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Rumors about Marianos in Chicagoland

Rumors about Marianos in Chicagoland
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  • Post #391 - October 11th, 2017, 9:18 pm
    Post #391 - October 11th, 2017, 9:18 pm Post #391 - October 11th, 2017, 9:18 pm
    blipsman wrote:After repeated issues with that store (and a couple discussions with the manager by email & phone), I started hitting other Mariano's when near them...


    Don't waste your time at the Ukrainian Village store at Chicago and Damen. The worst large chain grocery store I have ever been to. Anyone I know who has shopped there, has shared similar feelings.

    It sucks since that is our closest grocery store.
  • Post #392 - October 12th, 2017, 1:39 am
    Post #392 - October 12th, 2017, 1:39 am Post #392 - October 12th, 2017, 1:39 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    Drover wrote:The last two times we've gone there they had no green onions

    At the risk of sounding like a Mariano's apologist Elston had green onions yesterday as I bought some. The three places I tend to grocery shop, not exclusively but in general, are Fresh Farm's Niles, Mariano's Elston and Viet Hoa on Argyle.

    I wish the Fresh Farms was closer -- the Elston Mariano's is already kind of out of our way. That plus a floor plan that seems designed to maximize gridlock makes FF a no-go for us unless we're already in the area for something else.
  • Post #393 - October 16th, 2017, 3:20 pm
    Post #393 - October 16th, 2017, 3:20 pm Post #393 - October 16th, 2017, 3:20 pm
    Made a quick run through of the new Bannockburn Marianos.
    This one has a taco counter. I'll try it eventually.

    The Todd's bbq is kind of "cramped." They have everything, however, they had a heated case set up and they were placing containers of weighed and priced brisket/ pork, and turkey into the heated case, for people to grab. The case also had prepacked bbq sandwiches - sliced brisket, pulled pork, some monstrous "bbq brisket cheesesteaks," and "fried chicken?"They were happily slicing the meats to order as well. Just had to get their attention behind the counter, and it took a long time. There was not a lot of space back there at all. Next to the Todd's counter, there was a self serve section for sides AND bbq meats. Looked like the ribs were sauced in the self serve section. I grabbed a pre-packed container of the brisket, but also asked for a fresh sliced 2lb container. The prepackaged one was not good. Obviously under the lamp for too long. I'm a fan of Mariano's brisket for the price. It's pretty consistent, since they have a Southern Pride, set and forget, and they will happily entertain request for fatty or lean (or a mix.) Today's Grand Opening special price on brisket was 9 bux a pound.

    Smoked spares and smoked b-backs were 8 dollars a slab. I'm not a fan of their rub for the ribs, but I am a fan of their price, and these are smoked and (yaaaaaay!) unsauced. I bought a slab of each. Never tried their b-backs - I'm a spare guy through and through. For 8 bucks a slab, I'll give them a try for dinner tonight

    They have a coupon book which I gather you have to ask for upon checkout. The coupon books had a few interesting freebies for upcoming days.

    Sorry to the Marianos dissenters, but this changes the entire landscape of work lunches for me. I LOVE having this option for lunch up this way. I don't think Marianos is the greatest store of all time, but I do like the bbq for the price, and their "all butter" cookies are damn good. Not the regular stupid cookies. The ones that say "all butter" on them. Those are a hit.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #394 - December 7th, 2017, 1:03 pm
    Post #394 - December 7th, 2017, 1:03 pm Post #394 - December 7th, 2017, 1:03 pm
    What the heck are they doing to the Lawrence/Ravenswood store?

    - Todd's is relegated to pre-made sandwiches and pre-sliced meats (and ribs that are whole slabs, but also under heat lamps). As y'all know, there is is nothing worse than pre-sliced bbq -- it dries out very quickly. If you can get "fresh" BBQ, it certainly isn't obvious.
    - The sushi bar is down to 4 seats. Pre-made sushi is much larger.
    - The oyster bar is gone.
    - One of the fridge/freezer aisles was replaced by shelves. This was the section nearest the candy shop, which usually had tons of chicken parts, and on the other side, the exotic meats, amongst other things.
    - The pre-made sandwiches are now grab-and-go. They used to be stacked behind glass and an employee had to wrap it and hand it to you.
    - They do seem to have added a higher emphasis on truly made to order sandwiches, and have a new made to order salad counter, where an employee mixes your salad for you on a chipotle-style assembly line. I don't get the salad thing, where I could just turn a 180 and grab my own salad from the salad bar from a much bigger selection of ingredients. This is going in the opposite direction of what I would expect.
    - The floral section from downstairs has taken over where the bulk spices used to be, next to the produce.
    - The downstairs area now seems to be, I dunno, a warming station for those wandering the neighborhood? The counter down there didn't have any tap-pulls mounted. It may still serve beer and wine, but it wasn't obvious. Otherwise it's totally unclear what is being sold down there. I can't imagine this area being permanently wasted in this way, but you never know.

