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ladycakeapril
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Anybody checked out the NEW Giant at Tivoli theater in Columbia Heights? It's new, clean, well-lit, did I mention new and clean They actually stock things like creme freche and more than 3 kinds of smoked meats, a great selection of Asian and Mexican ingredients, and a respectable amount of organic/all natural foods. They have fresh-looking fruits, veggies, and seafood and it is HUGE. The reason it may be nice so far is that it is surrounded by construction and a little hard to see from the street, but it's worth the search because the people who work there are nice.

Now, the deli needs help -- who is buying Watergate Salad in bulk, if at all? Does anyone remember this? If you grew up on Cool-Whip, you do.

But it's a start, and a major improvement over the "crack Giant" at 9th and P where I am usually forced to go after work for "a few things." That place is OK inside and not too bad if you don't need anything remotely gourmet and you have half and hour or more to spend in line, but I usually leave pretty steamed.

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Anybody checked out the NEW Giant at Tivoli theater in Columbia Heights? It's new, clean, well-lit, did I mention new and clean They actually stock things like creme freche and more than 3 kinds of smoked meats, a great selection of Asian and Mexican ingredients, and a respectable amount of organic/all natural foods. They have fresh-looking fruits, veggies, and seafood and it is HUGE. The reason it may be nice so far is that it is surrounded by construction and a little hard to see from the street, but it's worth the search because the people who work there are nice.

Now, the deli needs help -- who is buying Watergate Salad in bulk, if at all? Does anyone remember this? If you grew up on Cool-Whip, you do.

But it's a start, and a major improvement over the "crack Giant" at 9th and P where I am usually forced to go after work for "a few things." That place is OK inside and not too bad if you don't need anything remotely gourmet and you have half and hour or more to spend in line, but I usually leave pretty steamed.

I actually have been there a couple of times recently. Big fan, with the sole exception of the seafood counter, which has never appeared particularly appetizing. Also don't like their selection of frozen shrimp, but I guess you can't have it all.

The place is clean, big, well-lit, and the people are great. Even the check-out lines are a pleasant experience.

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But it's a start, and a major improvement over the "crack Giant" at 9th and P where I am usually forced to go after work for "a few things." That place is OK inside and not too bad if you don't need anything remotely gourmet and you have half and hour or more to spend in line, but I usually leave pretty steamed.

Giant put the "Crack Giant" in just off a major riot corridor when everyone with a couple of dollars to rub together was leaving the city as fast as they could. It served a huge swath of very poor DC that was largely reliant on walking and bus service to get their groceries home -- though there used to be a crowd of old retired guys who'd line up out front shooting the breeze with one another and giving old ladies (and me) a lift home for a few bucks. As far as I know, the lines have been slow since the early 80s, when I was shopping there regularly, but the checkers have always been friendly.

And, if it was never on par with the Social Safeway, it was a vast benefit to the neighborhood, and a reminder of how nice it was to have a locally-owned grocery chain that was willing to take a risk in a poor neighborhood-- long before there were $400K condos within walking distance.

I still get in every now and again and always laugh to see the wine section and how many white people shop there now.

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Went into the Van Ness Giant for the first time in months and they have officially set a date to close for renovations--October 7th. They will run shuttles to the new store on 14th Street a few days a week but it won't be the same.

Not that I really shop there much.

They also seem to have stopped getting deliveries on somethings--the magazines and candy are completely gone and the canned goods are starting to look a little thin.

Jennifer

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Sad state of affairs: bad produce sections at the Giant on Wisconsin and Newark (I think it's Newark) and the Whole Foods on River Road.  I had thought I could get decent carrots somewhere<_<

The Giant at Connecticut and Veazey seems poised to reopen.  I wonder if the store's wares will improve or if the overhaul was strictly cosmetic.

March 23rd--I have my doubts that we'll see much improvement in the quality for very long but it will be nice to have it back when the mood strikes for something that requires lemons and I have none in the house!
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I hit the newly remodeled Giant in Van Ness last night on my way home and was mostly impressed. The store is brighter and cleaner than the previous version, with wider aisles and a much expanded produce section. Would have done more exploring but the lines were extremely long and I really just wanted to get my items and go.

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Went to the renovated Giant this afternoon. Sent Mr. BLB this morning for milk for my coffee.

They hid the organic milk in a special section that he couldn't find. Boo, hiss...

They have stopped carrying individual donuts from Krispy Kreme and now carry freshly made Giant Donuts. (When I asked, I was told I could of course still by the crappy, stale boxes of six KK...) Double boo, hiss....

Other than that, the store is huge and clean and for the most part seems to be well laid out. Only time will tell if it stays that way.

I'm still going to my shopping at WF, TJ and the various farmers markets but it is nice to be able to go to the store without every seeing the light of day again.

