Sunday, January 4, 2009

First F&E Trip of 2009

Happy New Year, one and all! And welcome to my first trip to F&E of 2009!

After a few weeks of my holiday panic whirlwind trip to the store, now that I actually have time to look around, I've found many surprises at my local F&E. And not all of it is good.

First of all, remember about the garlic verdict I gave? I went in to find that F&E has changed the brand to Christopher Ranch. So far, no problem yet. But hey, it's only been a day.

Then the herbs. There used to be F&E brand small bunch of herbs in a zip-top bag like a few stalks of parsley or a few branches of thyme. Just the perfect size for one or two uses. They don't have those any more. Instead, it's the herb in the plastic tubs like those you get at the regular stores. Organic, though. And an interesting change. So now I have more thyme than I need (wink wink...).

Over to the next aisle, the meat. No center cut bacon at 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon? Seriously? Okay. Benefit of the doubt. It's the weekend after a long holiday season. Perhaps things are a little late coming in.

Then, the spices have moved from an end shelf by the freezer to be next to the the baking supply, sharing the aisle with salad dressing and oil. That makes sense. However, I can't tell you what goes in that shelf instead of the spices now as I completely flew past it.

Around that old spice shelf is the pasta supplies. The minor change in the spaghetti sauce department upsets me a little. My staple is the Organic Traditional Marinara Sauce, Brandon's favorite for the flavor and that we can actually see the chunks of veggies in the sauce.

But I couldn't find any on the shelf. I only found the Tomato & Basil and Chunky Vegetables--not organic. I hope they were just out of stock, but I picked up the Chunky Veggie as a back up. Brandon is a bit of a creature of habits, so I really hope I don't have to reintroduce a new sauce.

Finally, at first I thought it was just because of the holidays, but there are now other "clutters" at the front of the stores. Well, they have been stacking non-perishable on sale stuff right up front before like the cases of water or beer. For the holiday, there appeared a tall rack of panettone, gourmet chocolate and After-Eights.

But when I went in yesterday, at the corner of the fridges stacked a pile of After-Eights. And a red wire magazine rack (or were there two?) right at the register.

Oh no, F&E. You didn't just start adding what I hate the most about the regular store into yours!

The special sale items at the entry way, I can kind of understand. (However, many occasions it causes a traffic jam entering the store. No good.) But the implusive buying magazine rack? Seriously. We're doing our own check-out over here and there is virtually no line to stand there and browse the magazine. I just thought it was silly.

I bought a few things I will do a review on soon including cilantro fresh salad dressing, bottled creamy Italian dressing, and the aforementioned grab-and-go loaded potatoes.

One of my 10 goals for 2009 is to cook something new at least once a month. I am sure many of those will end up here as a Dinner Possible post.

Got any food related goals? Do share!


Anonymous said...

I have to agree about the magazines, just clutter! It's ridiculous, and one of the things I hated about other grocery stores.

The herbs are the same supplier actually, just using the manufacturer packaging they come in, instead of fresh and easy packaging, thus extending the life.

On the end where spices used to be, is now the daily special, or "clearance" section.

Thx for the blog, I read it religiously!

a F&E employee

OakMonster said...

And thanks for dropping in, F&E Employee! It's good to have the responses from the inside.

Will be at your store tonight. You'd better have the bacon! :-D