As you may remember from my inquiries on this board, a few weeks ago I got an invitation from Wegman's to help them with store training. Since they don't have a nearby store, they are using some shakedown exercises on-site to help train their staff. Last night and tonight, they invited a number of people to come and have dinner on Wegman's as they finished training the catering department staff.
The same customer service rep who extended the emailed invitation was there to greet us tonight. She did check out this Board as a result of my unsuccessful effort to get an invite extended to all the Hounds.
I came with the digital camera on the off-chance that they would allow pictures, but predictably, they did not.
We were given a choice of three different food stations, a pasta and salad bar, a pizza and sub station, and a sushi/Asian hot bar station. My guest for the evening, four year-old chowpup Naomi, opted for the pizza/sub station. I tried the sushi/Asian hot bar.
I liked Naomi's pizza. She chose the bacon cheeseburger pizza, which was reheated on a little conveyor belt oven device after we selected the slice. The crust was yeasty, and I thought the caramelized onions were particularly good.
The fish on the sushi was of pretty good quality. The rice was not up to the standard of the fish. I think it needed a bit more moisture and more vinegar. The Asian hot bar dishes weren't as attractive as I had expected. There weren't a lot of vegetable dishes and several of the dishes appeared to be very oddly colored in the outdated 1950's Chinese American formica style. The duck legs were unattractive, but turned out to be pretty tasty. Naomi relieved me of mine and I got only a small bite. The Asian hot bar was only partially filled, so perhaps when they are open for business they will have a better selection.
The bakery was the real stand-out. We got to choose both breads and desserts. The bread selection is fairly extensive, with a lot of different artisinal breads. We've tried one of the two that we took home and it is very tasty, not to mention pretty. This is some sort of relative to a foccacia, but rather than being a dimpled flat expanse, it is more of an open grid.
Naomi selected a chocolate cupcake with a dog icing decoration. She seemed to like it, but she is four and
when you're four, there's no such thing as a bad cupcake. I selected a fruit tart. The custard wasn't overly sweet, the fruit was all flavorful, and the crust was nice. There were many dessert selections and they all looked good. Of particular note--cannoli. Maybe we can finally get fresh cannoli in the Western NoVA 'burbs?
The catering marketplace section of the store extends the full depth of the store for perhaps the rightmost 20% of the store. It looks as if you will be able to bypass it and go straight through the produce section.
There are a few high tables in the marketplace itself, but most of the seating is upstairs. Steps and elevators are available and the seating rings the marketplace area, giving everything an open, airy feel.
We weren't able to do a full store tour because some things are still under construction. The place is huge and the produce manager assured me that they would have international ethnic produce.
Of particular note for parents: IN STORE CHILD CENTER! That's right, there is a drop-off play area for your three to eight year-old to use while you shop. You do need to sign some forms including emergency contact information and a promise that you will stay in the store while your kid's in the center. This is a one-time enrollment process. It wasn't open for a preview and I'm not sure whether it will or won't be a hit with Naomi. She likes grocery shopping. On the other hand, indoor play areas of any sort are a real premium during winter months. We got a rundown on procedures and it sounds as if they are taking sensible precautions to make certain that you and only you redeem your child from the center.
All in all, I am still quite enthusiastic about the upcoming opening.