Fresh & Easy - Not just any Neighborhood Market

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is a friendly market that not only provides quality, but also amazing budget prices that cannot be resisted.  The celebration at The Roosevelt Hotel on June 24, 2009, proved this statement to be true.   

 

A couple enjoying their food



Celebrating the approval of their liquor license at the Hollywood location, Fresh & Easy shared many h’ourdeourves which were paired up with wines that are very unique to the Fresh & Easy Markets. The poolside venue was a fantastic location to hold this intimate setting event.   

Chef Michael Ainslie put together all of the h’ourdeourves and talked a bit about the wines and why he chose what he did.  Ainslie commented how it was fun to create food pairings that blended perfectly with the wine.  He comments, “we are trying to turn people onto our stores.  We are unique in the sense that we have a personal wine selection”.           

Chef Michael Ainslie

   


The hummus and pita platter offered a Lemon Cilantro and Red Pepper hummus’, which were also accompanied by many fresh vegetables including, carrots, radishes and snap peas.  Olive Oil and Sea Salt Pita chips were also a great dipper for the hummus’.  A Cheese and Charcuterie platter showcased Sopressata Salami, Coppa, Manchego, Brie and Oak Smoked Cheddar.  Accompanying these, was an olive tapenade and Artichoke Antipasto toppings, with a wide selection of artesian breads and crackers.

   


H’ourdeourves being passed, left mouths watering and wanting more.  Cubes of honeydew melon wrapped in paper-thin slices of prosciutto, topped with a hint of mint refreshed taste buds.  Caprese Bites included grape tomatoes and fresh mozzarella pearls, wrapped in a basil leaf with a touch of pesto. 

One of the serevers offering Caprese Bites to guests

 


One of the most popular were the Espresso Tri-Tip with Gorgonzola.  These tasty bites of tri-tip were rubbed with Nicaraguan Highlands Single Origin Coffee, roasted, and topped with a taste of Gorgonzola cheese.  The Gazpacho Shooter brought a whole new meaning to “fresh”, pureed and topped with chives.  Lastly, the Apricot Chicken was herb roasted and sat on top of a black pepper cracker with an apricot and whole grain mustard sauce. 

Espresso Tri-Tip with Gorgonzola

   


The wines that are sold at Fresh & Easy are wines that are not sold anywhere else, since they work with wineries and vineyards to develop wines that are unique.  Over 180 wines are offered in the Market, 70 of them not sold anywhere else. 

The Fresh & Easy La Gioiosa Prosecco is a refreshing sparkling wine that has a light scent of peach and pearl.  This wine finishes with a dry finish.  It is from the Veneto region of Northern Italy and is made from 100% Prosecco di Valdobbiadene grapes.  Arranged on the table at the entrance, guests were able to enjoy a glass right as they walked in.  This wine has an unbelievable shelf price of $7.99. 

 


Many other wines were also being served at the bar.  There was a Fresh & Easy Hilltown Vineyards Chardonnay which retails at $6.99, a Fresh & Easy St. Helens Riesling, selling for only $4.99.  The Chardonnay is from the Monterey Peninsula in Northern California.  Ripe peach and apricot fruit flavors of the Riesling paired impeccably with the Apricot Chicken

Giving a rich taste with concentrated blackberry and dark cherry fruit flavors, the Fresh & Easy Napa Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon has won many awards.  Lastly, the Fresh & Easy Les Cepages Pino Noir is from France and offers the taste of blackberry and raspberry fruit.  Le Cepages “has a long length with a warm vanilla spiciness on the finish”, and it will be available in stores July 6, 2009, so keep an eye out.

Fresh & Easy currently has 120 stores total.  Vegas, Phoenix and California are the homes of the stores, with 70 locations here in California.  Although they are a little smaller than the usual chain grocery story, they not only sell food – prepared meals and produce, but also offer groceries to the consumers as well.   

The DJ brought some "fresh" music to the evening

 

 


Fresh & Easy carries their own line of products which are made without artificial flavors and colors, no added trans fats and preservatives are only added when they are needed. They also carry name brands that everyone has heard of.  It is said that the prices are as much as 15% lower than some of the many markets and stores that are around.  It wouldn’t be a surprise if Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets start popping up all over the United States.  For opening in 2007, this Neighborhood Market has created quite a name for itself. 

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