Young and Hungry

From Parmigiano Reggiano to Utz Cheese Balls, Wegmans Has It All

wegmans front

Once you step inside the Wegmans in Fairfax, you don't know what you might find. The megastore — part blue-collar Safeway, part fussy Whole Foods, part wish-fulfillment Disneyland — offers a bewildering amount of products, from fresh-baked breads and freshly prepared meals to yoga clothes and housewares.

To food-obsessed adults, I suspect Wegmans generates a feeling they haven't felt in years: like a kid in a candy store. One goddamn big candy store. One goddamn big candy store that knows you can't sell only imported Belgian dark chocolate with 62 percent cocoa mass. You gotta have Ho Hos and Ding Dongs, too, baby.

Last weekend I made only my second visit to a Wegmans, this time to document many of the things one could buy there. (Such visits won't require a trip to Fairfax in the near future, since the privately held chain has plans to open stores in Alexandria, Columbia, Germantown, Landover, and other nearby towns.)

Take a look at my Alice in Wonderland trip through Wegmans:

breads1

In-house bakery

pastries

Pastries from in-house bakery

indian buffet

Indian buffet

sub sandwiches

Sub shop

salmon

Salmon, many different ways

mahi mahi

Fresh mahi mahi

meats

Meat counter, heavy on choice cuts

crab cakes

Crab cake sandwich from the in-house cafe

scallops

Seared scallops with citrus-soy sauce at in-house cafe

parm

Wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano and other cheeses

craft beer

Huge selection of craft and import beers

olives

Olive bar

DSCN2717_opt

Wide selection of teas

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More cheese

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Pre-packaged fruits and veggies

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Bagged lettuces

DSCN2722_opt

Cosmetics

DSCN2724_opt

Expensive wine glasses

DSCN2725_opt

Housewares

DSCN2728_opt

Baby supplies

DSCN2731_opt

Kitchen supplies

DSCN2733_opt

DVDs

greeting cards

Greeting cards

pet supplies

Pet supplies

breads and timeline

Commercial breads and a company timeline overhead

light bulbs and paper goods

Light bulbs and paper goods

butter

Wegmans butter

finishing butters

Wegmans finishing butters

kosher

Kosher foods

coffee

Wegmans coffee

magazines

Lots and lots of magazines

books

Books, emphasis on best-sellers

wine

Compared to the beer, the wine selection is paltry.

processed cheese

Processed cheese

yoga clothes

Yoga clothes

remedies

"Combination" remedies

new age beverages

"New Age" beverages

flowers

Flowers

organic cukes

Organic seedless cucumbers

conventional seedless cukes

Conventional seedless cucumbers

beefsteak tomatoes

Beefsteak tomatoes from Mexico

pizza bar

Pizza bar

chicken wing bar

Chicken wing bar

cream and yogurt

Wegmans cream and yogurt

cheese balls

Utz cheese balls!

Comments

  1. #1

    Did you know the Fairfax store has a big wine shop downstairs?

  2. #2

    Neil,
    I totally missed that. That explains the poor selection up top. Thanks for the heads-up.

    -Tim

  3. #3

    I love Wegmans, buts its beer selection is disappointing. Wholefoods is far superior.

  4. #4

    I've been to various Wegmans in Virginia two or three times. Like the author, I found the sheer variety of items in the store -- ranging from gourmet, to very good quality prepared food, to cheap-o commodity items -- amazing and overwhelming. But once I actually tried to do some shopping -- rather than browsing -- at the Potomac Mills outlet, I found that traipsing through something like 41 aisles to find the dozen or so items on our shopping list more than a bit wearying. I left being unsure if I would want to do my grocery shopping in an establishment that appears to have more square footage than most Target stores.

  5. #5

    Can't beleive it took you folks so long to "discover" Weggies! I grew up on this place, even worked there during high school. Imagine my amazement once they arrived in the area YEAH WEGMANS!!

  6. #6

    Ok I have friends that used to live near this Wegmans and we would go there all the time. For dinner, for field trips, to buy wine and cheese. It sounds ridiculous to meet friends at a grocery store - until you see the glory that is Wegmans.

  7. #7

    I think Id have a panic attack. Too much to choose from...

  8. #8

    light bulbs and paper goods shot is a winner in the lost in the super market category.
    nicely done.

  9. #9

    OVERRATED

    Especially if you read ingredients or pay attention to sourcing. It's like Harris Teeter at Costco scale.

    I will give a nod to their biali's and kosher food selection which are really fantastic.

  10. #10

    As 'Tony The Tiger' says, "It's GRRREAT!"

  11. #11

    I ADORE Wegmans and was one of the many Western New Yorkers to tailgate the opening of the Herndon store, the first in the area. We were that excited about getting them down here! I just wish there were more inside the beltway so I could shop there all the time instead of making it a once-a-quarter treat!

  12. #12

    I love how even though they are down here, they still carry local Western New York foods, like Sahlen's hot dogs, weber's mustard and Aunt Rosie's loganberry....kudos for "keepin it real".

    Not to mention that their subs are far better than any other chain like subway or quiznos.

  13. another buffalonian
    #13

    wegmans is out of rochester, NY, which explains why western NYers know it. considering that upstate NY, for all its charms, is not considered a foodie destination, it's a bit strange that the DC-area doesn't have better supermarkets. i moved here six years ago and found food shoppers warehouse to be the largest thing around, and giant and safeway dismissable. i know there's always the overpiced whole foods (or trader joes), but i find going to the korean supermarkets the only advantage living here. gawking over wegman's is further proof that DC is not a food town.

  14. #14

    I'm surprised you just found Wegman's a few weeks ago. I've been going to the Fairfax and Sterling stores for years. I find it to be like Whole Paycheck, but at prices that are actually cheaper than Costco (seriously Costco chicken breast is $1/lb more!) Their house brands are very cheap, but yet high quality, like Trader Joe's but a wider selection. Wegman's yogurt has no HFCS and doesn't cost an arm or leg either! Been loving their coupon book for the weekly freebies!

  15. #15

    I paid my first visit today to the Wegmans in Columbia MD. My clients had been recommen ding Wegmans to me for quite some time. The food bar food had cheap and overly processed foods; the grille had irradiated hamburgers for sale; the tables in the cafe were dirty; the soup was tasteless (I could not get a refund at the cafe and had to walk halfway across the store to get a refund at customer service!). The prices are high and I cannot find any good quality meats (grassfed beef, chicken or bison). The produce was wilted and unappealing and there was very little variety amongst the organic vegetables. I walked out with an empty basket and vowed never to go back again. The store was crowded as though they were giving something away. I will go back to my three choices when I shop: Trader Joe's, Moms and Takoma Park Silver Spring Coop.

  16. #16

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