Monday, August 29, 2011

Spicing up a trip to the Great Falls

Great Falls of the Passaic River in Paterson, ...Image via Wikipedia
There was even more water at the Great Falls today than in this March 2010 photo.

There's usually only one place I want to be after a major storm soaks and floods North Jersey -- and that's the Great Falls on the Passaic River in Paterson.

But the Silk City has other attractions, including Middle Eastern markets, bakeries and restaurants, and a large Farmer's Market in its south end.

On Monday, I drove to Paterson and stopped first at Fattal's Syrian Bakery at 975-77 Main St. The street has been repaved through South Paterson, to the delight of drivers.

I picked up a pound of crushed Aleppo red pepper, which I use to spice up fried eggs, omelets, fish and hummus. At $6.99 a pound, it is almost twice the price of a few years ago.

Two pounds of pitted dates from Algeria were $4.99. Fragrant ground cumin was $4.99 a pound. Cans of Libano Verde-brand hummus from Lebanon were 99 cents each, and need only extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice and garlic powder to turn into a dip.

A gallon of Merve Ayran yogurt drink was $7.79.

In early afternoon, police blocked access to the parking lots at the falls, which were swollen by Tropical Storm Irene's 8-plus inches of rain over the weekend.

But I managed to leave my car in a restaurant lot nearby and visit both the overlook and the main viewing area below.

The river was already spilling over Spruce Street. 

The dark-brown, silt-filled water threw up a spray and created a rainbow over the falls. Beautiful.

More food shopping

This morning, the street to my gym in Hackensack was covered by flood water, so I turned around and drove to Costco Wholesale a couple of miles away. It's always a pleasure shopping there after the doors first open just before 10 a.m.

I picked up fresh wild-caught sockeye salmon fillet from the U.S.A. at $8.99 a pound; 6 pounds of white-flesh peaches for $7.99; 1 pound of Earthbound Farm organic spring mix at $4.99; 2 pounds of hothouse-grown Roma tomatoes for $3.29; and 1 pound of organic spinach for $3.99. 

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  1. It's a good thing the Great Falls aren't in Tenafly. If you tried a stunt like leaving your car in a restaurant parking lot your car would have been towed before you could say Peter Piper Picked a Peak of Aleppo Peppers ten times fast. And on that morning trip to Costco, you forgot to mention the gaggle of old ladies who cram the entrance waiting for that free cup of coffee and half a muffin,

  2. No self-respecting foodie would buy hot house tomatoes in August, not in Nj

  3. off to the left when you go in. And I meant peck of pickled Aleppo peppers. Of course it's been a while since I've been to Costco in the morning, so maybe when coffee prices went through the roof they discontinued the freebies. But I don't think the gaggle of old ladies would stand for that, and would take their business to BJ's.

  4. You wouldn't say that if you tasted them, especially the Campari tomatoes from Sunset, and they are this good all year around.

    Besides, I am growing my own tomatoes.

    I saw some local heirloom tomatoes at Whole Foods for $3.49 a pound, and they were big, so each one would likely cost close to $10.

    Be my guest.

    And please don't call me a foodie.

  5. About Costco, a year or so ago, I was told there is a coffee machine in the employee break room in Hackensack that customers can use.

    First thing in the morning, few of the sampling stations are set up. I'll ask next time I go.


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