I am away from home right now...for a month! I'm subletting a room in a condo with a perfectly lovely roommate, who owns a perfectly lovely little dog. Despite all this loveliness, I can't help but feel lonely, away from my husband and the lovely little home we started to build in San Francisco. Thankfully, I spend the majority of my waking hours getting my research done, which helps keep my mind off the fact that I am all by myself in a place I don't know that well. But since my research happens outdoors, I am subject to the whims of weather and the pesky inability to see at night. Thankfully, I have found a home away from home during the dark and rainy hours at the most amazing supermarket you could ever imagine...WEGMANS!
Wegmans stores are really amazing. The store in Ithaca was my favorite place when I lived there for both undergraduate and graduate school. But the wegmans near my current location just happens to be the Wegmans Mother ship! The original! The headquarters. Where the magic happens!
It is really amazing how much comfort this supermarket can bring. After the first day of full work, I just didn't feel like returning to the condo. It made me sad to think about sitting in my little room on my little twin bed, and the thought of having to make conversation with my temporary roommate made me cringe (despite the fact that she is nothing but friendly and nice). So I spent (not kidding!) three hours at Wegmans. While this seems ridiculous, this is actually not hard at all with three isles of gormet cheese! A housewares section that rivals Williams Sonomoa! A mini-restaurant in the middle of the meat and fish section with a be-hatted chef offering a cook-to-order tasting menu! And for all its fancy things, it is also very down to earth. Really reasonable (even cheap!) prices.
The best part though are the multiple bars where a hungry and homesick shopper can sample delicious hot offerings (and simply pay by the pound), and eat a healthy dinner with a thousand different tastes. My dinner that first night consisted of the tiniest tastes of the following: braised brussel sprouts, vegan spagetti squash lasagna, artichoke flan, cashew chili, saag panner, chicken somosa, tofu in chinese black bean sauce and ROMANESCO with caper sauce. Not only is this vegetable delicious in a caper sauce, it is truly stunning! Have you ever seen it before? I hadn't. It is like a head of broccoli and a middle school math project on fractals made love and then had a baby.
So this dinner was out-of-this-world delicious. And, each of the dishes had helpful little calorie counts on their sign. So not only was I getting tons of amazing vegetables prepared deliciously, I was able to thoughtfully plan a meal without going nuts and feeling too full afterwards. And, I payed $6.50 for the whole culinary tour.
I have gone back to Wegmans each night for dinner. And I haven't even gotten to the chinese dumpling table, the burrito bar, the gormet pizza counter, the "olde time sandwich shop," the wing bar, the salad mixer, the custom pasta counter, or the sushi bar (which also serves brown rice sushi). I keep going back to the vegetarian bar and Indian bar (and I'm not even vegetarian!) with their nightly rotating delicacies. This super market is just so unreal!
I cannot wait to go back to SF in a month. But when I do return, I will visit this Wegmans in my dreams!