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mehmeh82

Wegmans Tandoori Oven

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can't find the link but there was an article about the chef and tandoori oven in the new wegman's in today's star ledger(maybe nj section?)


Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Here's the link to today's Star Ledger story:

http://www.nj.com/search/index.ssf?/base/n...?starledger?nmx

And wow, I'm glad that I convinced myself not to go to Woodbridge today! Kudos to those of you who braved the crowds; I'll hit it later this week mid-afternoon and I'll still be crossing my fingers that it's not too nutty. Having just joined the forums, I was re-reading this entire thread and logged off to call my dad (that's who I get my foodie genes from), who lives in Gaithersburg MD (all of 2 miles north of Rockville) to say that he might be getting a Wegman's and if so, I might have to move down there. I took him to the Princeton store shortly after it opened, and I'll always have the vision of him walking towards the cheese department, arms spread open, saying "Now THAT'S a cheese display!" It was like Mohammed found Mecca. Good stuff! :smile:

As a Bergen County resident, a few items that might be of interest: Target just opened right behind Clifton Commons (another example of If you build it, they WILL come). I also just read an article in today's NY Times or the Star Ledger that said the developer of Garden State Plaza Mall (junction of Rts 4 and 17) wants to build a 16-screen movie theater on to the end of the mall. My vote is that they tear down the whole mall and put up a Wegman's instead!!! Anyone want to join my campaign? :laugh:


"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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And wow, I'm glad that I convinced myself not to go to Woodbridge today! Kudos to those of you who braved the crowds; I'll hit it later this week mid-afternoon and I'll still be crossing my fingers that it's not too nutty.

Wegmans openings are to "foodies", what Black Fridays are to shopaholics. It's crazy, but you just *gotta*...


"Give me 8 hours, 3 people, wine, conversation and natural ingredients and I'll give you one of the best nights in your life. Outside of this forum - there would be no takers."- Wine_Dad, egullet.org

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For three years, while my spouse was working in Ithaca and I was still in Phila., making weekend commutes to the Finger Lakes, I regularly made visits to the Ithaca Wegmans. What a store! But as others have noted, although they instituted a "popular price" policy a few years ago, they are still a tad high on staple items, though not as ridiculous as they once were. And their store brand products (at least the few I've tried) seem to be better than other chains'.

Compared to other supermarkets Wegmans excels in the non-staple areas: prepared foods, meat and fish, produce, etc. Until about a year ago, for example, I could rarely find "dry" scallops in Philadelphia, but could count on obtaining them at Wegman's. That said, they are now regularoy at Golden Seafood in Phila.'s Reading Terminal Market at $9.99 a pound; at Wegman's, unless on sale, they tend to be in the $12-$14 range.

When you've got a nearby mecca like the Reading Terminal Market (I live in Center City), Wegman's is superfluous. When you don't, it's a necessity.

Still, when Wegman's finally opens in Cherry Hill a couple of years from now, while I won't be part of the crowds on opening day, it will be a regular stop.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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I remember when the Wegmans in Ithaca opened. It was like supermarket nirvana. I had never seen a supermarket with aisles that wide or such of great assortment of prepared foods. I have no recollection of the prices being that I was a college student and charged all my groceries to the "Bank of Dad." But I still look fondly back on my sunday night shopping treks in order to stock the apartment fridge for the week.

I can't wait to check out the Woodbridge store. Although my husband has visited the Ithaca store, he doesn't understand how a supermarket can earn such devotion.


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Didn't realize we had so many former Ithaca residents here! That's where I was first introduced to Wegmans as well.

By the way, my Wegmans ready to cook dinner last night was wonderful. Coconut crusted halibut for me, Fresh lump crab cakes for the husband, side dish of roasted butternut squash with onion. And fabulous crusty bread from their bakery to finish it off!

Casey

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Unsalted butter for $1.29 a pound, as it was priced this weekend, hardly renders Wegmans superfluous for staple items--even if one shopped solely on price without respect to quality or choice. Wegmans can do loss leaders with the best of the chains--those 12-packs of Coke in cans sure were flying out of the store on opening day, I don't drink soda so I'm not tapped into the price but it had to be good. I think the big lie being promulgated about Wegmans in some quarters, and too-easily parroted in the articles I read in the Ledger and Tribune is that their staple items are somehow over-priced, that Wegmans somehow isn't for regular shopping. Go and decide for yourself--for me things like bread and produce are staples. Since I "regularly" shop at a Whole Foods Market--unsalted butter hovers around 3.99 a pound-- and don't live near a Reading Terminal Market--I previously thought Trader Joe's $1.99 a pound for a staple like butter was quite good. Costco (in Edison) beat that price but you had to buy 4 pounds. That is, of course, until I discovered Wegmans.

