carolinainmymind

can't you see the sunshine….

Wegmans Report (or Oh, Look Harris-Teeter!)

Well, I waited 10 days after the opening to go to the Wegmans here in Raleigh. TV news reported that 30,000 people visited the store on opening day. Even 10 days later when I went the first time, it was still a mob scene. Now, a month and a half after opening it has calmed down some. I have been back every week since then and it is less crowded and I am learning the store so that I can jet in and out. Wegmans is sending coupons, so of course, I have to go. But, they also have things I want to buy and while it is a little farther than my Harris Teeter, it is less expensive for many items than Harris Teeter and the specialty things that I want to buy are there.

So how does the Raleigh store compare to the Fairfax, Virginia Wegmans…. I must preface this by writing that it has been a number of years since I have been in the Fairfax store. Things might be different there now. The big thing that I noticed missing was a large housewares department. (china, serving pieces, dish towels, pretty bakeware) Which is a good and bad thing. In Virginia, the store had Crate and Barrel quality merchandise. And there are Crate and Barrels in Virginia, nearby. There is a Crate here in Durham, not really nearby. I love Crate. I used to work there as a seasonal employee at this time of year. It was a joy to work there because I love housewares. So I was looking forward to a large, well stocked housewares department. But I do not need to be tempted by a large, well stocked housewares department. So it might be a good thing that this Wegmans doesn’t have one.

And I feel that the prepared foods bar has a different mix of foods. But I can’t say exactly how it is different. The Raleigh Wegmans has a burger bar, which we have yet to try. And you can get a glass of wine or a beer in store which used to not be the case in Fairfax. Ben and I had lunch from the prepared foods bar one day. We picked only Asian choices. The egg rolls are really good but there is no chili garlic/duck sauce for them. I can’t remember now what we had but it was good. The prepared food section would be great to take visiting guests or a group with mixed ages or food preferences to. There is lots of seating and it is wheel chair friendly. I would avoid normal lunch time (11:45 -1:30) since there are a lot offices and businesses nearby and employees come in to eat here.

The ready to take home meals section certainly shines bright. I have been visiting the store mainly on Thursdays which is the day that an outside care giver comes in to stay with Ben. I figure I should make my afternoon of respite complete by picking up something from the ‘take and heat’ section for dinner.



This is one of the meals that I have gotten. We have pretty much settled on egg rolls from the prepared foods bar and two Asian dishes from ‘take and heat’ section. It is good, well prepared food and is good value. I am certainly happy to have that as an option.

The bakery section is outstanding. There is a section of mini French pasteries which are $1 each. Not what you would pay at a Carrefour for the same thing but just as good. The problem I have found is that by 4 or so in the afternoon it is sold out. However, there are always loaves of ciabatta left which is not the case at my nearby Fresh Market. Oh, and the cheese……Honestly, tears came to my eyes the first time I saw the cheese department. I pick up something from there every week. It is so nice to have choices. The unfortunate thing is, most of the cheese is cut and portioned for a crowd. Yes, I know that I can always ask to have it split, but really? Is it too much trouble to have some $4 pieces as well as the $8 pieces??????? There are also some tasty looking dips, again packaged for a crowd. Is it too much trouble to pack some $4 tubs as well as the big $8 tubs?

Opening week had a special on scallops. I don’t eat a lot of seafood. Would not touch sushi unless my life depended on it. Seafood doesn’t agree with me. Those scallops were so fresh and good I could almost have eaten one raw. Ben has been enjoying those.



The oysters are pretty too. Haven’t bought any yet but I’m tempted.

What have I found at Wegmans that I can’t find elsewhere.

Well, one thing was these chopped, pickled peppers that I put on subs and Philly cheese steaks. Harris-Teeter used to have them but they completly disappeared as did President brand French butter which Wegmans has. Wegmans also has a very nice selection of tomatoes. They have an 8 pack, mixed flavors of the Danactive yougurt drink while H-T only carries a 6 pack (that costs more than the 8 pack) and H-T has been known to stop carrying it. Wegmans’ house brand pasta sauces are very good. More points for Wegmans, I found polenta. Farro is in the bulk section. And shittake mushrooms can be bought loose rather than pre packaged. Harris-Teeter wins on the arborio rice selection though.

Oh, and the olive oil at Wegmans. Look where it comes from…..



Lucignano, the village right next to where we lived in Monte San Savino….

You know that touched my heart. Our Lidl sells Italian Sparkling Water that is bottled in Monte San Savino. Now if I could just get someone to carry my favorite wine……

I can’t tell how much I miss this wine and its $5 price tag…….

3 Comments »

At last, Wegmans

Today’s the day. To much fanfare the store opened at 7:00 AM this morning. Did I say much fanfare….

Above the fold, front page of Saturday’s paper. Feature segments on many local news stations. Rented signs on the highways leading to the store advising of traffic delays. A food ad in Wednesday’s paper

And they have mailed coupons….So excited! We won’t be going until the end if the week. After last week of traveling to my high school reunion I have had my fill of moving Ben about and in crowds.

When we were considering where to land as we planned our move back here, Wegmans coming to Raleigh helped tip the balance. I am glad that it is finally here.

4 Comments »

Wegmans is coming! Wegmans is coming!

Can you tell I’m excited! I have been waiting for this since before we moved back to Raleigh from Italy! Years now.

