I recently attended an awesome “Blogger Bash” at The Fresh Grocer of Monument Road to learn all about and sample some of the delicious foods and craft beers offered at Brown’s Chef’s Market. The gourmet market located inside of the Fresh Grocer on Monument Road features a Beer Garden & Wine Cellar with domestic, import, and craft beers as well as a curated selection of wines from around the world. You can’t have great food without great wine and beer!
Sandy Brown, Director of Brown’s Super Stores, is the matriarch of the organization if you will. Along with her husband Jeff Brown, CEO and President, Brown’s owns and operates a chain of eleven state-of-the-art ShopRite supermarkets in the Delaware Valley as well as several Fresh Grocer stores in the Philadelphia area. The parent company is Wakefern Food Corp. based in New Jersey.
During the tasting, Brown’s Beverage Manager and Certified Cicerone Jeff Karbo carefully selected wine and beer to pair with each menu item. Here’s what you’ve got to try at The Fresh Grocer on Monument Road!
Sushi by Bento Sushi
Fresh, high-quality sushi and sushi rolls are available by Bento Sushi. I consider myself a sushi connoisseur and I found these rolls quite good. This supermarket sushi will hit the spot so do pick it up next time you’re at the market!
The recommended wine for sushi is Kungfu Girl Riesling. Recommended beer for sushi is Brooklyn Brewery Sorachi Ace Saison. Both were light, crisp and refreshing; a perfect compliment for delicate fish.
Fire Grilled Chicken and Fixins!
Chicken is my absolute favorite protein and I am crazy about grilled chicken. Most supermarkets these days have some sort of fried chicken available, but I love that The Fresh Grocer also does Fire-Grilled Chicken. They make it every day in an open kitchen where you can watch the cooks firing it up and making all of the delicious sides! For this tasting, the chicken was served with two of my favorites sides — Sweet Potato Mash and Sauteed Almond Green Beans. Their special grilling process makes the chicken crisp and flavorful on the outside, juicy on the inside. I couldn’t help but eat two pieces (a thigh and a drumstick since I’m a dark meat girl). Absolutely outstanding!
The recommended wine pairing was Chloe Pinot Noir 2016 and the recommended beer pairing was Rodenbach Classic. The Rodenbach red-brown ale was spot-on and held up to the smoky flavor of the chicken. I thought the Pinot Noir overpowered the chicken, though. I think a Zinfindel, Syrah, or even a bold Pinot Gris would have fared better for my taste. Chloe wines are great, though!
Sticky Ribs and Savory Sides
Going along with the fire-grilled/BBQ-theme, The Fresh Grocer offers succulent, fall-off-the-bone Sticky Ribs with ultra-savory sides. We were treated to delicious sticky pork ribs, creamy macaroni and cheese, and slow-braised collard greens. We couldn’t have asked for better ribs; textbook perfect. Immaculately tender. The macaroni and cheese was some of the best I’ve ever had (and I’ve had a lot). The collard greens came with huge pieces of tender ham. There’s a ton of flavor in these items. This food is so good it could qualify as a “last meal” dish, but don’t let that happen. It’s impressive how they are making such soulful, homestyle food. I wouldn’t think twice about ordering this food for a party or dinner or any time – any night!
The recommended wine was The Federalist Lodi Zinfindel and the recommended beer pairing was Troegs Troegenator Double Bock. I’m a huge fan of Troegs beer and found the double bock to be perfect up against the sweet sticky ribs. I felt the Zinfindel was a good choice, too, but swapped it with the Pinot Noir from the chicken pairing and I found it perfect with the ribs.
Sweet Potato Bundt Cake and Brownies
They weren’t going to let us leave without trying something from their amazing bakery. They are FAMOUS for their sweet potato baked goods especially the Sweet Potato Bundt Cake. Everybody went crazy over these. The cake is super moist and the glaze is to-die-for. This might be the best cake I’ve ever had. They also make an equally famous sweet potato pie which I can’t wait to try sometime!
The brownies were super fudgy, dense, and packed full of chocolate lusciousness, just how I love them. These aren’t your grandma’s brownies, they’re better. I don’t think there is a better brownie out there, to be honest. I’m salivating just remembering them and trust me when I say this picture doesn’t do them justice! There were also assorted cookies which were great, too. But by this time I was stuffed!
I was super impressed with everything I had and won’t hesitate to recommend checking out Brown’s Chef’s Market inside of The Fresh Grocer of Monument Road for delicious food especially the fire-grilled chicken, sticky ribs, and amazing sides. If you think supermarket food can’t be good, think again. You certainly won’t be disappointed.
Since the Blogger Bash fell on my birthday, this kind and family-oriented organization presented me with this amazing birthday cake from the bakery. I was so touched by their thoughtfulness. And then everybody sang “Happy Birthday” to me. OMG! So much fun! A happy birthday indeed at an amazing store run by a legendary, local supermarket dynasty and an equally remarkable and talented team of culinary experts. 🙂
The Fresh Grocer is located at 4160 Monument Road off of City Line Avenue. Hours of Operation: Sunday-Saturday 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM. Phone Number: (215) 581-4990. Tell them I sent you!
All photos are by Marilyn Johnson. Do not use without permission.
The Doyenne of Delicious in Philadelphia and South Jersey.