LTH Home

I've joined the "I loathe Dominick's" crowd

I've joined the "I loathe Dominick's" crowd
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
     Page 1 of 18
  • I've joined the "I loathe Dominick's" crowd

    Post #1 - June 7th, 2007, 6:24 pm
    Post #1 - June 7th, 2007, 6:24 pm Post #1 - June 7th, 2007, 6:24 pm
    ...I used to think that it was an okay place to shop (my regular store is the Green Bay Road one in Evanston, and since it's five minutes from my house, it's the convenient choice most of the time). Nothing spectacular, and whenever possible I do my produce and meat shopping elsewhere, but I didn't really hate it the way others who have expressed opinions on this board appeared to. But in the past three to four months there have been serious declines, at least at the Evanston store, in both the quality and the quantity of the produce available -- again, I'm not expecting greatness, but I do expect that a large grocery store will have limes when you need them, or at least some green peppers that are not wrinkled and mushy. Lately, though, they've been out of common items when I needed them, or the produce on hand was so unnacceptable that I bought the cereal and etc. there that I needed and huffed off to my car to drive to Oakton Market to get good stuff. (When Dominick's had no limes last time I needed them I asked the produce manager about it and he told me that they were incredibly hard to get because of all the cold weather down south. Of course they had bushels at Oakton Market, and at 10 for a dollar or some such price.) Dominick's has also given over so much of their meat department to processed food that I find it impossible to count on their having staple items like chicken breasts with bones in them. And now the last straw -- all the breads in the Dominick's bakery have labels on them proclaiming "French Bread -- Hot at 5 p.m. or it's Free." It so happens that I have been in the store lately a couple of times (today being the last one) at exactly 5 o'clock. Not only was there no hot, fresh bread available but all that was out was dry and stale (I know Dominick's bread is generally not very good, but I have to presume it would be better right out of the oven). Today I determined to find out if fresh bread was ever available when it those stickers indicate it will be. No one was available in the bakery to ask about this, so when I finally tracked down a store manager, he professed utter ignorance of this policy and finally said, "well, I guess you can have a free one, then." When I explained that I was really desirous of procuring the promised fresh bread, not saving $1.29, he just shrugged and said maybe he would make them take the signs off the bread.

    So I'm wondering -- have those of you who also frequent this particular store noticed the same decline in quality? Has anyone ever had a fresh hot bread from Dominick's at 5 p.m.? Was it better than the old stuff?
    ToniG
  • Post #2 - June 7th, 2007, 6:28 pm
    Post #2 - June 7th, 2007, 6:28 pm Post #2 - June 7th, 2007, 6:28 pm
    My Evanston Dominick's is at Dempster & Dodge. You're going to the good one.
  • Post #3 - June 7th, 2007, 7:23 pm
    Post #3 - June 7th, 2007, 7:23 pm Post #3 - June 7th, 2007, 7:23 pm
    I never even noticed the signs. Have to look (Clyborn and... um, Diversey-ish?). I did get one of their baguettes the other day and it was fine. Not earthshattering, but certainly as good as some average ones I have had in France.
    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 #4 - June 8th, 2007, 9:49 am
    Post #4 - June 8th, 2007, 9:49 am Post #4 - June 8th, 2007, 9:49 am
    Until recently, our local Dom's was Foster/Sheridan and it has had its ups and downs over the years, but of late was what you have said you'd expect. Maybe a bit better. They have somewhat expanded their "ethnic" aisle to accomodate the changing neighborhood, and while produce is variable, and often cheaper either on Argyle, or up at Edgewater Market or Devon Market, it is usually servicable. (Limes when needed, an edible head of lettuce, etc.) Ditto the meat counter.
    And, overall, their register and c/s people seem to really try. And they're in a tough spot with a large immigrant customer base that often doesn't understand signs, terms of special deals/sales etc.
    So, I have to conclude that they must really vary store to store.
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #5 - June 8th, 2007, 10:37 am
    Post #5 - June 8th, 2007, 10:37 am Post #5 - June 8th, 2007, 10:37 am
    Went to the new Strack & Van Til on Elston just after it opened. NEVER stepping inside a Dominick's again if Strack keeps up the opening quality and variety.
  • Post #6 - June 8th, 2007, 10:50 am
    Post #6 - June 8th, 2007, 10:50 am Post #6 - June 8th, 2007, 10:50 am
    Welcome to the club! :roll:

    Went to the Willowbrook Whole Foods a couple days ago and got two lemons and two bell peppers. Priced by the pound, they came to $1 apiece.

    Was heading for WF a day later and stopped in the LaGrange Dominick's to get more lemons cheaper. Their lemons - smaller than the WF ones - were a cool $1.29 each. Next to them was a bin of those little watermelons called Sugar Babies, I think, at $5.99. I had just bought two at WF for $3.99 each.