The rest of Raleigh is taking it as a big deal too.



It is regularly reported on at least two local news casts. Spoken of as “the State Fair of Grocery Stores”.

Of course they are preaching to the choir when they mail me things.





If they want us there on opening day they will have to send a limo. But we will probably be there that first week. Ohhhh, so excited!

2 Comments »

Finally!

Okay, I know I am writing about a very first world problem. I’ll say that right up front. But it is what I know and what I can write about……………….

BUTTER

Yes, butter. We eat butter. We have eaten it for years, years. Like Julia Childs I try to use it in moderation. That said, I appreciate good butter. Butter in Italy was CRAP! The only way I can describe it, waxy. It just wasn’t good. No matter what brand. And that is because there is such good olive oil, that many folks produced them selves. So why bother with butter.

When Ben and I visited Ireland with his sister in 2004, we rented a house. First thing, I bought several different kinds of butter. So we could taste test. (And several different types of cider too) There were some good butters there. When we used to stay in France, again, all different types of butter. Then we landed in Italy. Butter, a small disappointment. Really not good.

When you live in Italy it is easy to vacation in France. We drove. Heh, six hours away to the south of France. It dawned on me that we could buy French butter and bring it back to Italy. So for a number of years I did that. I was happy with a commercially mass produced brand, President. President made basic salted and unsalted butter and they also made a ‘sea salt’ version. That is butter with sea salt crystals incorporated in it. Discrete, taste them on your tongue salt crystals. I like salt. I will choose something salty over something sweet any day. So this butter was just the best.

After two years back in the US, I had actually forgotten about my favorite butter. Then I was reading a French blog online and reminded of it all over again. I thought longingly of that butter. Looked on the President web site to see if it was sold anywhere nearby. Well, basic butter is the sea salt crystal, no. So it was pushed to the forgotten corners of my mind. Then….

I was in the Harris-Teeter looking for President butter. IT WAS GONE! DISAPPEARED off the shelf. Of course I had to discuss this with the dairy products guy. He seemed to think it was a warehouse issue, not a discontinued forever issue. (Good for him, because my reply will soon be ‘Well, you might well just drive me to Wegmans’ which will be open in the fall) Anyway, I found Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter. Heh, give it a try. It sat in the fridge for two days before it occurred to me to try it.

OH MY!!!!!!

BUTTER WITH SEA SALT CRYSTALS IN IT!

DISCRETE, SEA SALT CRYSTALS THAT DANCE ON YOUR TONGUE

I almost cried. Really, I am so happy I have found this butter. This is the butter to put on a warm croissant. To put in hot baked potato. To melt and pour over popcorn. And the best of all, a hot ear of corn on the cob.

So tonight, we watch the ACC final and eat baked potatoes, I’ll have mine with the Vermont Creamery Sea Salt Butter thank you.

 

 

Leave a comment »

Hmmm, getting excited

Well excitment is building…..

Hiring has started for Wegmans. The excitment is building. Our Harris-Teeter is going to be remodeled. I guess they think they might have some serious competition. I’m telling you, Raleigh will soon be a great place to grocery shop. Now, if we could just get decent wine at a decent price….

1 Comment »

Changes

The best…..Wegmans

Wegmans Rising

We found out before we moved back from Italy that Wegmans would be expanding in to North Carolina. I was so excited then and even more excited now that I see it rising from the ground.

The Post Office in Cameron Village is closing. HORRORS!!!! We heard about this last fall and thought that closing was supposed to happen after the first of the year. I asked the other day and it seems that a loophole was found in the contract and the post office can remain until another location in the nearby area can be found. This was the post office where, a number of years ago, a postal employee was fired for talking like Donald Duck. Of course, I thought this was wonderful and always chatted with him in Daisy Duck’s voice. I am sure he was warned before he was let go. And he did not use that voice all the time. I guess it was one time too many. I think his dismissal made the paper. Still, I was crushed.

In recent years, a number of buildings in the Cameron Village have been torn down and replaced with a larger, taller buildings. But the plan is for the building to be renovated inside while the 1960s facade will be updated but essentialy remain the same. A medical facility will go in there.

Post Office on Oberlin Road

I think I have written about the Baskin-Robbins in Cameron Village becoming a ‘Kale Me Crazy’. I don’t know what to say about that.

And as sad as the Post Office closing is, Little Art Gallery is closing. I have been going to the Little Art Gallery since I moved to the area in 1971. I have numerous pieces from there. The founder, Ruth Green, was a beautiful, elegant, knowledgable woman who knew her art, what the public wanted and how to run a business. I always admired her. And I admire her daughter, Roseanne, for becoming a part of the business. While I am so sad to see it close, I am happy for Roseanne to be able to retire. Good for her!

Otherwise, our building is getting a new roof and larger gutters. We finally got all of the old, ill-fitting wooden windows replaced in our unit and I have gotten fancy made to order shades. So we are a little warmer. The mistake we made in renovating was to not put in under floor heating. The cold rises from the floor. I might still go back and insulate under the floor. Such terrible problems we have…. just kidding. I know they are very ‘first world’ problems and I am privigled to have them.

Lastly I apologize for my mis-spellings. I am using a new ‘editor’ program to write these posts. I can’t find spell check…..

Leave a comment »