Wegmans: A Disneyland of Food

I visit the new Wegmans in Crofton and am brought nearly to tears by the abundance of goodies.

If you have never been to a Wegmans, you've probably been wondering why all the fuss about a new grocery store. If you have been to a Wegmans, then you-- like me-- are most likely in a rapture of foodie joy and delight, swearing off all other supermarkets forever and ever. (Impractical, yes, but the feeling is there.)

Just after opening day I took a jaunt down to the new Village at Waugh Chapel to check out the new store. It's your typical Wegmans, all right: three-quarters enormous grocery store (with excellent prices, I'd like to add)-- and one-quarter gourmet paradise. Set up to look like a European market, the "fancy" side of the store offers a sumptuous bakery full of pastries and fresh breads, a wonderful deli, butcher, seafood counter, and prepared foods area, and the best sushi selection between here and-- well, the next Wegmans.

And it isn't just window dressing, or artistic presentations of ordinary staples. Wegmans offers delights not found in any other store in the area: fresh-cut lox (usually you have to go to New York City for that), an incredible selection of cheeses, unusual breads just out of the oven, Siggi yogurts from Iceland and a wide array of goodies from Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. Anglophiles will love the shelves of imported British delicacies, and I was delighted to find two of my favorite hard-to-locate treats: stroopwafels from the Netherlands and Manner hazelnut wafers (Arnold Schwarzenegger's favorite!) from Vienna.

For years I've been venturing out to the Wegmans stores in Hunt Valley and, more recently, Glenarden, but until last week I never did a full shopping trip at one. I'm too easily distracted by all the wacky stuff and forget to get the normal items. Having finally put it to the test, though, I was very pleased with the prices-- better than at the other supermarket closer to my house, without a doubt. I have four kids, so for Wegmans to be more than a novelty trip, the prices need to be competitive-- and they are.

One of my favorite areas is the hot food bar. At $8.99 a pound, it isn't cheap, but if you're in the mood to spring for it, the Chinese, Indian, Thai, and vegetarian selections (as well as the chicken wings and homestyle fare) are great. The seating area is quiet, attractive and very pleasant. Normally I wouldn't suggest to a girlfriend that we meet at a grocery store for lunch, but next week I'm going to do just that.

Hope you enjoy the new store as much as I do! Check out the photo gallery from my trip to get a feel for what the place offers. Happy shopping-- and cooking!

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Rebecca Coleman November 05, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Hi Jen-- I agree about supporting the Prince George's Wegmans and I feel conflicted about that myself. That store is 22 minutes from my house and this is 11 minutes away, besides which this one employs local residents (I'm sure the other does too, though). The Glenarden/Landover one also has a Costco next door, which means I will still be there fairly often. I want to support Prince George's development but realistically I know I also want to support an excellent grocery close to home at the same time.
kathy lapinski November 06, 2012 at 05:37 PM
I loved it, but will probably just go there for specialty items since I get 2% back on my BJs purchases. Giant also offers gas points at Shell stations, so that is also a big selling point.
Rick November 09, 2012 at 04:00 PM
This is ridiculous, why would anyone in Bowie go all the way to the Wegmans in Crofton, I understand if you live on the West side of Bowie but come on. The Wegmans in Woodmore is the same as the Wegmans in Crofton and keeps money local. The question I have for Jen is, did you do the same type of write-up for the Wegmans in Woodmore Town Center? I hope you did.
Rick November 09, 2012 at 04:02 PM
The question is for Rebecca not Jen
Rebecca Coleman November 09, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Rick, did you see the comment where I mentioned that the Woodmore Wegmans is 22 minutes from my house and the Crofton Wegmans is 11 minutes away? I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "all the way" when the Woodmore one is twice as far for me. I absolutely agree that the one in Woodmore is the same as the one in Crofton except that the Woodmore one has a very nice built-in café with great food. Everything positive I said about the Crofton one also applies to the one in Woodmore. Did I do a writeup for that one? No, because I didn't realize that blogging for Patch was an option at the time. And as I said in the comments, the Woodmore one is next door to Costco so I will still be shopping there. While I completely understand about supporting business in Prince George's County and I do it myself every day, I don't think we need to disavow Crofton businesses because we live on the other side of the county line. Don't we want people from Crofton to shop in Bowie Town Center? Aren't we neighbors and therefore codependent with our businesses? Doesn't it serve Bowie homeowners when people who want to move here can see that we have good shopping within 10 minutes of their potential homes? Nobody looking at homes in Bowie says, "Well, that's close but it's Anne Arundel, so I won't shop there." Absolutely shop Prince George's first, but don't refuse to shop in AA County unless you expect them to do the same.


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