Jennifer

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They have stopped carrying individual donuts from Krispy Kreme and now carry freshly made Giant Donuts.  (When I asked, I was told I could of course still by the crappy, stale boxes of six KK...)  Double boo, hiss....

Hang on a tic... Giant is making their own doughnuts again? I was not pleased when they shut down their bakeries and polluted their stores with those Krispy Kremes drowning in a sugary glop. Sigh. Giant used to make an airy, eggy cruller with just a dusting of powdered sugar or a drizzle of chocolate glaze. Yum.

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Hang on a tic... Giant is making their own doughnuts again? I was not pleased when they shut down their bakeries and polluted their stores with those Krispy Kremes drowning in a sugary glop. Sigh. Giant used to make an airy, eggy cruller with just a dusting of powdered sugar or a drizzle of chocolate glaze. Yum.

This is about the thrid time that they have switched back and forth between their own donuts (which I really find abominable and the worst of any grocery store in town) and Krispy Creme.

I love the Krispy Kremes that come from their own stores, but the ones they sell in grocery stores and convenience stores are pretty awful too.

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This is about the thrid time that they have switched back and forth between their own donuts (which I really find abominable and the worst of any grocery store in town) and Krispy Creme. 

I love the Krispy Kremes that come from their own stores, but the ones they sell in grocery stores and convenience stores are pretty awful too.

I was in a Giant this morning and they had a new sign up - "Krispy Kreme - back by popular demand". I had a sweet craving so I got one - Thought it sucked. It was more like a sugar glop. What a waste of calories.
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I was in a Giant this morning and they had a new sign up - "Krispy Kreme - back by popular demand".

Meh. It's just not right to ship them on a truck...they're only good fresh off the production line. And I really wish they'd ditch those awful fake crullers for a proper choux.

...says the guy who, at a charity function, bid-on and won a Krispy Kreme t-shirt, hat, coffee mug, toy truck, boxers, and donuts for a year...

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Other than that, the store is huge and clean and for the most part seems to be well laid out. Only time will tell if it stays that way.

Well, its still huge, clean and well laid out, but there some telltale adjustments being made, possibily due to a lack of demand for some of their higher end offerings. The bakery offerings have been significantly scaled back - they used to have several different types of cakes, available whole or by the slice but now only offer plain old sponge cake by the slice.

The cheese counter is interesting and has some pretty good selections, Fougerous, Humboldt Fog etc but I have never seen a staff member actually working the cheese counter and most of the prewrapped selections are too big and theres no one around to cut them. My guess is the selection here will decline over time as well.

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Yet they still get the cvast majority of my shopping dollar. We just went to a giant as it was too late to go to WFM and the experience was nearly traumatic!

I'm sure it's the case with many chains, but I've found Giant's in particular to be very spotty from location to location. There are two Giant's within 2 miles of where I live, one on King Street at Bailey's Crossroads and one at Bradlee Center. I absolutely refuse to set foot in the one at Bradlee Center any longer as it always takes years to checkout. However, the one in Bailey's Crossroads is, while not a pleasure, at least not painful to shop in. If only there were a Harris Teeter nearby... I grew up with them in NC and think they are probably among the nicest "non-niche" grocery stores. The one in Pentagon Center is somewhat convenient as we are in the area a decent bit, but getting in and out of their is such a pain in the butt!

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Has anyone been to the newly re-opened Giant in Chevy Chase? Such and improvement over the previous incarnation. It is not a huge store, but it is clean, nice wide aisles, well-stocked and very nice employees. Don't be put off by the "pay" parking lot, they validate and it is free if you are there for under an hour.

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Via DCist:

Giant discontinuing low-selling products, reducing consumer options

I lament what has happened to Giant in the 25 years I've lived here. It used to be a wonderful grocery store and I loved shopping there. I'd walk on foot to the Greenbelt store (where the Staples is now; Giant moved across the street), and could find everything I could possibly want. Service was good. Prices were reasonable.

Over the years, I've shopped at a number of the locations, and the general decline has been depressing. Some individual stores are still pretty good, but the chain is a shadow of what it was.

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Via DCist:

Giant discontinuing low-selling products, reducing consumer options

Some individual stores are still pretty good, but the chain is a shadow of what it was.

There is but one store in the chain that I think is worth going to, but the rest of them are a big disappointment. The new one on Rt 50 in Falls Church is terrible, I spent 20 minutes watching one customer buy a 1/2 lb of everything in the deli case (specifying "I want the end piece" on everything....it's cold cuts, fer crying out loud!) therefore hogging one very slow deli clerk while the other clerk on duty spent more time rummaging in a cooler full of cheese than really doing anything....finally, I threw my numbered ticket in my cart and walked out and went to Harris Teeter. At least one person in front of me had done the same thing already. Life is too short for that nonsense.

