working mom so did not have a chance to go back to the store until a couple of days later during my day off. I brought it to customer service and the manager happened to be there. He examined the receipt carefully, checked the expiration date of the milk (which had not expired), and told me that it would not be a problem and that he will exchange for the same product. I was fine with that but told him I would need to pick up my child and stop by and pick up the milk on my way home. When I came back to the store with my child after 10 minutes, I was told by a staff member sitting at customer service that the manager had told her about me, and that since milk is perishable goods and it is past 48 hours, if I took a new milk I would have to pay for it, and that the managers are in a meeting so I cant speak to any of them. I am fine with the policy, but greatly offended by how he lied to my face. Upfront explanation of policy and apology for selling rotten milk would have been fine. I also caught them a while back putting price stickers over a 1 week expired product that was on display - why are you being so cheap? I am going back to fresh direct, which has much more reasonable prices and better customer service, despite the convenience.
We have had awful experiences with this store. Terrible produce, milk that goes bad before its expiration date, refrozen ice cream, shrimp that was FAR from fresh and sausage from the meat market that had an awful smell when I opened it up at home. The prices are sky high, but there is nowhere else in the neighborhood to shop. They often run out of many items. There have been a number of times when they were out of basil, and that is just one example. When asking an employee if some unmarked chocolate was unsweetened or bittersweet, he went to a manager to find out. The response, "It might be a little sweet, but not too sweet." Many employees seem absolutely clueless about their products. And watch out, sale items often do not ring up so at the register. Ive even had a cashier try to charge me $20 for a head of garlic because there was a heavy can on the scale while she was weighing it. Thats just the beginning. Once I have another option in the neighborhood, Im never coming back!!
This grocery store is certainly over priced and you cannot always get veal when you want to, however, there are more pros than cons. One of the biggest pros being their pizza corner, which produces EXCELLENT pizza from a brick oven. They use high quality ingredients on all of the pizzas and sprinkle them with fresh basil. They also sell their pizza dough, which is great dough that can be used for many other things besides pizza. Food Cellar also has a nice bakery section that includes gelato and cookie aisle that includes many european brands, which are hard to find in other grocery stores. The cheese, olive, and tea sections are large with a good variety. There is also a florist in food cellars that has very uniquely crafted bouquets that are very beautifully arranged, wrapped and presented, not just the usual grocery store bouquets where groups of flowers are just thrown together in plastic.
We have done almost all our grocery shopping here. We will start going to Urban Deli and try fresh direct. We like a lot of things with food cellar and if only the negative things would be corrected, which cant be a problem, we would definitely continue doing most of our shopping here. Positive things: Good selection in general Fresh vegetables and fruit Good quality meat Large selection of interesting beer Negative things: - In just 3 months we have had bad scallops and moldy cheese two times - They have the fish on ice but in closed containers so the water wont drain - wanted to buy Arctic char but the filets were covered by 2 inches of water and looked terrible - Good selection of fish but it often smells a bit - I have worked with fish and know when it smells of bad/old fish - Pretty expensive