And what Wegmans really does is expand your appreciation of what "staples" or price-to-quality ratio really means, what staples "could" mean. Wegmans isn't solely upscale in focus--it is quality and customer service in focus and to serve ALL customers you have to have upscale as well. So alongside tremendous depth in fresh exotic fruit--say a Jackfruit (for a whopping $49), durian, feijoa, miniature pineapples, buddha's hands, dragonfruit, etc.--you find every bit the same commitment and depth in the more mundane apples and pears in terms of pricing and selection. For those in Woodbrige used to shopping regularly at the Shop Rites of the area--especially in that sad-sack depressing Shop Rite on Route 1/9 in Woodbridge, recently remodeled and moved next store, after having to endure years of picking over mediocre produce pre-wrapped in cellophane--I imagine Wegmans will seem quite shocking. Imagine being able to pick up a pristine piece of vegetable or fruit and, actually, touch or smell it? Denied for decades in Shop Rite. For many Wegmans will be about consciousness-raising and, frankly, exponentially-greater experiences are shocking.

And in terms of the Reading Terminal Market, a collection of uneven, independent specialists, while there are great, great strengths of the Market, and for many there are different stalls there unrivalled and unmatched by Wegmans--for me like that certain pork, greens and cheese sandwich or that certain Philly breadmaker--it just doesn't touch a Wegmans like Princeton or Woodbridge in terms of depth and overall commitment to excellence in every key area--staples plus prepared foods plus ethnic plus exotics and specialty items: where Speigelau stems for $7 sit alongside white tea blossoms and an incredible bulk tea selection with like ten varieties of rooibos blends alone, lobster roll sushi, Spanish membrillo paste, frozen pizza dough, irradiated ground beef alongside non-irradiated, cockles, all sorts of line caught--never frozen this and that, whole red snapper on ice with the freshest, clearest eyes imaginable, 100% pomegranate juice, coconut powder, frozen asian fish balls, jars of tamarind paste, chicken right out of the tandoor, Portuguese honey with hazelnuts, butter for $1.29 a pound, the sight and heft of both fresh durian and jack fruit and on and on. Unless Robert Bennett started selling there's nothing at Reading rising even halfway to the achievement of those Herme-consulted desserts or chocolate. And I suspect this is going to be the story oft-repeated wherever a Wegmans opens up--overall they do upscale better than anyone else and they do downscale at least as good if not better than anyone else--all under the same roof. At the moment, after scanning the aisles kind of quickly, the few things which disappointed me at the opening of the Woodbridge store were 1) the decision not to build a wine annex, 2) the surprisingly predictable (Illy) or just plain poor coffee selections, 3) no fleur de sel, 4) no Greek yogurt or lebne, 5) the best chocolate available being Sharffen Berger. But it wouldn't surprise me if 2-5 are remedied in short order.

Casey--did you see the fish, I believe tuna, that Wegmans had crusted in what looked like those wasabi dried green pea snacks, all ground up?


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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The liquor store at the Bridgewater store opened at least a year after the main store. Maybe they will open a liquor annex in the future at Woodbridge. They are also quite responsive to requests for products they do not already carry. They did not initially carry Total Greek yogurt and it showed up after I asked about it. Ask and you may receive! :biggrin:

I originally thought Wegman's would be an occassional shopping destination due to the prices and selection of "staples". I'm now there every weekend. They continually increase the variety of products offered and they have very good sales on "staples". I'm hooked on their store brand yogurt, they always seem to have Myer lemons, the olive bar is wonderful, their butcher shop bacon is very good and costs less than Oscar Myer which was recently rated tops by Fine Cooking magazine. Their seafood is awesome as is their produce section. The quality is top notch and has encouraged me to cook much more than I used to. I have several friends who swear by the Wegman's brand coffee, which is usually on sale. The other thing I like about Wegman's is how well staffed thier checkout lines are. I've seen a manager open up and man a checkout when I only had two people on line ahead of me. The whole Wegman's experience continues to get better with each visit. It's a wonderful thing!


KathyM

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At the moment, after scanning the aisles kind of quickly, the few things which disappointed me at the opening of the Woodbridge store were 1) the decision not to build a wine annex, 2) the surprisingly predictable (Illy) or just plain poor coffee selections, 3) no fleur de sel, 4) no Greek yogurt or lebne, 5) the best chocolate available being Sharffen Berger. But it wouldn't surprise me if 2-5 are remedied in short order.