    In general, it feels like they converted to a model where there is much less personal service. I know that if this isn't a temporary situation I have no reason to go there anymore, and, in fact, my visits are probably down 80% year-over-year. They have removed most of the things that made them unique, while the competition has stepped up their game a touch to blur the differences even more. I'm guessing this is all Kroger homogenizing its chains.
  • Post #395 - December 7th, 2017, 1:06 pm
    Post #395 - December 7th, 2017, 1:06 pm Post #395 - December 7th, 2017, 1:06 pm
    kateem wrote:I'm guessing this is all Kroger homogenizing its chains.

    Cutting costs because they've maxed out all meaningful top line growth.

    =R=
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #396 - December 7th, 2017, 1:31 pm
    Post #396 - December 7th, 2017, 1:31 pm Post #396 - December 7th, 2017, 1:31 pm
    The Foster/Sheridan location has been trash for a long time, basic produce like onions regularly garbage or missing, fish and meats super sad, etc. Just a bad place to shop and I wish it wasn't my closest all purpose.
  • Post #397 - December 7th, 2017, 1:36 pm
    Post #397 - December 7th, 2017, 1:36 pm Post #397 - December 7th, 2017, 1:36 pm
    AlekH wrote:The Foster/Sheridan location has been trash for a long time, basic produce like onions regularly garbage or missing, fish and meats super sad, etc. Just a bad place to shop and I wish it wasn't my closest all purpose.

    They still have the piano player! ;-)

    As I am equidistant to the Jewel on Broadway at Berwyn and the Edgewater Mariano's, both get visits. I find both to be lacking at times. Mariano's gets the edge for better pricing on organic milk.
    -Mary
  • Post #398 - December 7th, 2017, 3:30 pm
    Post #398 - December 7th, 2017, 3:30 pm Post #398 - December 7th, 2017, 3:30 pm
    When I lived in the burbs, the closest Marianos was a decent option compared to Jewel. Now that I'm on the northside, I'd much rather go to the Edgewater Whole Foods than the Lawrence Marianos. The Marianos doesn't seem better than a Jewel to me.
  • Post #399 - December 14th, 2017, 5:28 pm
    Post #399 - December 14th, 2017, 5:28 pm Post #399 - December 14th, 2017, 5:28 pm
    I have given up on Mariano's. I only go to the Northbrook location, so all comments refer to this location. The produce has never been outstanding, but has become less than acceptable. Examples: Every celery bunch had already become slightly soft, onions with several layers that had to be removed after I got home because they were brown. Beef under plastic that was almost unacceptable after removing the plastic. Chicken parts that had a foul order when opening at home. Out of stock ( and poorly stocked because sometimes if you ask they are in back ) items that I consider staples. I just refuse to put up with it anymore.

    Where do I go???? My old go-to Sunset has lowered its prices in many cases. Jewel has totally remodeled in the interim. Whole Foods has also reduced some prices. Maybe I will even give 'Fresh Thyme' another try. I'm not sure. It's just not going to be Mariano's which had become my go-to grocer.
  • Post #400 - December 14th, 2017, 5:31 pm
    Post #400 - December 14th, 2017, 5:31 pm Post #400 - December 14th, 2017, 5:31 pm
    lougord99 wrote:I have given up on Mariano's. I only go to the Northbrook location, so all comments refer to this location. The produce has never been outstanding, but has become less than acceptable. Examples: Every celery bunch had already become slightly soft, onions with several layers that had to be removed after I got home because they were brown. Beef under plastic that was almost unacceptable after removing the plastic. Chicken parts that had a foul smell when opening at home. Out of stock ( and poorly stocked because sometimes if you ask they are in back ) items that I consider staples. I just refuse to put up with it anymore.

