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Rumors about Marianos in Chicagoland

Rumors about Marianos in Chicagoland
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  • Post #421 - October 4th, 2018, 10:23 am
    Post #421 - October 4th, 2018, 10:23 am Post #421 - October 4th, 2018, 10:23 am
    The "ChicagoJim" household as mixed feelings about Mariano's. Mrs. ChicagoJim loves the place, I don't.

    Why don't I:

    Some stuff just never comes back. When the South Loop store first opened they had an amazing display of Polish goodies - ingredients, candy, chocolate, etc. It all got sold and was never restocked. Clearly, there was a demand as it was purchased.

    Some stuff is a one-off: A while ago they had Hudsonville Ice Cream, unheard of in Chicago in my experience. Then it was gone and never came back.

    My mantra is "Never buy anything that was once alive." The produce is horrible and often rotten and seldom fresh. Mrs. ChicagoJim recently brought home a bag of yellow onions that were rotten. The displays don't look appealing. The meat is questionable at best, and sometime does indeed have a bit of funk. I'd never buy seafood, ever. Never buy the produce in the big bins when you first walk in, that's always going to be rotten when you get home.

    The display of bulk spices is/was tempting, but then you'd wait 20 minutes while they scared up someone to help you, who then didn't know anything about the spices and couldn't really help you. One time I was buying something very light and the scale wouldn't ring it up. That caused a 30 minute round of confusion (which would have been amusing except I just wanted to be out of the store by that point) until someone just had the good sense to say "how about we charge you $0.75 is that OK? After saying "sure" they then couldn't figure out how to get the pricing machine to force that price out to a label.

    The cheese area has very tempting displays of what are mainly very pedestrian selections, and I have no confidence that the cheese has been stored and aged under proper conditions. In all fairness, WF has the same problem - buy the exact same cheese at WH and Pastoral and they taste completely different.

    Cashiers have gotten a bit better, but at the beginning they didn't know the difference between a green bean and a chili pepper! It was like they found them on the street gave them no more training that in how to scan barcodes and turned them loose.


    They don't stock odd things. Last year we were going to make the family recipe for corn bread that involved creamed corn. They didn't have any, and looked at my like I was an idiot implying that such thing existed.

    I do like a few things on the hot bar. The Mac&Cheese is better than I can get at Whole Foods for a lower price - probably because Mariano's makes it with all the stuff the WF has decided is "bad" for us. And, the do have the largest selection of frozen Pizza I've seen anywhere - although the Stouffer's French Bread pizzas have also disappeared from Mariano's, but that's a different thread.

    So, bottom line? I'll stop in once in awhile for something I need quickly that isn't produce or meat, dairy and frozen seem to be OK.
  • Post #422 - October 4th, 2018, 11:02 am
    Post #422 - October 4th, 2018, 11:02 am Post #422 - October 4th, 2018, 11:02 am
    Hi,

    I bought some cucumbers recently at Mariano's that did not look very good. If I had more time that day, I might have gone elsewhere.

    When I opened them up, they were ready to go to seed. I may not always use the seeds in a salad, though I will eat them. These were so past their peak, the seeds went straight to the mulch pile.

    Still no pepperoni sticks, though I still ask just in case my luck may change.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #423 - October 4th, 2018, 1:54 pm
    Post #423 - October 4th, 2018, 1:54 pm Post #423 - October 4th, 2018, 1:54 pm
    chicagojim wrote:One time I was buying something very light and the scale wouldn't ring it up. That caused a 30 minute round of confusion (which would have been amusing except I just wanted to be out of the store by that point) until someone just had the good sense to say "how about we charge you $0.75 is that OK? After saying "sure" they then couldn't figure out how to get the pricing machine to force that price out to a label.
    I can offer a little background about this. Grocery store scales like at the deli, meat counter and cash registers are typically 30 pounds capacity and 0.01 pound resolution for (30/0.01) 3000 divisions total. However, there's a rule in most states that says you cannot use fewer than 10 divisions for price computing. This is so that rounding errors don't significantly influence the cost. The display graduation size is called 'd' and the minimum price computing amount is called 'e.' For the example scale, this represents a little over an ounce and a half or about 45 grams.

