Did you know that if you play your cards right, you can get a free meal on most days at Wegman's? It's true. I try to show up on Saturdays, when between 1 and 4, they have a free wine tasting, complete with an array of complementing cheeses, breads and fruits. In the main part of the store, they offer samples of other savory delights. Last week, it was some grilled tuna with caesar potato salad, some mustard marinated pork loin, some strawberry champagne cheddar cheese, and some cracked peppercorn bread.
Now, when I started out up here in the Jersey area, I used to go to the Shop-Rite. Before that, I used to go the old Rack-n-Sack back in Virginia. Rack-n-Sack made me appreciate the Shop-Rite. Rack-n-Sack sold things like calf brains in plastic tubs next to the tripe next to the questionable ground beef. All were awful things. The produce there at Rack-n-Sack was dicey. It was uncertain how the store came by some of these fruits. Most looked like they'd taken a tumble off of a tanker ship just off of Hatteras. The draw to Rack-n-Sack was that you could feed your family for only $60 a week, but you had to bring your own bags.
Shop-Rite wasn't bad for a while. I still have a Christmas cactus bought with a coupon ten years ago from there. But as my lot in life improved, I began to recognize the rough treatment I received at the Shop-Rite for what it was. Shop-Rite was just a dressed up Rack-n-Sack where shopping for groceries was a weekly chore. It was then that I discovered the Wegman's across town.
These People Don't Play
Walking in was like arriving in grocery store heaven. The fruits and vegetables are the first thing you see and they are all perfect. The store must coach their employees to immediately pull any lesser fruits. The employees are more friendly and welcoming than their Shop-Rite counterparts. At Shop-Rite, I've been dealt plenty of attitude and rolling eyeballs, with the occasional cashier who ignores me to flirt with the bagger. Never at Wegman's. These people have class and are all about doing things properly. I mean, if they flirt with someone, at least they do it quickly and without interfering with my timely checkout. They know I need to get home with my fruit tart.
Fruit Tart: The Greatest Dessert Ever
Sure, going to Wegman's costs a little more than going to the Shop-Rite. It's farther away and can be slightly pricier, but the quality is such that the vegetables and fruits do not go rotten for at least a week. I still go to the Shop-Rite only because they carry the better salsa, Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara Salsa (get the hot) is hands down the greatest packaged salsa to be had around here. Only Shop-Rite carries it. It creates great strife for me that Wegman's hasn't picked up this fine product, but it hasn't been brought to their attention, yet. It will be.
AWESOME! (only at Shop-Rite. Boo.)
But Wegman's rules in so many other areas that I can forgive them for the salsa oversight. Most of the reason I like going there is that they make me feel rich and deserving even if I'm not. They make me feel like I can eat well and have fun preparing food for my family. I joined their shopper's club and they gave me a nice shopper's club card and every quarter, I receive a recipe magazine called "Menu", which is nothing short of food porn. I look forward to every issue. Wegman's has expanded my horizons and blessed my family with delicious home cooked meals. They make cooking fun because they tell you what wine to drink while cooking. I have become an expert at planning meals now so I can whip up something delicious and nutritious while having a good time myself.