    Where do I go???? My old go-to Sunset has lowered its prices in many cases. Jewel has totally remodeled in the interim. Whole Foods has also reduced some prices. Maybe I will even give 'Fresh Thyme' another try. I'm not sure. It's just not going to be Mariano's which had become my go-to grocer.
  • Post #401 - December 14th, 2017, 10:42 pm
    Post #401 - December 14th, 2017, 10:42 pm Post #401 - December 14th, 2017, 10:42 pm
    lougord99 -
    I use Marianos for donuts, bbq, cookies, clearanced jarred Indian sauces, and their house brand grapefruit sparkling water. Not much else at all.

    Not sure what you'd consider too far, but Tony's in Prospect Heights, and also Jimenez on Dundee in Wheeling would be on my radar if everywhere else sucked.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #402 - December 15th, 2017, 9:22 am
    Post #402 - December 15th, 2017, 9:22 am Post #402 - December 15th, 2017, 9:22 am
    The Glenview West Mariano's (Willow/Sanders) has stayed relatively consistent. Their cheese counter is top-notch (especially now that they're making their own mozz again), they just remodeled their "Veg'd" station as a taco booth. However, they seem to have stopping making breakfast sausage in any form but bulk -- their hotdog-sized links were outstanding. I've had no problems with produce there.

    Jewel (Randhurst) though has stepped up its game, and I probably shop there at least as often. But a couple recent trips to Tony's in Prospect Heights may have me going out there more frequently, especially for the butcher department.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #403 - January 18th, 2018, 6:44 pm
    Post #403 - January 18th, 2018, 6:44 pm Post #403 - January 18th, 2018, 6:44 pm
    Lucky find for me today at the Mariano's on Milwaukee Avenue in Vernon Hills: two great looking hanger steaks, just under 1.5 lbs each, $4.99/lb! I thought of fellow LTHNorther WillG who, if I recall correctly, mentioned finding it there in the past.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #404 - January 20th, 2018, 12:56 pm
    Post #404 - January 20th, 2018, 12:56 pm Post #404 - January 20th, 2018, 12:56 pm
    kateem wrote:In general, it feels like they converted to a model where there is much less personal service.

    This reminds me of a recent experience at the New City location. Admittedly it wasn't at a peak shopping hour, but I looked down every aisle and couldn't find a single store employee to ask where to find the item I was looking for. Then I went back the other way and looked down every aisle again. Still no one. I began to wonder if I was in one of those Twilight Zone episodes where a customer gets stuck in the store after closing time.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #405 - January 21st, 2018, 8:29 am
    Post #405 - January 21st, 2018, 8:29 am Post #405 - January 21st, 2018, 8:29 am
    kateem wrote:What the heck are they doing to the Lawrence/Ravenswood store?


    I'm really disappointed with the changes. In particular, I miss the spice area. The expanded cheese area is the only positive change.
  • Post #406 - January 21st, 2018, 2:34 pm
    Post #406 - January 21st, 2018, 2:34 pm Post #406 - January 21st, 2018, 2:34 pm
    I was at the Ashland/Webster store today looking for saurkraut in bags (I prefer it to the canned versions) and there was none. I flagged down a woman who was in the meat section working on shelf tags, who then pulled over a behind-the-meat counter guy and then another guy who maybe was a manager of some sort. This seems to demonstrate (to me) quite good service. OTOH they had none, and hadn't in a while, and weren't sure when it was coming back - one guy attributing it to seasonality, another thinking it might have been a Roundy's product (it wasn't - they had carried Frank's and Vienna Beef). I didn't think to go look for it chilled in jars. They also had no variety of tofu other than silken, and no peanut butter in jars without added ingredients such as salt or palm oil.

    I went over to Treasure Island, which had Boar's Head and Vienna Beef in bags, and one lone chilled jar of Frank's where the Frank's bags should have been. They had firm tofu, but I didn't look for peanut butter.

    Is there a saurkraut shortage due to weather, season, or a cabbage disease? Should this be its own thread?
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #407 - January 21st, 2018, 5:11 pm
    Post #407 - January 21st, 2018, 5:11 pm Post #407 - January 21st, 2018, 5:11 pm
    leek wrote:
    Is there a saurkraut shortage due to weather, season, or a cabbage disease? Should this be its own thread?


    Andy's has it by the barrel full (plastic bags and tongs provided).

    Andy's Deli
    5442 N Milwaukee Ave
    Chicago, IL 60630
    773-631-7304
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven

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