You've gotta shop here at least once....
Posted on 03 / 25 / 2010
...and after one try, you'll either be hooked or repulsed. I'm one of the former: I like shopping here, and if I lived closer (which I plan to soon), I'd do most of my routine grocery shopping here (just for food & alcohol only). I'll get some of the negative things out of the way first: the previous reviewer was right, it is a noisy place, and can be very, very crowded. It's a long, skinny store, so aisles are very tight and narrow. It takes a lot of energy, alertness, & a strong sense of self-preservation to navigate all the people and obstacles! The act of shopping there itself is not especially pleasant for me. Besides the crowds and noise, there is the ever-present, extremely pungent & strong odor of fish, salt, and thawing seafood. Someone who is repulsed by this smell will hate entering this store or walking by the ginormous seafood section, which takes up about half the store, along with the meat/butcher section. I don't even have the desire to look at these sections anymore, so I ignore them and the smell. Now, on to the positive things! The selection is one of the best on this side of town. If you're looking for an herb in bulk, chances are you will find it. Some exotic, international ingredient? You'll find it. Some obscure, foreign, bottled, canned or bagged item? You'll find it. Extensive produce section full of delicious fruits/veggies -- and what's best about this place: they label the country of origin of every piece of produce, and whether it's organic or not. Names of produce items are very very well labeled so you're not guessing: what is this thing? They have a huge liquor store in the back with wines & liquors galore. They have a nice kitchen utensils/gadgets/accessories section. Cookbook section, bakery, florist, coffee shop, cafeteria serving lots of vegetarian items (although not labeled veggie or vegan, unfortunately). They have soy ice cream, soy yogurt, and soy milk, although I haven't found soy cheese there yet. Lots of tofu and tempeh choices. Items are fairly well organized, and it's easy to memorize locations of things you always get. Checkout is weird and unusual, but surprisingly fast and efficient. HUGE number of checkout cashiers; I've NEVER seen the cashiers understaffed. It's always easy to find someone to help you here, especially at customer service desk. Professional, tolerant, helpful service. Multiple languages spoken here. If you can't find what you need at Kroger or Publix, you will probably find it here.
fantastic selection, international food of every kind, reasonably priced
often very crowded, often very noisy, often very smelly