Actually, they do sell Vahlrona chocolate in bars, right next to the Pierre Herme chocolates, as well as having a very good selection of chocolates otherwise.


"Give me 8 hours, 3 people, wine, conversation and natural ingredients and I'll give you one of the best nights in your life. Outside of this forum - there would be no takers."- Wine_Dad, egullet.org

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I saw those, too, lauren, right under the Herme book display--however, it wasn't the "good" Valrhona line--like a Manjari or Caraibe, what V. terms "Grand Cru"--what I saw was the supermarket-Williams Sonoma-grade stuff like Force Noire or Noire Gastronomie or whatever Valrhona is calling their "B" line these days. And sorry to (ever-so-gently) disagree, but the selection of bar chocolates was not good otherwise, it was pretty depressingly typical Lindt, etc. Typical NYC streetcorner markets have a better chocolate selection.

The large Sharffen Berger bars for $6.99 (a very fair price by the way) are the best Wegmans had, and a fine chocolate to cook and work with, but Wegmans competitors have better variety: in addition to Sharffen Berger they have V. Manjari or V. Guanaja or El Rey in bulk (a good less-pricy baking chocolate though less good eating-wise) they have some of the very special Michel Cluizel wrapped bars alongside the usual assortment of (pretty crappy) Lindt bars and the (bogus, mostly underwhelming) "organic" bars, etc.

Better than Shop Rite and better for the local scene than before they opened? Oh, yes, much better. I realize it is all relative, but I hold Wegmans to a higher standard. Oh, and its cocoa powders were pretty awful as well.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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I'm being displaced from my apartment for the next 5 days so I'm relocating to my in-laws in NJ. I think a trip to Woodbridge will be made.

Scharffen Berger for $6.99? That's a bargain. I've seen it for over $8.


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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I've seen those 275g bars of the 70% go for $9.99-10.99+ at retail depending on the market. Even at $6.99 per 275g it is slightly overpriced in relation to quality, but that's another issue for another board. For purposes of comparison--you have very ridiculously priced chocolate bars at gourmet retail, you have something like the Vosges "exotic" 94g candy bars, one of which is a 40% milk chocolate bar selling for $6.49 at Fox & Obel in Chicago; for something in small bar form of truly high quality at a more reasonable price you have the Michel Cluizel line of couvertures in 100g bar form--like the "Sao Tome," a wonderful 65% dark chocolate bar which is something like $3.69 at Garden of Eden in NYC.

If I were consulting for Wegmans, which I am not (yet) I'd urge that they add distinctiveness and interest to their higher end selections--because right now even Whole Foods Mid-Atlantic has better chocolate depth. (And Whole Foods does not do chocolate well.) At the very least, Wegmans should bring in the E. Guittard line--now in convenient 275g bar form and 1 kg bar form, each in attractive packaging.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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Steve, I did see the tuna, and that will surely be on my list for the next trip later this week! Wonderful posts on this topic, by the way....

Another thing I like is being able to peruse their sale circular electronically on the website and select items for my shopping "list." I can then print it out sorted by aisle numbers for the store I shop in! Can also create weekly lists of items I always buy and save, adding different items I need/want each week.

Its funny, I have lived in NJ most of my life, and the Shop Rites, etc. were fine until those four years in Ithaca--coming back to NJ was a major adjustment for me in the food shopping area without a Wegmans, and now I am oh-so content. I guess its good that these little things make me happy!

:raz:

Casey

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I saw those, too, lauren, right under the Herme book display--however, it wasn't the "good" Valrhona line--like a Manjari or Caraibe, what V. terms "Grand Cru"--what I saw was the supermarket-Williams Sonoma-grade stuff like Force Noire or Noire Gastronomie or whatever Valrhona is calling their "B" line these days. And sorry to (ever-so-gently) disagree, but the selection of bar chocolates was not good otherwise, it was pretty depressingly typical Lindt, etc. Typical NYC streetcorner markets have a better chocolate selection.

LOL, for someone like me, it's a big deal when I use Scharffen-Berger or Valrhona, and that "B" line has consistently been the best quality I've had available to me. It'd probably be prohibitive for me to start setting my standards any higher than that, even if I COULD find better brands...

