Friday, November 18, 2011

Wegmans, Wegmans, Wegmans ... Please!!!

Galeries Lafayette Paris -- Not Wegmans
Would you like to have a food store nearby, that carried a fantastic array of ethnic and gourmet items, priced them as if the store were a BJ's or Costco, had a prepared food aisle out of a Paris store such as Galeries Lafayette Gourmet, a liquor store that offered excellent wines, really excellent, including Spanish Cava, NZ Sauvignon Blanc, Rioja, and more, at $6 a bottle? And much more, including all of the regular grocery store items priced at well below regular grocery store prices? Geez! I would like to have that nearby, too! And we do have such a store, just not very nearby. Wegmans in Bridgewater, about 45 minutes away, down I287, is an amazing place, that inspires, excites, and, well, makes me sad ... that it's not closer.

Voila! They Are the Same! No?  Wegmans Bridgewater

Galeries Lafayette Gourmet in Paris with Tasting Bars for Sampling

Recently we made the trip, and while I am not willing to make that trip every week, I expect we (yes, I mean we) will go every couple of months or so.

Wegman's Main Prepared Food Aisle with Some Sampling Stations --
 View From 2nd Story Cafe Section

We were very entertained, the whole family. There is the spectacle of unusual and unexpected food, such as Broccoli Romanesco, think fractal green cauliflower, and not only great Sushi, unlike regular stale supermarket sushi, but sushi ingredients for making your own, a fabulous pastry and bakery section, and enormous fresh fish section with more varieties than King's or even Corrado's. Plus there is the interest in watching food being freshly prepared -- veggies being freshly cut and packaged at a station above the veggie display case, cheeses being cut and packaged at the cheese counter, and so on.

Broccoli Romanesco -- Green Fractal Cauliflower

Wegmans Prepared Food Aisle -- One End -- Note Tables on 2nd Level Overlooking

Lest you think I am kidding about the prices of staples, 1 Gal. of Skimmed milk was $2.69, exactly the same price as BJ's, and a couple of dollars per gallon less than Pathmark or Stop and Shop. Colombian Coffee was about the same price as BJ's as well. And a lot below that of Pathmark or Stop and Shop.

There is an element of Trader Joe's as well, but of course on a grand scale -- packages of frozen, portion-wrapped Atlantic Salmon (and other types of fish) in 3 lb bags for $6 per lb, and portion wrapped packages of prepared veggies ready to cook, high-quality and unusual ethnic and organic foods ...

We ourselves tried the sushi, which was excellent, the lemon custard tarte, and apple galette from the bakery, which were excellent as well. We bought several cases of wine, and, though we did not recognize some of the names, all were very good, and, well, at 6 bucks a bottle, there wasn't much of a risk.

Add to all of the rest a very friendly and instantly helpful staff and cashier, and I am almost suspicious that it's too good to be true. For goodness sake, when you buy wine, it's packaged into a reusable 6 bottle carry bag, gratis!

Handled Wine Totes, Apple Galette, Lemon Tarte, et al
It's an interesting concept and business model -- more than entertaining enough to be a destination by itself, a great place to eat, with a cafe section overlooking the main food aisle for great people watching, warehouse prices, a full service grocery store, unusual and high quality foods, high-level prepared foods and bakery goods ... is there no downside?

Well, the only one I can think of is distance.

If you haven't been to Wegmans, and the description interests you, go.

You won't be disappointed.


PS: I noticed the Spanish Cava (Sparkling Wine) we had purchased at Wegmans for $6 was available at Roserne for $13.90.

PPS: Wegmans has a blog. You can find Wegmans on Twitter as well as a Wegmans iPhone app. You might also enjoy First taste of the Wegmans experience -

PPPS: Misc Photos we took

Looking back toward entrance. Shortly thereafter we had to put 
the camera away.

Clean Bathrooms! Notice the clever stepstool.

More Galeries Wegmans

Specials Posted As You Enter. You'll find similar
signage throughout the store and specific to the 
product category.

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