To Cook Is to Love: A Foodies Journal — A New Food Destination in Town

John VerlindenJohn Verlinden
Photo: Rachel Power
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John Verlinden

John Verlinden
Photo: Rachel Power

By: John Verlinden*/TRT Columnist—

I went to check out the new Wegmans Supermarket in Chestnut Hill. The first and most lasting impression for me was just how big the store is—it is a super duper supermarket. It features huge produce, fresh meat, dairy, bakery and seafood departments, a grocery section as big as a warehouse, an enormous deli counter, dozens of house-prepared food stations, and lots more. It’s so big, in fact, that even though I was there for over an hour, I was only able to make one quick drive by through the aisles on this first “get acquainted” visit.

As I expected, the store displays were beautifully arranged and the staff I encountered were friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. I was, however, pleasantly surprised by the prices. Given its neighborhood location and the upscale look and feel of the store, I braced myself for sticker shock, but instead found that prices for the everyday items I purchase most frequently were very competitive with prices at Stop & Shop and Shaws. Wegmans own brand products were particularly good values, and, I was delighted to find a large selection of organic produce and humanely raised animal products offered at much better prices than at Whole Foods. Market Basket, however, still gets my vote for best overall value in this region. [pullquote]My only disappointment on this initial visit was that, at this particular Wegmans at least, they currently carry only very common fresh tropical produce. There were plenty of bananas, mangos, avocados, and pineapples, of course, but when I visited, they only had a few very weary-looking plantains, and no papaya, yuca or boniato.[/pullquote]

My only disappointment on this initial visit was that, at this particular Wegmans at least, they currently carry only very common fresh tropical produce. There were plenty of bananas, mangos, avocados, and pineapples, of course, but when I visited, they only had a few very weary-looking plantains, and no papaya, yuca or boniato.

I’ll go back, and I encourage you to do the same. Wegmans offers a good shopping experience and we can certainly use a new competitor.  Its presence will cause others in the marketplace to step up their game to improve value and customer service, and it will help hold food prices down.

*To share your thoughts about your favorite food store, ask a question, or suggest a topic for a future article, contact me at john@muchogusto.com or visitwww.muchogusto.com and join our Latin food forum.

Until next time – ¡Mucho Gusto!, ¡Muchas Gracias! y ¡Buen Provecho!