    Earlier, noticed a can of Muir Glem tomatoes in Dominick's for $1.19 more than the WF price for the same can.

    Never thought I would come to think of WF as the low-cost alternative. :?
    Suburban gourmand
  • Post #7 - June 8th, 2007, 11:01 am
    Post #7 - June 8th, 2007, 11:01 am Post #7 - June 8th, 2007, 11:01 am
    I, of course, will probably be avoiding strack and von till for a little while: all three packages we bought of Miller Poultry bone-in/skin-on chicken breasts *reeked* of sulfur, even after letting them air out for a minute or two.

    Whether it was a problem with that batch from Miller, or S&VT, I don't plan on speculating.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #8 - June 8th, 2007, 11:17 am
    Post #8 - June 8th, 2007, 11:17 am Post #8 - June 8th, 2007, 11:17 am
    That's interesting about the WF/Dominick's comparison. An anecdote: In Arkansas, where I'm from originally, my wife's hometown has a Wal-Mart supercenter placed about every 10 sq. miles. No exaggeration. It became somewhat common knowledge that the Supercentre in the more upscale part of town had lower prices accross the board than the one in the more depressed economic area. i.e. the folks with less disposable time and income for comparison shopping were getting the short
  • Post #9 - June 8th, 2007, 11:40 am
    Post #9 - June 8th, 2007, 11:40 am Post #9 - June 8th, 2007, 11:40 am
    starbird wrote: It became somewhat common knowledge that the Supercentre in the more upscale part of town had lower prices accross the board than the one in the more depressed economic area. i.e. the folks with less disposable time and income for comparison shopping were getting the short


    You will see the same with Kroger's in Cincinnati, Farmer Jack's in Detroit, and Schnuck's in St. Louis. At least these stores will now place grocery stores in economically depressed areas. Twenty years ago, they did not. Operating costs (added security, shrinkage, etc.) are generally higher in the inner city.
  • Post #10 - June 8th, 2007, 11:54 am
    Post #10 - June 8th, 2007, 11:54 am Post #10 - June 8th, 2007, 11:54 am
    Their bakery is AWFUL... We have a Dominick's two blocks away, so when I ran out of French bread rolls recently, I sent DH to Dominicks to buy a French loaf. What he came back with was not French bread, but something that *looked* like it. It was way too soft to be actual French bread. Never again.
    "Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you want and let the food fight it out inside."
    -Mark Twain
  • Post #11 - June 8th, 2007, 12:24 pm
    Post #11 - June 8th, 2007, 12:24 pm Post #11 - June 8th, 2007, 12:24 pm
    While I rarely go to Dominick's, I'd say I've had the opposite experience with the produce on Howard St. Maybe it's the proximity of so many Mexican markets, but I've found it to be fresh, and sometimes to have good surprises: hydroponic watercress, yesterday a large salad-size box of Basil, arugula in a bag...

    Now, I've never trusted their bread and don't like their meat, so the only other shopping I do there is for emergency staples.
  • Post #12 - June 8th, 2007, 12:37 pm
    Post #12 - June 8th, 2007, 12:37 pm Post #12 - June 8th, 2007, 12:37 pm
    I gave up on Dominicks a long time ago. Years back, I considered it to be superior to Jewel (at least at the stores near us). But after Safeway bought Dominick's it quickly descended to unprecedented levels of awful.

    I don't have the information in front of me but I'm guessing it's been a good 4 years since I even set foot in a Dominicks.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #13 - June 8th, 2007, 1:41 pm
    Post #13 - June 8th, 2007, 1:41 pm Post #13 - June 8th, 2007, 1:41 pm
    Glad this thread was started.

    We've been avoiding Dominick's for a while, but I got suckered into going yesterday...and I've been regretting it.

    You see, last summer Dominick's was one of the few places you could find Lazzari Charcoal. I was in need of more, so we thought we'd stop by our local Dominick's on Clyborne, and while we're there pick up some other veggies for fajitas.

    Well, they apparently no longer carry Lazzari. They had at least 200 bags of Kingsford. (And no Kingsford Charwood, a sorry replacement.)

    Moreover, nearly every one of the dozens of green peppers was old and wrinkled...and $1.50 each. Onions cost the same or more than Whole Foods. Cantaloupes were about $5 each. Most were wet.

    Needless to say, I won't be making this mistake again. Glad I had this forum to vent.
  • Post #14 - June 8th, 2007, 2:13 pm
    Post #14 - June 8th, 2007, 2:13 pm Post #14 - June 8th, 2007, 2:13 pm
    mrbarolo wrote:And, overall, their register and c/s people seem to really try. And they're in a tough spot with a large immigrant customer base that often doesn't understand signs, terms of special deals/sales etc.


