Wegman's bread is not as good as the Bread Line. Nor is it's soup as good as New York's Hale and Hearty although several flavors are close to the Bread Line, gumbo among them. It's cheese shop competes with the Whole Foods in Vienna, perhaps even surpassing it. Wine is a disappointment. But this IS a supermarket. Pizza is decent. Subs are, too. Perhaps more so-just don't expect Atlantic City. Entrees are also "decent"-maybe real decent considering their price. Pasta can't compare to a single restaurant in D. C. where they make their pasta in house. But, after all, this is a grocery store. Remembering this it's really pretty good. Their salads don't compare to Sweetwater, Houston's, Coastal Flats or a dozen or even two dozen other restaurants in the D. C. area. Maybe three dozen. But this IS a grocery store. For that they are awfully good-better than any other. Their Chinese food does not compare to Chinatown. Or any of a dozen other places raved about on this or other boards. But, again, this is a grocey store and they have about 60 different entrees on a steam table-they are all at least as good or a better than a neighborhood Mom and Pop takeout.
They also have Serrano ham. And Proscuitto. And Black Forest from the Schwarzwald. And fantastic chocolate. And, seasonally, dry aged bone in Prime rib @$14.99 a pound. Don't laugh-it's $23.99 @Balducci's! And Zweigle's hot dogs in natural casing. Red and white. Hoffman's, too. And the best horseradish mustard of all to go on them!
Five cases of Coke for $10.00. Fancy feast for thirty nine cents a can. Vermont butter, both salted and unsalted. Shrub's pickles from Toronto. Violane nano AND Bomba-both under one roof. Dinosaur chili and chocolate Babka among New York's best. Route 11 potato chips AND Martin's chips.
Fairfax has a total of 35 registers to ring this up, Sterling has 33 total. On weekends all of these are open and there are no empty spaces in the 900+ space parking lot at Fairfax or God knows how many at Sterling with most full. Think about this for a second: 900 or so spaces @two per car, perhaps more than this considering that Wegman's attracts seemingly more families on weekends than individuals-it's an event. That's TWO THOUSAND OR SO CUSTOMERS SHOPPING IN ONE STORE AT ONE TIME. Two thousand!!! or more.
There is only one other Wegman's-and I have been in over twenty others-that even comes close to this and that is their former showcase in Rochester. Both of these are superior to it. Actually far superior. And to Woodbridge, Princeton and Norristown and every other grocery store whether it's called Central Market in Austin or Plano, 275,000 square foot Woodman's in Racine and elsewhere, 285,000 square foot Jungle Jim's in Middletown (bigger but nowhere near as good), Larry's in Seattle, Byerly's in Minneapolis, Schnuck's in St. Louis, Stew Leonard's and on and on and on.
No they are not Pike Place nor Bologna nor the market on the Ramblas in Barcelona. But they are ours'. We're lucky to have these two. They're worth the occasional drive from downtown. And farther, perhaps much farther. I've seen West Virginia license plates in the sterling lot. As much as I love Washington, D. C. there is nothing else even close to them either here or anywhere else. Just accept them for what they are: a grocery store. A very, very special grocery store, not in another city for us to talk about, wishing they were here. Wishing we could have something like this. They are here. They are our's.
Unfortunately fifty thousand or so other people know about them and another several hundred learn about them every weekend, giving in to seeing what they are like, only to return over and over. Still, Wegman's is growing. Leesburg is next.
Edited by Joe H, 24 January 2006 - 12:18 AM.