Living in Queens, arguably the most diverse food destination in the world has made me conversant, if not expert, in global cuisines ranging from Thai and Indonesian to Mexican and Peruvian, to name a very few.
Even though I’m an intrepid explorer of Chinese hawker stands, Central American street food carts, and West Indian roti spots there’s one place that still baffles me, NetCost Market, or as I like to call it “Nyet Cost.” The gigantic Russian supermarket, which offers everything from caviar and charcuterie to fermented mare’s milk and kvass is around the corner from my house, yet I hardly ever shop there.
Adina Steinman demystifies this wonderland of salt, smoke, and fish with a visit to the supermarket’s Brooklyn location. “The Russians will literally pickle anything” Steinman quips as she points out pickled pears, apples, and watermelon. “I don’t know of any other supermarket that has entire whole coils of blood sausage,” she says while browsing the supermarket’s vast buffet.
A companion piece for Epicurious declares it the best grocery store in America. Reading it made me want to stock up on sour cream and pelmeni and prepared foods from the buffet. So there you have it, not only is Queens home to America’s greatest Chinatown, we have the best supermarket too.
As much as I’m a Queens supporter, I have to break it to you that the NetCost in the video is a Brooklyn location (Bensonhurst, I believe,) not the Queens one. In my opinion the Brooklyn ones are better. The Rego Park one is much smaller and is located in a Jewish neighborhood, so it does not carry all of the shrimp or much of the other treif that I’m generally looking for.