LOL, this is my problem... I'm a little too highbrow for TV Food Network's forums, but far, far too lowbrow for egullet's tastes. :wink:


"Give me 8 hours, 3 people, wine, conversation and natural ingredients and I'll give you one of the best nights in your life. Outside of this forum - there would be no takers."- Wine_Dad, egullet.org

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Tonight I learned that someone I know got a job at Wegmans. It seems she was so enamoured of the Manalapan store, that when they were hiring for Woodbrige, she applied. This is a woman with a masters degree and full-time job. She's working there on the weekends.


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Tonight I learned that someone I know got a job at Wegmans.  It seems she was so enamoured of the Manalapan store, that when they were hiring for Woodbrige, she applied.  This is a woman with a masters degree and full-time job.  She's working there on the weekends.

Can't say I blame her... the employee discount alone is worth it. Kinda like when I ran the cookbook section at Borders...


Edited by laurenmilan (log)

"Give me 8 hours, 3 people, wine, conversation and natural ingredients and I'll give you one of the best nights in your life. Outside of this forum - there would be no takers."- Wine_Dad, egullet.org

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Had a delightful trip to Wegman's yesterday.

Got a gorgeous piece of talapia with hazelnuts which was utterly delicious.

plus some other things i cannot find anywhere.

The magazines alone are a treat to see. (they must :huh: have a magazine for EVERYTHING now...I saw one called Arthritis Today..)

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the employee discount alone is worth it.

:huh: ?

There is none? Aw to heck with it then.... :wink:


"Give me 8 hours, 3 people, wine, conversation and natural ingredients and I'll give you one of the best nights in your life. Outside of this forum - there would be no takers."- Wine_Dad, egullet.org

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There is no formal employee discount, but if you get to work in fun departments like produce or bakery, youre always allowed (encouraged!) to sample for quality and tastes (first-hand experience helps when trying to explain differences to a customer). more than once weve picked a few apples from each of the 15 or so varieties on display and taste tested. also, a banana every now and then to keep ya going doesnt really matter either. blueberries and grapes are great for grazing too.

Sunday's sales numbers for Woodbridge were spectacular: nearly $400,000 with produce contribution at about 10%. This is good news considering the largest Wegmans (Pittsford) averages around 2 or 3 million per week (Princeton is about a million and a half per week). Of course these numbers will fall off after the opening, but I hope not too much!

finally, i got some fun pictures from the woodbridge grand opening loaded on to my silly little website. maybe one of you is in a photo! (ive never seen those cool reindeer decorations before. are they new?)

Wegmans fun!

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finally, i got some fun pictures from the woodbridge grand opening loaded on to my silly little website. maybe one of you is in a photo! (ive never seen those cool reindeer decorations before. are they new?)

Wegmans fun!

Just checked out those photos... mmm, pastry cases....

BTW, the Praline purses were just terrific, served at just below room temp. Terrific texture on the hazelnut mousse, and somehow that meringue stays nice and crispy. Anyone have other recommendations for my next purchase from the pastry/cake section?


Edited by laurenmilan (log)

"Give me 8 hours, 3 people, wine, conversation and natural ingredients and I'll give you one of the best nights in your life. Outside of this forum - there would be no takers."- Wine_Dad, egullet.org

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:blink:

Went to Wegmans in Woodbridge last night. Uhm, my friend and I walked through with our mouths gaping open. It wasn't a real "shopping trip" we were mostly there just to scope things out. But after walking past the bakery we couldn't pass up the apple cider golden rasin bread!! Got some canadian aged cheese to go along with it too!!

YUM!

Can't wait to go back for the real shopping trip!!!

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My hubby and I are planning our Friday night around a trip to Wegmans. My 13 year old foodie daughter is planning on coming too. I've been waiting for this for a long time!! :biggrin:

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:blink:

Went to Wegmans in Woodbridge last night. Uhm, my friend and I walked through with our mouths gaping open. It wasn't a real "shopping trip" we were mostly there just to scope things out. But after walking past the bakery we couldn't pass up the apple cider golden rasin bread!! Got some canadian aged cheese to go along with it too!!

YUM!

Can't wait to go back for the real shopping trip!!!

I found myself gaping a lot too (just went back again today) and making a sincere effort to not just stand in the center of the aisle staring... it's still hard.... :wink:

I spent 30 minutes in the tea aisle alone. The other posters were right though... the coffee selection is pretty low end, now that I took the time to look it over. Illy is always great to have, but at the same time there should be more highend offering in the regular wholebean coffee side than Starbucks and the house brand.


"Give me 8 hours, 3 people, wine, conversation and natural ingredients and I'll give you one of the best nights in your life. Outside of this forum - there would be no takers."- Wine_Dad, egullet.org

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