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A couple of the Giants where I shop have recently undergone major renovations, including the introduction of the Scan It handheld scanner feature. I find that I like this system a lot. It makes me feel more in control of my shopping experience, though I'm sure I'm being duped somehow and that's just the reaction I'm supposed to have :D. I also feel bad because they must be cutting staffing, at least for cashiers, because of this.

Oddly enough, I find that I make fewer impulse purchases this way, though I doubt that's the store's intent in using the system. If you scan something and then decide you don't want it, you have to go through the extra step of removing it from the scanner tally--not a big step but one that I feel averse to. I look at an item a lot longer before committing to scanning it than I do when I'm just throwing things in the cart, moving through the store. It's a much more deliberative process for me.

The only thing I don't care for with this is the way the scanner pushes specials at you. Sometimes I'll scroll through them and see if there's something I might want to get with the extra discount, but the last several times, I haven't even done that. And they could have a few more produce scales for the self-weighing. I usually don't have to wait for one, but I try to shop at non-peak times.

(I think I saw someone here comment on this system in a post recently, but I don't know where it was.)

How do other people feel about this system?

ETA: Before this, I tended to use the self checkout, but there would invariably be something that wouldn't scan properly or that I'd need employee assistance with. The handheld scanner has given me far fewer problems and is much less of a hassle than doing the scanning myself at checkout.

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The only thing I don't care for with this is the way the scanner pushes specials at you. Sometimes I'll scroll through them and see if there's something I might want to get with the extra discount, but the last several times, I haven't even done that. And they could have a few more produce scales for the self-weighing. I usually don't have to wait for one, but I try to shop at non-peak times.

The Giant in Burtonsville brought in new shopping carts a few months ago that featured a weird metal appendage designed to hold something. I was mystified but too lazy to ask questions. The handheld scanners were installed in mid-April, and last night I finally realized that the appendage was for the scanner. Nifty. The first time I tried it, Mr. Perrik was with me (tossing random over-processed junk foods into the cart, as always). When I saw the on-screen coupons, I joked that if it's going by our buying history, we're going to get electronic coupons for butter and tortilla chips. I was right.

Anyway, I like the handheld scanners because they're geeky and even further limit my necessary interaction with humans. The self-checkout lanes don't quite do that, since there's inevitably some helpful employee who steps up to pack my groceries while I'm scanning; I would appreciate this more if this occurred when I wasn't buying random over-processed junk food for my husband, cat litter, and feminine hygiene products. The employees are never helpful when I'm buying vegetables and yogurt.

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The handheld scanner has given me far fewer problems and is much less of a hassle than doing the scanning myself at checkout.

Since this got bumped up, I saw my last post again. I really love the handheld scanner system, even after all these months.

After one time when it was easy to figure out, I couldn't see how to get my reusable bag credit with the scan it/self-checkout. It's only 5 cents per bag, but it was the principle of the thing that was annoying me. I should have been able to get it back. I hated to take time to ask someone when everything was going quickly, but one time when I had another issue come up, I asked about that as well. For anyone using this system who hasn't figured it out, you have to click on the big button for the produce item lookup. The very first icon at the top left of the screen will be for a bag rebate. You have to go through the process for every bag you have, though. It could be a little easier, but the option is there.

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For anyone using this system who hasn't figured it out, you have to click on the big button for the produce item lookup. The very first icon at the top left of the screen will be for a bag rebate. You have to go through the process for every bag you have, though. It could be a little easier, but the option is there.

Thanks Pat! Good to know, since gelittleman feels more involved with the grocery shopping using these scanners, and, agreed, it's the principle of things, since I was excited finding out that Giant instituted this policy now too.
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Since this got bumped up, I saw my last post again. I really love the handheld scanner system, even after all these months.

After one time when it was easy to figure out, I couldn't see how to get my reusable bag credit with the scan it/self-checkout.

I hate that the geriatric Giant as Zora calls it doesn't have this system. Though I fear the poor old dears would probably just clog up the system more than just having the regular cashiers. The best part of this handheld scanner system is loading everything into your reusable bag as you walk through the store so you don't have to unload a cart and load up bags. And if you don't see the bag credit right away, it's also on the Favorites tab.
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The newly renovated Giant Food in McLean now offers valet parking, bag service to your parked car, and an expanded offering of upscale items including $40/lb Kobe beef, new prepared items, and Kosher foods...

Wow. I stopped shopping there and they added these things, according to Viva Tysons Corner. I believe this is the one on Chain Bridge Road.

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I stopped in the Giant in Ballston yesterday to pick up just a couple provisions. It is generally a pretty decent store, not amazing, but it isn't a huge store, and will never be able to expand because of where it is. I wanted to see if they had any gluten free products at all just to check who has what in my immediate area. I was pretty impressed with the selection. Most of it seems to be in with the organic stuff, so sometimes hard to sort out which is which, but a pretty good selection, none the less. It is normally clean and has all the basics you want and a few specialty items. The produce can be so-so. I just pick and choose what to buy based on what looks good and sometimes I don't get things on my list.

