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Markets & Stores 10

Hunt Valley Wegmans Opening

Jon Parker | Oct 2, 2005 08:46 AM

Like a complete idiot, I drove clear across town to be at Wegmans for their opening. What a madhouse -- I expected a fair amount of people, but there was a line of shopping carts stretching back for a couple of hundred yards. I saw a couple of ladies taking camp chairs back to their cars -- who knows how long they had been there. I looked at the line, rolled my eyes, and walked in the cafe door without anyone in front of me.

I was really in search of two things that I just can't find anywhere -- galanga and Kaffir lime leaves. I do a lot of Thai cooking, so these are staples for me. I found the galangal ($6.99 lb.) with no problem -- score one for Wegmans. No Kaffir lime leaves though, but an employee asked me what I was looking for. It turns out they had them in the back, so someone went to get them for me. i did point out to the manager that anyone looking for galangal would likely want the Kaffir leaves as well.

Beautiful fresh Kaffir lime leaves at $39.95 a pound (which would be a LOT of lime leaves). I bought 1/4 pound.

Before leaving I took a look at their artisanal cheeses, another thing I buy a lot of. It was somewhat disappointing -- they had a lot of cheese, but most of it was stuff that I can find at Giant or SuperFresh. Nothing like the selection at Whole Foods, where I can find great imported cheeses like Morbier, Mahon, real Spanish Cabrales, Idiazabal and French Munster.

I didn't look around the rest of the store -- it was worse than a mall a week before Christmas. But they get major points for having the Thai produce, the employees were all very friendly and helpful, and they had plenty of cashiers.

It's a very nice store. I had never been to Weggies before, and I was mostly impressed. Given some work by someone who knows what they're doing in the cheese department, it would be nearly perfect.

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