05.23.10: dinner (duck tacos and the genius of Fairway Market)

Duck Tacos with Cheddar and Mojo Verde

New York is a city of lists: reservation lists, guest lists, top (number) under (age) lists, best of lists; you name it, there’s probably at least two lists out there related to it in some way. They call out the the extraordinary, laudable, special things in life, they reward the loyal, they create instant exclusivity.

We’re usually not too hung up on lists (save for getting reservations on a weekend night at Dinosaur Barbecue, because that is a process) but there is one that we’re particularly pleased to be on, because apparently it is not the easiest to get one’s address on:  the Fairway coupon mailing list.

Fairway Harlem - the outdoor produce section

You see, Fairway Market is one of those rare food retailers that doesn’t have a loyalty or club card (the only grocery store that I know of in NYC that does is D’Agostinos, and it’s the most convoluted, confusing, hot mess of a program that we still haven’t set foot inside one of their stores yet) and the reason why is that they clearly don’t need one. They are rightly touted as having the best prices in the city along and that combined with the best product selection means that we hoof it over to the Harlem location every weekend in order to get our groceries for the day, rain or shine.

The store isn’t riddled with promotions everywhere like you’d see at any other market; while things do go on sale from time to time, prices stay pretty consistent. The exception to this, of course, is a mailer that comes every few months and promises four weeks of savings with a minimum $75 purchase (which is easy to do when you actually cook at home like we do), ranging from $10 off a purchase to a free 8-pack of paper towels. It’s a pretty genius event because it encourages spending more than perhaps you otherwise would and the savings can be pretty substantial, so everyone wins.

It was one of these promotions that led Michael to place a duck into our shopping cart a few weeks ago. His justification was the $10 savings in the meat department that we would get, making this purchase a $6 duck rather than a $16 duck, which I was fine with because it had been a while since we enjoyed a little quacker. Using Alton Brown’s method of first steaming the duck and then finishing it off in the oven gave us crispy skin, and the richness of the duck meat balanced nicely with mojo verde and just a little sprinkling of sharp cheddar cheese. We’ve been doing the roast-bird-then-stuff-it-into-a-tortilla thing a lot lately on weekends, but it’s been fun because we’ve never really done the exact same thing twice, and my salsa-making skills have reached new heights.

That said, maybe we could use a break from tortillas for a while…maybe Fairway will inspire us once again this weekend.

  1. michael said:

    Does this mean my shredded tortilla taco idea for Saturday is out? Just kidding.

  2. Tracy said:

    I love duck. What a deal, $10 off. If duck tacos are working for you…keep doing it. Otherwise, what if you make something else and it doesn’t hit the mark? You’ll be saying “Darn it, we should have made duck tacos again”. I’m just saying 🙂

  3. I’ve always been a bit leery to try making duck at home – certainly have seen many, many recipes on how to cook it without ending up a greasy hot mess but just have never taken the leap. We have a vendor in our area who does homemade duck tamales with tomatillo sauce and sells them at the Farmer’s Market – those are tamales I dream about!! I will add these duck tacos to that ‘dream list’!

  4. Lindsey said:

    Duck tacos!? Yum yum yum. I am in awe.

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