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Friday, May 7, 2010

didn't mean to miss your birthday, baby

Umm. I forgot to take some pictures of my grocery trip today. Sorry, and this is why you care: because I went and hunted and gathered some information for you about the new grocery store in (not my) town, called WinCo--maybe you've heard of it, being from a place not rural?

By information I just mean I bought some stuff there. There's a sign on the front that says, "WinCo is Employee Owned!" But like I could verify that on my terminator phone or anything before I went in. Here's the experience, broken down for you: Macey's and Wal-Mart did it. Then Macey's got pregnant (shoulda used protection . . .), and gave birth to a Bunyanesque child.

Right when you go in (this is the Ogden WinCo) you have to run the gauntlet of off-brand boxes and cans, and the shelves go all the way to the ceiling, practically. I'm kind of over the whole warehouse feeling (except for you, Costco, my love, my only), so this was a strike against. Also it's a little claustrophobic. But the boxed food gauntlet empties into the produce section, which is large and varietous. Like, way varietous. They had epazote! And aloe vera leaves the size of ball bats! Their Pink Lady apples were thirty cents cheaper a pound than Smith's, likewise the Galas. With my superpower of apple-sonogram hands I was able to select some that will be crisp and juicy. I got some other produce, looked askance at the many bulk foods (some cool, some scary), snooted through the dairy section with their pasteurization and sugary yogurt, then got down to business in the ice cream. Umpqua! I remember you from Oregon. You had me at Umpqua. Tillamook! You had me at Mountain Huckleberry. Breyer's! You had me at $2.25 apiece. DeLuxe Ice Cream Company! You had me at Goo Goo Cluster and potential for salmonella. So elated was I to see GPNW (Great Pacific Northwest) brands that I acted out of character and neglected to do what I normally do, which is: check the ingredient list, as though I'd forgotten that I'm buying sugar and fat, our evolutionary grail and nemesis. No worries, though, because I'm doing a 5k tomorrow.

A lady in the bakery section said they make their own bread from scratch, including grinding the wheat. They have a black bread that is comparable to the Squaw bread from Aspen Mills (according to her--I think the Squaw is better), and I didn't taste the multigrain.

The meat is really, really cheap, from what I could see. Ribeyes for $4.98 a pound cheap. But you can guess how I feel about that. Hint: SCOLDY. Also: JUDGY. Also the fish smelled a little off.

Verdict: you'll pay less for a lot of things (lots of things are cheaper; they have lots of things), which will make you feel conflicted--why is it so much cheaper? It's loud. Not super clean, but it's like Lagoon in there (read: full of crowding, mannerless clodhoppers), and will probably improve once the fervor dies down a smidge. I'd go there again. I love a grocery store.

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