Grocery Store Saturation

Our ol’ neighborhood of West Seattle has had plenty of excitement in the grocery store department lately. This month we had the re-opening of the newly completely remodeled PCC as well as the long awaited opening of Whole Foods. Not to be left in the dust, Metropolitan Market has been doing a major remodel to keep up with the new competition.

Yesterday, I visited PCC yesterday and today I checked out Whole Foods and it’s interesting what our grocery stores have and don’t have. I do plan on revisiting and writing a more in-depth post – however, I thought I’d share my first impressions on our current grocery stores in West Seattle. Before we proceed, please know I’m a total foodie, I love to cook and enjoy my wine…and sadly, I am a grocery store snob. I am a long time shopper at Met Market which started when we lived less than a block away from the store and I would just buy enough groceries for that day or what ever we could carry, and walk home. When writing these reviews, I’m probably comparing everything to my long time favorite store.

Let’s start with parking lots. When I went to PCC yesterday (before 5pm) I was surprised at how tight the parking lot is (I’m not a fan of Thriftway’s parking lot either). First impressions of the store – it’s beautiful. I suddenly understood why Metropolitan Market probably felt they had to remodel with this one-two punch coming to West Seattle. The produce is beautiful. Meat department looks great and the to go dishes look fantastic… I need to go back and check them out. I was happy to find Nancy’s non-fat Greek yogurt. The wine department is lacking a little and a bit unorganized. It has a somewhat limited selection of groceries. I probably need to learn how to shop at PCC.

Whole Foods has an underground parking lot that will be especially popular on rainy days. Like PCC, it’s a beautiful, open and airy store. I was surprised at how big the health care section was and that they actually had blankets/throws, slippers, tops, etc. for sale. This section (health/beauty/clothing) took up a significant part of the store. The produce was beautiful and Amazon Prime members receive additional incentives for shopping here. I was able to find Gochugaru for a spicy Korean dish I’m making tonight (which I could not find at PCC or Met Market). I needed some assistance finding horseradish – which I have to say, the customer service was excellent. I could not find maraschino cherries for an Old Fashioned…or any maraschino cherries. Whole Foods has a great looking meat/seafood department and so many “to go” dishes to check out on a future visit. On the elevator back to the covered parking lot, I complimented a woman on her glasses and she asked me what I thought of store and I told her I’m surprised what it had and what it didn’t. She agreed and said other Whole Foods stores have a much larger grocery department than this store which surprised her because of how larger this store is.

From Whole Foods, today I went to Thriftway because I was in search of maraschino cherries – which they had a great selection of. Thriftway is great. I know this probably sounds weird – but I don’t like the parking lot. It’s a bit cramped with the design. Thriftway overall is a solid grocery store. It may not have the new flash that the other three stores have, but overall, it has a wide selection of groceries (probably better than Whole Foods or PCC) and they tend to have better prices. There have been a few items that I’ve been surprised to find priced better at Met Market than Thriftway. Thriftway also has a nice kitchen shop, like Met Market. I don’t think PCC or Whole Foods have kitchen supply departments that compare. Thriftway also has a better liquor and wine department than PCC or Whole Foods.

Metropolitan Market…boy you’ve been putting your long time, loyal clients through some hoops with the remodel…but after visiting Whole Foods and PCC, I understand this move. During the remodel I was kind of put back by how much it seemed MM was trying to be PCC and WH with adding the bulk food bins and bringing back (with an oomph) cosmetics. It’s been hard for a lot of regulars going through the transition and having things move or no longer be available but it all makes sense to me now. Met Market has a great produce and meat department. Hubby has always loved the Cubano and the Rueben is really good too! They have been branching out into so many various “to go” foods that I have not had a chance to try them all out. The kitchen shop is a local resource – especially since J.F. Henry has closed.

I recently started checking out Trader Joes… pretty much because friends of ours buy addictive chocolate covered raisins from there. Since going to TJ’s I’ve started checking out a few other items and I have a new found appreciation for this store too…but I prefer the other stores for produce and meats.

QFC and Safeway… I just don’t find myself shopping there often. The Safeway on Admiral is nicer and you can find some great deals there. Hubby says the liquor guy at Safeway on Admiral is very knowledgeable, funny and very customer service oriented.

Of course I love the West Seattle Farmers Market… just the whole neighborhood experience is worth walking through it on Sundays. I have a hard time buying store bought salad and I’m a little bummed when it’s out of season.

I do plan to write an updated post after I check out the new stores again… I’ll try to include some pics too!

Bottom line, the addition of the new grocery stores means that they are competing for our business. I’m noticing some lower prices at the high priced stores and coupons being sent in the mail… a win for consumers, at least for now.

What are your favorite West Seattle Grocery Stores?

Pokemon on Beach Drive!