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Since this thread has popped up to the top, it reminds me to praise the butcher shop at the Alexandria Commons store. A couple of weeks ago, I had a couple of specific things I needed, and the woman was fantastic. Although undoubtedly the product is different, I found their butcher counter far preferable to the one at the Old Town Whole Foods, which can (at best) be described as hit or miss.

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Yesterday I walked over to the new Giant at 3rd and H Streets, NE. It's still a horrible mess of a construction zone there. The parking is apparently behind the building, but I didn't walk around to check that out.

The store is large and seems well-stocked, but I couldn't find a couple of specific products I needed. (They may have been there, but the labeling was such that I couldn't tell.) There's a full aisle for their Nature's Promise organics line, with a gluten-free section. (It's the aisle next over from the produce section. Produce is at the entrance. Dairy is at the far end, after frozen foods.) They seem to have a fairly extensive selection of beer and wines, as well, though I didn't spend time checking on specific products.

They have a lot of the handheld scanners at the entrance, and the self-check lines are in the center, rather than at the end of the checkout lanes.

The restrooms are at the front of the store, in a hallway, so you pass them as you exit.

It was a nice day for the exercise, but this is a little farther for me to walk to than Safeway or Harris Teeter. On the other hand, I prefer Giant as a chain to the other two. Once the construction area is cleared up, driving there should be easier.

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I have contacted my local Giant in Falls Church on several occasions, asking about products I liked that disappeared when I knew they were still being made. I've reached out to the store manager, who assured me they'd get the products in if they were available. Never have I seen any evidence of these products returning. Dude, just tell me you aren't going to get them instead of making me search the shelves again and again.

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I visited the brand-new Giant at the 'City Market at O' this afternoon (7th & O, NW).  While I do most of my food shopping at farmers markets, Whole Foods, and specialty stores, I have been looking forward to the opening of this store because it is just a few blocks from home.

I didn't have the time to go over the store with a fine-tooth comb.  It's huge!  Something like 72,000 square feet.  Still, a few things stood out.  In keeping with the diverse nature of the neighborhood, it seems to me that they are trying to be all things to all people.  I suspect this may change over time as they discover what sells and what doesn't.

Most startling to me was the variety of items available in the meat section.  Among other things, there was goat meat, pigs feet, beef marrow bones, beef heart, tripe, etc. etc.  I don't recall ever having seen these kinds of meat products in the refrigerator case of any Giant I've visited previously.

The international foods section is quite large.  It has the usual brands you'd find at Giant, but also many more that I've not seen in a conventional grocery store.

They have a fairly large natural foods section that features their house brand, Nature's Promise, but also many other brands of organic and 'natural' foods, including many gluten-free options.

The wine and beer section is one of the larger ones I've seen in a conventional grocery store.  It's filled with the usual industrial wines and, if there were any non-American wines (other than champagnes), I failed to spot them.  I didn't look closely at the beers, but I suspect it's the same.  And, speaking of wine and beer, they have a café where you can purchase a glass of wine or beer and sip on it while you shop.  That should help to increase sales!

There is a fairly large grab-n-go section, plus a counter where you can order sandwiches made-to-order, pizza, etc.  That seemed to be pretty popular.  They also have a sushi section.  (I'm not inclined to eat sushi at Giant, so I didn't look at it too carefully.)  There is also a hot bar and a salad bar, neither of which looked particularly appetizing to me.

The staff was extremely friendly -- they've clearly been trained to greet every customer with a "How are you?"

I walked there, but they do have an underground parking lot.  The entrance is on 7th Street, between O & P Streets, and there is 2-hour free parking.

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We stopped in the Giant which is part of the new Cathedral Commons development along Wisconsin Ave.  It's definitely an upgraded Giant, which tries to offer the bells and whistles of higher level grocery stores like Whole Foods and Wegmans, but doesn't really succeed.  The front entrance brings you to a large area with produce, bakery, prepared foods, salad/olive bar, juice bar etc.  The seafood department was better than most DC Giants, several types of shrimp, bags of mussels and clams, crab legs and a basic selection of fish: salmon, cod, tuna, catfish etc.

Probably the best part of this Giant is the beer on tap growler section (they actually had some good beers to go)...you can also buy beer by the 16oz pint and take it with you while you shop.  Drinking while driving (a shopping cart).

They also had a solid selection of microbrews in their beer aisle.  Nothing esoteric, but you can get your local stuff like Port City and Devil's Backbone, as well as bigger micros like Founders, Brooklyn, New Belgium etc.

For a Giant, it's definitely a step up...for what that is worth.

Also coming soon to the development:  Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar, Raku, and The Grilled Oyster Company.

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