Sunday, June 17, 2012

So, What Did You Think Of The Wegmans?

First thing, start with ketchup
The Columbia Wegmans opens at 7 am this morning.  There are probably people in line already, and there will be crowds by dawn.

Have been there?  What did you buy?  What did you see?  What did you think?

(Update: Check out Tim's post from around midnight on the Facebook page.  He appears to have been there about midnight.  Scan the whole Facebook group for photos of the line.)

If you haven't been yet, here are lessons to help prepare.  From Duane, check out a post and photos on the HoCo Connect blog.  From my nephew, remember that, if the toy train isn't running at Wegmans, you can ask them to turn it out.  (Unless it's out of order, which it is a much more serious problem.)


Anonymous said...

It was fun!! I bought bagels...they taste like true NY bagels which are hard to come by. I also bought some pretzel rolls.

Looking forward to doing really grocery shopping there later. 7am today was not the time for that!

Sofia said...

I was in line at 5:45am.... There were probably about 100 people there already. By 7 am the line of people was down McGaw. Once inside I was welcomed by the gorgeous produce section! The cheese and olive areas were amazing. But my greatest joy came from the tea section... They have a nice selection of loose leaf teas. Also I really liked the fact they have non-dairy yogurt.

I can't wait for the crowds to normalize so I can really browse each aisle with lots of time.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

I drove by yesterday.

The surrounding businesses (and county police?) around Snowden River Parkway had pre-emptively "fenced off" the roadways, expecting that the crowds would produce gridlock and overflow parking, and illegal road crossing.

That was enough to discourage me from going down there for a week or so.

Penny said...

We went around 8:30. We realized we needed eggs to make pancakes, and we decided to drive by just in case we could get in. We saw little traffic, had no trouble parking, and the aisles were crowded but not impossible or terribly irritating.

When we left around an hour later, it was getting harder and hairier to navigate the aisles, and cars were being guided to the second level of the parking deck.

We got a Norwegian breakfast cheese, a loaf of their signature Italian bread, and a refrigerator filled with produce, including some exotic samples we look forward to tasting later. We didn't realize until we were purchasing our groceries that we had forgotten the eggs we came for in the first place -- no problem! They keep a refrigerator at the front stocked with exactly the elements customers forget. We came home with a dozen, and the pancakes (with pecans and fresh berries) were delicious.

3pidemix said...

I went around 4:30 - needed to get a few things and decided to drive by just to see how crazy it was with no intentions of actually going in. Since it didn't look bad, I pulled in and was pretty surprised that it was so tolerable (as long as you weren't going to go to any of the food bars).

I'd say about 50% of the people there were actually grocery shopping, the rest were walking around dumbfounded like they'd never been in a grocery store before, or were taking advantage of the already prepped food.

Got my shopping done with minimal trouble and no wait to check out. Everything there was the same as most Wegmans, placed accordingly and with lots of space in the aisles. Traffic in and out didn't seem to be bad and I was only mildly inconvenienced to have to U-turn at Snowden and Oakland Mills to go back north.

Looking forward to being able to enjoy the dining there once things calm down, but I think that will probably take a couple weeks.

dzoey said...

I went at 10:30 today and was able to park on the 2nd floor. By the time I left at noon, they were redirecting incoming traffic to the overflow areas. It was crowded but navigable at 10:30, but by noon it was much harder to move around, particularly in the food bar area and around the meat section.

They had a great lobster special today - fresh lobster for $10/lb that they would steam for you. In general, the fish section was very well stocked (local and non-local rockfish!) They were also letting people sample crab cakes (I've had better) and crab soup (yum!)

The food bar was impressive - bigger than Hunt Valley and includes sit-down counter service burger/crab cake bar. The vegetarian section is large and creative, including a separate set of vegetarian soups. My friends who are vegetarian say that figuring out which soups are vegetarian can be difficult, so this should be a big help.

To get the groceries up to the 2nd floor you give your cart to an attendant who hooks it into a special escalator that runs next to the escalator you ride on. You arrive about 5 seconds before your cart does, and an attendant on the 2nd floor gets your cart off the belt and gives it to you. It doesn't look that complicated, so perhaps once people get used to it, it'll be self-serve.

It was a nice realization that I could feel free to take ice cream home without it melting, and feel free to not get everything at once because I can easily return now. Yeah Wegmans!

Anonymous said...

I agree with dzoey. It was a great realization that I didn't have to buy three of everything and could actually look at frozen foods. It was crowded today but was still able to do my weekly shop without much difficulty. I think those of us with a lot of previous wegmans experience have an advantage.

Jenn said...

I went around 6 today and while there appeared to be a lot of traffic outside of the building, it wasn't as bad inside. The food bar is definitely better than Hunt Valley and my choices from the vegetarian hot bar were all fantastic. Staff wise they seemed well prepared for the ambush and we didn't have to wait in line at all. We had some fantastic cheese samples and the produce section was heavenly!

Rob said...

We decided early on not to go to Wingman’s on opening day. We knew it would be a mad house. However, we found ourselves out and about around noon and decided to swing by and just “walk” through – after all we have been waiting for this for years! HOLY SCHMOLY there were a LOT of people – a sea of people! Funny though, it had more of a Towson Town festival atmosphere rather than a hurried frenzy. This was a party.

The store is amazing! Wagyu NY Strips in the case, Dry aged Cowboy Ribeyes, along side of fantastically priced beautiful choice Delmonicos – something for everyone. Incredible seafood, tons of fantastic breads. We got in a conversation with the Olive Bar manger, what a knowledgeable and friendly person. He gave us several samples and we took home some as well. Got some fresh cheese and we were off! After so many years wait, it was even better than expected! I went home and had a ceremonious burning of my Safeway card.

Pamela said...

We got there around 6am and had a great time. Staff were around giving out drinks and muffins and coming by to sign people up for cards and give out information on the pharmacy.

It was a little difficult to get all of our shopping done since the store was so packed, but everyone was very pleasant and we enjoyed the huge selection and great prices. I can't believe they had Wagyu beef - I'm going to save up and get that for my birthday. I am so happy that it's finally open!

Anonymous said...

lindyc13, are you sure it wasn't the euphoria of the grand opening? Unless they make them different at the Columbia locations, I never thought Wegman's bagels taste like traditional NY-style bagels. It's been a while, though. Do you know if they boil and then bake the bagels?

Anonymous said...

Yes they do boil and then bake them! :)