You may have heard of Pokemon, or seen people wandering with their smart phones in hand… maybe you’ve seen a group of people gathering in the same location over and over again… this may all be about Pokemon Go which was released earlier this month. [Read more…]

Killers chasing chum off of Beach Drive

Several onlookers lined the sidewalk along Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook watching a nearby Orca pod. The whales have been spotted all over the area for the last couple of days according to West Seattle Blog reports. The Orca are most likely chasing the large fall chum salmon run which contains nearly 90% of the entire annual chum numbers that migrate down to central & south Puget Sound.

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It was also reported that The Whale Trail organization has spotted other aquatic species in the area as well.

 

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Well, maybe not ALL of them…

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

 

Here’s one way to beat the heat!

These folks just flew past my deck.

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Looks like fun!

I’ll bet THEIR mellow was harshed!

As many of us were standing at the base of Mee-Kwa-Mooks park last night wondering why a dozen or so fire & rescue units (and more converging within a dog’s howl) were blocking Beach Drive SW, a group of kids were sitting around an illegal fire set 150 yards up the hill in the tinder dry forest.

IMG_4209This freshly created pit wasn’t here during the day yesterday

Can you imagine the scene?? Just sitting around the fire cracking a beer talking about a new carbon fiber hood or up-coming protests when… “are those sirens coming this way?”. Then justified paranoia sets in as the first responder slams on their brakes at the bottom of the hill with another dozen screaming on the way! I can picture the precious PBR’s being sacrificed to the fire in effort to calm the smoke not to mention the already drank ones puddling at their feet.

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Last night’s onlookers watching responders searching the waters for false alarm parachuter

I’m pretty certain the kids were mingling with the crowd of on-lookers by this point and relieved that they weren’t “the incident”. There’s only a few really good stories friends get to share together. I’ll bet this is one counts.

All kidding aside though, the fire up in the park appears to have burnt all the way out. One spark the wrong way and we would’ve had a real situation. There was a pretty decent northerly blowing and several houses (friends) bordering the park in harms way.

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The old illegal pit circled by the old Schmitz mansion’s concrete retaining wall blocks appears to have been put out of service by purposely fallen trees (what could possibly go wrong with that method?). The dead bush in the foreground is drier than an old Christmas tree in June.

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Unusual carcass washes up on Beach Drive shore

A local neighbor reported this washed up shark carcass to Washington Fish & Wildlife late this morning while walking his dog along Emma Schmitz Viewpoint…

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Beach Drive resident Mark Snyder spotted the nearly 6 foot hulk after peering over the edge of the seawall to see what all the bird racket was about.

A spokesperson from WSFW believed that it may be related to a species of Thresher shark they’ve been seeing due to the warmer than usual waters off the coast. She also mentioned that ocean going ships will often snag an animal from distant waters and deposit them on inland shores as they reduce speed. A Wildlife boat has been dispatched for tomorrow morning to drag the shark back to the Armeni ramp for proper disposal.

Mark is often seen sail boarding on the windiest of days around here and told us that “this will definitely make me better at my sport, I’d hate to fall out there and meet one of these guys!”

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

UFO buzzes onlookers at Mee-Kwa-Mooks

It’s a plane, it’s a bug, no, it’s a powered paraglider cruising at low altitude off the shores of Beach Drive SW late this afternoon…

IMG_3952The flight path appeared to be north around Alki Point at around 3:50 PM then back south towards Lincoln Park and beyond!

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Pretty darn cool if you ask me!

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Missing Kitty: Have you seen Fiona?

UPDATE: Fiona has been happily reunited with her human.  

Fiona is a black and white kitten who has been missing from the Beach Drive area since February 20th. You may have seen some of her flyers posted along Beach Drive.

[Read more…]

Next Winner in the Beach Drive Blog Photo Contest

These two lovey sunset photos were submitted by Larry. It was really challenging for our judges to pick between them… we decided to make the photo with the Harbor West Condos extending over Puget Sound.  This photo is currently featured as our Facebook header.

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If you are a Beach Drive neighbor and would like to enter our quasi photo contest, click here for more information.

First “Winner” in the BDB Photo Contest

This is our first entry to our photo contest which we announced earlier this month.  The modest photographer, Alexa, says, “Lol, not the best since from my phone but I love it.”

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We love it too, Alexa and it’s the new “header” on our Facebook page until we announce the next photo contest winner.

Would you like to have your photo proudly represent Beach Drive on our Facebook page (www.fb.com/beachdriveblog)?

It’s easy! Here are the basic rules:

  1. You must be a Beach Drive neighbor (meaning you live on or very near Beach Drive)
  2. Photos can submitted via email to rhonda@mortgageporter.com
  3. Contest winners are selected by the BDB committee
  4. Winning photo will be displayed on Beach Drive Blog’s Facebook page (be sure to “Like”us!)
  5. Winning photo will have a blog post (like this one) featured on Beach Drive Blog
  6. Winning photo will be displayed for at least a week (give or take).

It’s all about having fun with neighbors in the beautiful part of the world we call home.

Congrats, Alexa and thank you for your entry!