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…….

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Things I’m happy about

I occasionally do stop complaining.  Here are some things that Ben and I are delighted about, tickled about, happy about….

Fruit    I really expected crappy fruit and very high prices.  We are both very surprised at how good fruit is here.  We have had some very good cantaloupes.  Yes, I know they are not in season and not local, but they are good.  Really good and big.  We can manage to get 4 breakfasts from one of them.  Citrus has also been a surprise.  I was afraid I would never seen a blood orange again, but not the case.  And more variety than what we saw in Italy.  I am happy to be eating Temples and Minneolas again.   And tomatoes!  As good as ones that I used to buy at Esselunga.   Last week I even saw beautiful mix of heirloom tomatoes in my Harris-Teeter that were not too expensive.  But by and large I find groceries expensive.  However, I have to qualify that by writing, that we are shopping at a fairly pricey store, simply out of convenience.  Raleigh is blessed with many grocery store choices.  I know this.  I just need to plan our time a little better and start visiting a store more than 4 blocks away.   I think I am still seduced by 2 grocery stores that I can reach in less than 5 minutes.

Newspapers     One arrives at out door every day.  It is crap compared to what  I remember, but still a delight that it arrives.  I find that of the 60 some households in this complex where I share a recycling bin, we are one of the few that recycles a paper and I think gets an actual paper.

Weather    Oh, I know this is a true exception.  But it is sunny here.  No fog.  And at least one day a week in the 70s.  But I know it is still February and all this can change very fast.  I’ll take every 70 degree that there is.

Basketball!  Oh my goodness!  It is almost too much.  We need to schedule our lives around all these games.  But this too will end.  The almost, last big event, the ACC tournament starts on March 7 and then of course there will be the NCAA tournament.  And then it will be all over but…. by then nice weather will be here for sure.

Work on the condo    Progressing at a nice pace.  All the ripping out is done.  New walls are studded in.  The deck was approved and work on it will start this week.  That means Ben will be able to get in and see things.  I’ll be able to set up the planter bed.  We still have decisions that have to be made but maybe by the end of this coming week most of those will be done.

So by and large we are doing well.  Hope you are too

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Oh yeah, we can have BBQ whenever we want….That helps immensely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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