    If you're really interested, find one of these scales and see the NTEP Certificate of Compliance tag. It will be an engraved plate that is usually riveted to the housing. It lists the capacity, d & e values as well as the certificate number. Scale manufacturers introducing a new device have to submit samples to the National Conference on Weights and Measures trade group for empirical testing to ensure the scale performs properly across a range of conditions like varying temperatures and maintains calibration after thousands of weighing transactions.
  • Post #424 - October 4th, 2018, 2:36 pm
    Post #424 - October 4th, 2018, 2:36 pm Post #424 - October 4th, 2018, 2:36 pm
    @chicagojim - If you're still looking for Hudsonville ice cream, Meijer carries it.
  • Post #425 - October 4th, 2018, 3:22 pm
    Post #425 - October 4th, 2018, 3:22 pm Post #425 - October 4th, 2018, 3:22 pm
    The most I go to Mariano's is once a month. I go to the Northbrook store the most but I also go to the Skokie store. If they had a Mariano's in Evanston, I would go there more often. I was hoping they would put one in on Green Bay where Dominick's used to be, but I was told that Mariano's decided there was not enough parking, and so Whole Foods took it over, and is doing ok.

    The only produce I have gotten this summer there is a bag of sweet cherries they had on sale, and a couple of pints of Michigan blueberries a few months ago. I am not a big cucumber fan, and so I never buy them. The local ones are almost done for the year though. The one thing I do buy at Mariano's is chicken sausage. They often have Amylu's chicken sausage on sale for $3.50. A few months ago, I got some pasta sauce that was on clearance at the Northbrook store for $.99 too. I do think Kroger cheapened the store after they took it over, but the prices are cheaper too. Thanks, Nancy
  • Post #426 - October 4th, 2018, 3:50 pm
    Post #426 - October 4th, 2018, 3:50 pm Post #426 - October 4th, 2018, 3:50 pm
    I shop each day for that day. I go to the store that has the 'best for me' most important ingredient or the ingredient on the list that is difficult to get anywhere else. Almost the only thing that keeps me coming to Marianos now is Evans boneless skinless chicken thighs at $3.99 and the ability to buy exactly the number that I need. We eat a lot of chicken thighs.

    Their produce has gone so far downhill, that the chicken thighs may no longer be a sufficient draw.

    When the Northbrook Marianos opened, I shopped almost exclusively there. That was 3 years ago. It's amazing to me how quickly it has deteriorated.
  • Post #427 - October 5th, 2018, 9:22 am
    Post #427 - October 5th, 2018, 9:22 am Post #427 - October 5th, 2018, 9:22 am
    Jim-Bob wrote:@chicagojim - If you're still looking for Hudsonville ice cream, Meijer carries it.


    Oooooh. There goes that diet....
  • Post #428 - October 5th, 2018, 10:38 am
    Post #428 - October 5th, 2018, 10:38 am Post #428 - October 5th, 2018, 10:38 am
    chicagojim wrote:
    Jim-Bob wrote:@chicagojim - If you're still looking for Hudsonville ice cream, Meijer carries it.


    Oooooh. There goes that diet....


    Are you sure it's gone from Mariano's? I was at the one on Elston the other day and it looked like they've expanded their craft ice cream selection (and I think they had Hudsonville).
  • Post #429 - November 3rd, 2018, 11:29 am
    Post #429 - November 3rd, 2018, 11:29 am Post #429 - November 3rd, 2018, 11:29 am
    Mariano's is not "all that". It really needs to step up its game. Its a glitzy looking store but it has a dark underbelly. Some not so fresh produce, meat and seafood. I've bought a package of celery that was brown inside. I'd check everything also the date stamps on food. Also they don't carry a lot of things or are out of things. Mostly when I go there are two or three items on my list they either don't carry, or they are out of and sometimes they are common items. If you notice their grocery selections, they don't carry many things you can get a other stores such as Jewel. Also the stores are not kept up well. Produce leaves and water on the floor and people making a mess at the soup and hot bar with nobody there to keep it clean. They will have to step up their game as we are getting a Pete's fresh market and I can't wait to go there.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #430 - November 3rd, 2018, 4:57 pm
    Post #430 - November 3rd, 2018, 4:57 pm Post #430 - November 3rd, 2018, 4:57 pm
    This is nothing like what it's like at the Mariano's near me in Vernon Hills. If there are serious quality control issues from one location to the next in the Chicago area, it seems like something the local and corporate management should and would want to know. Have you given feedback to either?
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #431 - November 3rd, 2018, 11:54 pm
    Post #431 - November 3rd, 2018, 11:54 pm Post #431 - November 3rd, 2018, 11:54 pm
    When they first opened in Arlington Heights, they were the only place that had Popping Sorghum and Black Pearl popcorn (I think even WF did not have it when I looked). Recently two other, admittedly smaller, Marianos did not have it. That is Des Plaines and Glenview.

