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?

Another Beautiful Night

Beach Drive neighbor, Larry, sent us this photo saying it sums up our last few gorgeous sunny evenings.

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Is it too soon for “deck season” to officially begin?

Today: April 3, 2008 is Good People Day

If you know me at all, then you know I’m a wine lover.  I also get a kick out of Gary Vanderchuk, a wine reviewer who uses funny, easy to understand terms for us "normal" folks who don’t know what lychee, bilberry or acacia smell like.   The burgandy colored Wine Library TV badge on the lower left side of this blog is a link to his wine reviews.

Good People Day is all about recognizing all the fine folks in our lives.  Gary is trying to do this via the web and fellow bloggers.   I can’t help but support his efforts.

I’d like to recognize all our neighbors, BDB readers, friends and family and all who do good.   Thanks, Guys, you’re the BEST!

Spread the word!

Custom Wine Wall Racks

We stumbled upon David Lisch, Damascus & Knife Maker, who has created custom wall mounted wine racks for our cellar.   We’re so pleased, we thought we’d share his work with you.   David also crafts gates, railings…his talent is unlimited.  His foundary is located directly under the West Seattle Bridge and the Viaduct at 3600 E. Marginal Way South, Studio 3, Seattle.  Be sure to tell him Beach Drive Blog sent you!


Beach Drive Wine Cellars

Hat tip (or should I say I raise my glass) to West Seattle Blog; I haven’t ventured outside in this wind yet to pick up my weekend paper and they’ve all ready posted on an article featuring Beach Drive neighbors, Scott and Susan Lipskey’s wine cellar.

I imagine that there are many wine cellars along Beach Drive of all shapes, sizes and ages.   Do you have a wine cellar?   We have one that is rumored to be from prohibition days.   One of these days I may share some photos or write a little about it. 

Note:  I meant to publish this post back on Nov. 11…it slipped by me somehow.   

Great Wine for such a bargin

Dsc_00412004 Mazzaron is a Tempranillo from Spain. 

We have really enjoyed this smokey red wine–it’s ready to drink now.   

Robert Parker has rated it at 88 points.   Stephen
Tanzer gave this an 89.    Wine Spector was stingy with 86 points.   We would rate it at least 88, if not 89.   

Last I checked, it was on sale at Metropolitan Market for just over $12.00!

It’s such a bargin, we just had to share it with you!

The Mollydooker Shake

The other day, I told you about Mollydooker wines and apparently Sparky Marquis, CEO of Mollydooker and wine maker, reads my blogs!  (Since he’s in Australia, what is more likely is that he has a "Google search" created for his wines).   

Sparky sent me a very friendly email about Gary Vanderchuk and my post:

"Thanks very much for the great comments in your recent “The Mortgage Porter”….I was laughing at Gary’s videos when I saw them the other day.  Now he is extremely passionate. As he said when he was doing the videos he is a great friend of ours and has always been a huge supporter of our wines.  What I realised by the end of his video was that I had forgotten to teach him about the "Mollydooker Shake" which we found to be such a critical part of what we do that we have put it on our new website .  Gary said that he would be reviewing The Boxer (as well as the fall release wines, Enchanted Path, Carnival of Love and Velvet Glove) using the Mollydooker Shake, so we will be interesting to see what he says.  All of the Lefty Series wines will also be reviewed in The Wine Advocate at the end of August so it is going to be awesome to see the comparison."

My husband and I gave the Dooky Shake a try.   Earlier this week, we opened a 2006 Two Left Feet.   Doing the Dooky Shake made a huge improvement on the wine.   It’s incredible.  Before we were unsure about the 2006 Two Left Feet (compared to 2005)…now we’re thrilled. 

I do recommend finding Mollydooker before the Wine Advocate review.   Wine Spectator has rated the 2006 Boxer at 90 points.   Wine Advocates rating last year created an absolute frenzy over Two Left Feet and Boxer (at the $20 price point).

If you love Aussie fruit bombs…

  1. Find Mollydooker
  2. Do the Dooky Shake.
  3. Cheers!

Since I recommended the wine last week…I wanted to share the inside scoop with you.

Wine Reviews


Gary Vay-Ner-Chuck of Wine Library TV is so funny, I just had to share this with you.   Even better, his wine reviews are straight on.    I know we’re not the only wine-o’s in the neighborhood…here is his review of 2006 Mollydooker.   2005 Mollydookers had an almost cult-like following with very high ratings from Robert Parker last year.

We have purchased some of the 2006 econ-line (around $20) and so far, we prefer The Boxer.   The 2006 Two Left Feet is not comparing to the 2005.   Unfortunately, this review does not cover Boxer.

The good news is that (the last time I checked) West Seattle Thriftway has some Mollydooker stored "in the back".   You need you need to request it if you’re interested.   Esquinn may have some dooky,  too.

I’ve added a link to Wine Library TV to the bottom left of this site.


Seattle Metropolitan Magazine’s Best in the City


July’s issue of Seattle Metropolitan Magazine names a couple of West Seattle restaurants as "Best in the City".     I am amazed that we have no shortage of fine restaurants in West Seattle…there’s really no reason to leave (except for work and I guess there is life beyond the West Seattle Bridge).

Seattle’s Best Wine Bar goes to Beato.   My husband and I have gone to Beato twice now.   We like to sit at the bar and chat with the bartender (seems like I should be calling him something else, wine server perhaps?).    Both times we have selected their wine flights along with some food of course!  You must try the maple smoked scallops.   SMM likes Beato because it has "perfect chemistry".    It’s a little on the pricey side and food portions are smaller…it is a treat and a nice "night out" when we happen to be kid-free for an evening.   Beato is located at 3247 California Avenue SW, Seattle.  206-932-1333.

Seattle’s Best Cooking Class is the Culinary Communion.   My neighbor "Cat Woman" purrs about her lessons with owners Gabriel Claycamp and Heidi Kenyon.   She’s promised to write a post for BDB one day…so maybe she’ll enlighten us on her experiences with this cooking school in our back yards.   206-284-8687.

Seattle’s Best Chicken Soup is Eat’s Market Cafe.    I’m dying to try their Reuben Sandwich.   This is another spot on my list of places of try whenever I’m in Westwood Village.   Eat’s Market Cafe is located at 2600 SW Barton St., Seattle.  206-933-1200

West Seattle’s Best Foam (Coffee) goes to Diva Espresso.   I have to admit, I have not been to Diva yet…I admire the building whenever I drive by and will make a point to stop in now.   SMM says they roast their coffee here in Seattle and that they have a "vintage bordello atmosphere".   Diva Espresso is located at 4480 Fauntleroy Ave SW, Seattle.  206-937-5225.

West Seattle’s Bes Suds (Beer) goes to Elliott Bay Brewery Pub.   BDB’s Steve’s Lunchbox recently reviewed Elliott Bay and this is also one of our family’s favorite lunch spots.   I didn’t realize (until reading the article) that the burgers are organic on homemade buns and you could wash it down with their award winning beer. Elliott Bay Brewery Pub is located at 4720 California Avenue SW, Seattle.  206-932-0532.

You can check out the entire "Best of the City" which covers more than just restaurants and cooking by picking up your copy of Seattle Metropolitan Magazine which is on sale now.

The Taste of West Seattle

Mark you calendars and clear your plates for The Taste of West Seattle.   This event, which benefits the West Seattle Helpline, takes place on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. at The Hall at Faunterloy.