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?

Blake Island closure scheduled

Blake Island is closing off the island to visitors this Wednesday through Friday to deal with thinning the enormous rabbit population.

Like many of the larger islands in the San Juans, Blake has seen it’s rabbit population grow out of control. Much of the island’s daucus carota has been decimated which could spell disaster for the beloved deer population. Hundreds of traps will be set mostly on the southeastern and northwestern ends of the island where burrowing is most pronounced.

Park officials have organized volunteer veterinarians from both King and Kitsap counties to spay all females caught during the 2 day closure. “Our goal is to thin the rabbit population by at least two thirds.” said long time ranger Peter Hare. An adoption rescue line has been set up for local residents to provide homes for many of the exiled bunnies. Peter’s team has currently secured homes for 375 rabbits (at the time of writing this article) however, anticipates the need for a few hundred more. They’ve also made this link available for any interested hosts that have questions regarding care for this particular species of San Jaun rabbit. Please contact the bunny rescue effort at islandbunnies.gov or call 360-Bun-Home if you’re interested in the rescue efforts. Hop to it!

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

 

Escape the Stench

This is just in from a Beach Drive neighbor, Mary:

West Seattle has a real treasure a short distance away from Beach Drive’s odoriferous low tides: The Arboretum at South Seattle College’s north end.  Leaves there are beginning to turn reds and yellows.  Amble the winding paths through pleasant-smelling shrubbery (e.g., Golden Elaeagnus).  The award-winning dwarf conifer collection also begins changing colors this fall. Free guided tours Oct. 10.

arboretum

Scupper on the trail of the Polar Pioneer oil rig

Our intrepid reporter, Scupper, Captain of S/V Pointless, is currently on trail of the Polar Pioneer.

oil platform

Shell’s controversial oil rig is en route to Terminal 5 in West Seattle.

Stay tuned for more pictures from Captain Scupper as I will continue to update this post with photos as I receive them.

UPDATE 2:28 PM:  You can barely see West Seattle in the background as the Polar Pioneer makes her way closer to Terminal 5.

oil west seattle

Captain Scupper says, “There goes the neighborhood.”

UPDATE 2:39 PM:

Captain Scupper of S/V Pointless has just sent in this picture of the Polar Pioneer with Seattle in the distance.

oil seattle

Along with this close up photo taken of the oil rig from the deck of Pointless.

oil_term

Captain Scupper does not see any kayakers from Portland…yet…

UPDATE 2:47 PM:

Captain Scupper has just sent a bunch more photos… they are all starting to look the same to me. Here’s a nice one of the Polar Pioneer posing in front of the Seattle skyline.

oil rig stadium

UPDATE 3:05 PM:

Captain Scupper thinks he heard over the VHF that the Polar Pioneer is going to start drilling at this spot in Elliott Bay!

oil drill

 

Got stale corn chips? Fee-e-e-e-e-ed the Goats!

Well it looks like the off-again/on-again feeder for the goats off Jacobsen Street is officially gone. We have not had chance to chat with owners to learn why the feeder is down. They do have a sign that welcomes all to feed the lovely goats their favorite snack, corn chips, and to keep visiting Bama, JJ and Deli. The bell is gone too…my hunch is that one of the neighbors wasn’t too happy with it. However, if you call the goats names and give a few hearty “ba-a-a-a-ah”s, they will make their way up the hill to visit you and enjoy any snacks you have to offer.

2014-09-21 18.10.23

Instead of throwing our old chips, crackers or tortillas into the yard waste, we’re keeping them for our neighborhood goats.

2014-09-28 10.13.07

Aren’t they cute!

Fire on Bainbridge Island as seen from Beach Drive

 

DSC_0007[1]

 

DSC_0009[1]