    Since there are mixed reports, maybe it would help if all posts, especially negative ones, included which store was being reported on.
    --Carey
  • Post #432 - November 4th, 2018, 12:01 pm
    Post #432 - November 4th, 2018, 12:01 pm Post #432 - November 4th, 2018, 12:01 pm
    I will do that. I think giving feedback will be good.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #433 - November 4th, 2018, 2:13 pm
    Post #433 - November 4th, 2018, 2:13 pm Post #433 - November 4th, 2018, 2:13 pm
    Two things are responsible for 90% of my Marianos visits:
    Their really good and large avocados.
    Todd's BBQ.
  • Post #434 - November 5th, 2018, 8:42 am
    Post #434 - November 5th, 2018, 8:42 am Post #434 - November 5th, 2018, 8:42 am
    BrendanR wrote:Two things are responsible for 90% of my Marianos visits:
    Their really good and large avocados.
    Todd's BBQ.

    Yeah, but the last time I was in Mariano's, those avocados were $1.99 each, versus 2/$1 at JB Market. Admittedly the JB ones were rock hard and the M's were perfectly ripe, but at 4X the price, it's crazy. For me, Mariano's is a must for
    * Fresh OJ
    * Cheese selection including the Widmer Farms Brick spread and the Roundy's cold pack cheese spreads at about 20% discount vs Merkt's, always a good selection of blues and goats, and occasionally their in-house fresh mozz (seems to be location-based, the Glenview West one doesn't seem to make it anymore).
    * Seafood salad (Jewel's is awful)

    I have noticed recently that a lot of the Roundy's brand items are on the clearance shelf, having been replaced with Kroger 'equivalents.' I hope that doesn't happen with the cheese spread.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #435 - November 5th, 2018, 8:56 am
    Post #435 - November 5th, 2018, 8:56 am Post #435 - November 5th, 2018, 8:56 am
    My intuition [based on my experiences with the Western/Roscoe and Golf/Waukegan stores, and the complaints of relatives] is that Kroger is well along the path to doing to Mariano's what Safeway did to Dominick's. SAD.

    Worse, where I am in the eastern end of Morton Grove, I suspect the Golf/Waukegan store competition closed up both of the Produce World locations and may be contributing to the lack of a grocery store where the Dempster/Waukegan Dominck's used to be. I am a dedicated Fresh Farms shopper, but sometimes I don't have the physical and mental stamina necessary to shop there at peak times. Sometimes it would be nice to have a handier place to get some fresh produce and a gallon of milk.

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #436 - November 5th, 2018, 1:23 pm
    Post #436 - November 5th, 2018, 1:23 pm Post #436 - November 5th, 2018, 1:23 pm
    Todd's bbq is ok but in my area its mostly eclipsed by many others such as Steamboat BBQ. I do sometimes like to take some sliced brisket home for dinner. The ribs are tough and not worth it.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #437 - November 6th, 2018, 7:01 pm
    Post #437 - November 6th, 2018, 7:01 pm Post #437 - November 6th, 2018, 7:01 pm
    Giovanna wrote:My intuition [based on my experiences with the Western/Roscoe and Golf/Waukegan stores, and the complaints of relatives] is that Kroger is well along the path to doing to Mariano's what Safeway did to Dominick's. SAD.


    Krogers has destroyed Mariano's which at one point was my go to grocery store. At this point the only thing pulling me into the Northbrook Marianos are the butcher case boneless skinless chicken thighs and a nice mustard they carry.
  • Post #438 - November 19th, 2018, 9:47 pm
    Post #438 - November 19th, 2018, 9:47 pm Post #438 - November 19th, 2018, 9:47 pm
    I usually go to Mariano's for their soups and the chicken pot pie. I like the BBQ but it's so inconsistent that I can't get the bad experiences out of my mind.
  • Post #439 - November 19th, 2018, 10:00 pm
    Post #439 - November 19th, 2018, 10:00 pm Post #439 - November 19th, 2018, 10:00 pm
    JoelF wrote:I have noticed recently that a lot of the Roundy's brand items are on the clearance shelf, having been replaced with Kroger 'equivalents.' I hope that doesn't happen with the cheese spread.
    I'm sorry to say but everything with the Roundy's brand will be gone soon.
  • Post #440 - Yesterday, 4:02 pm
    Post #440 - Yesterday, 4:02 pm Post #440 - Yesterday, 4:02 pm
    Mariano's Elston choice porterhouse on special, $7.99/lb 1-pound(ish) steaks in the case, I asked if they would cut me a double, 2-1/2 pound with a nice size filet. "Sure no problem" took maybe 4-minutes from ask to hand-off. For $20 and change my bride and I feasted, with leftovers for breakfast steak and eggs.

    PP4.jpg Mariano's 2.5 pound choice porterhouse

    PP2.jpg Beef and latkes = dinner.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #441 - Yesterday, 5:38 pm
    Post #441 - Yesterday, 5:38 pm Post #441 - Yesterday, 5:38 pm
    I friggin lost it with the non serrated knife in the post.

    Thanks for the laugh Gary.

    Gary's sense of humor, count me a fan
    Bill-Aurora

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