    I do agree with this, and in fact it's one reason that I have refrained from criticism in the past -- with the exception of the apathetic manager I encountered yesterday, I have always had positive experiences with the Dominick's staff at the store I frequent (except for the one bagger who refuses to put my gallons of milk in a bag, no matter how often I ask). They're a union shop, too, and so I want to support that as well, though I suspect that is one reason (or the reason they supply in public, at any rate) for why they're closing stores and cutting back in quality. But on the original note, I have to ask: do the breads on the bakeries at other Dom's carry that "fresh at 5 or free" sticker, or is it just my store?
    ToniG
  • Post #15 - June 8th, 2007, 6:00 pm
    Post #15 - June 8th, 2007, 6:00 pm Post #15 - June 8th, 2007, 6:00 pm
    Oh, it's good to know that S&VT is open on Elston, I always went to the Cub there! I've only been going to Dominick's because the Cub closed.
    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 #16 - June 8th, 2007, 6:22 pm
    Post #16 - June 8th, 2007, 6:22 pm Post #16 - June 8th, 2007, 6:22 pm
    I hear about all of the good things happening at Safeway at my friend's website Morning News Beat but I never see any of the fresh concepts being implemented at Dominick's. On the other hand, I head into a Dominick's store about once a quarter as I have no need to go there.

    In Crystal Lake, I USED to head there at lunch for the salad bar but dealing with the SURLY cashiers was too much of a hassle.

    To be honest with you, my wife still shops there for the large markdowns on the nearly out of date goods.
  • Post #17 - June 9th, 2007, 10:54 am
    Post #17 - June 9th, 2007, 10:54 am Post #17 - June 9th, 2007, 10:54 am
    I've seen those stickers and a sign at the Clybourne store in Lincoln Park.

    It makes absolutely no difference whether their bread is warm or not. It was warm when I first tried it and I even tore off a bit in the store and was aghast that I was going to waste 1.29 on this crappy bread. You cannot get a decent baguette baked in a Dominicks store -- the inside is like wonder bread and the crust is a horrible, smooth, paper-y texture. It's really just a gesture or a signifier for french bread -- but it's not actually french bread.

    I have a very hard time beliveing that Dominicks bread even remotely resembles anything someone has procured in the most mediocre of boulangeries in Paris unless we're talking about Texas.
  • Post #18 - June 9th, 2007, 4:17 pm
    Post #18 - June 9th, 2007, 4:17 pm Post #18 - June 9th, 2007, 4:17 pm
    trotsky wrote:I have a very hard time beliveing that Dominicks bread even remotely resembles anything someone has procured in the most mediocre of boulangeries in Paris unless we're talking about Texas.


    It very much resembles the baguette we had for breakfast in the Champagne region. We stayed at Champagne Tarlant.

    I'm not saying it was good. I'm saying it was as good as some baguettes we have had in France.
    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 #19 - June 9th, 2007, 7:52 pm
    Post #19 - June 9th, 2007, 7:52 pm Post #19 - June 9th, 2007, 7:52 pm
    & their house brand of ice cream -- Lucerne -- at $3/the "half" gallon (1.75 liter) the vanilla is real vanilla -- no artificial flavor ...
  • Post #20 - June 10th, 2007, 2:02 pm
    Post #20 - June 10th, 2007, 2:02 pm Post #20 - June 10th, 2007, 2:02 pm
    On a particularly cold day, the winter before last, I stopped in my local Borders where I confirmed several facts of a Daisy Marinez recipe I had watched over the weekend. Using Borders as a reference library is perhaps not the most ethical thing to do, but I did not fear my immortal soul.

    I only needed a couple of items to complete the planned evening meal, and in the interest in getting home and out of cold quickly, I popped into the Dominik’s across the street. As I placed each item into the basket, I became angrier and angrier, not just at the price, but in the lack of brand choice. When it came time to select the fourth and final item, an extremely common item, I found it out of stock. Since I would have to go to another store anyway, I dropped the basket right there in the aisle in disgust, and started marching toward the door …

    … only to be detained by several security officers, and taken to the interrogation room. When it was finally determined that I had no food stuffs secreted on my person, and the abandoned basket was retrieved, I was let go, with nary an apology. I’ve been treated better by the TSA than the Dominik’s goons.

    I watched with selfish, vengeful glee, as they recently tore this Norridge Dominik’s down to the ground. Beware my karma.

    optional soundtrack: “Been Caught Stealing,” Jane’s Addiction

    -ramon
  • Post #21 - June 10th, 2007, 5:22 pm
    Post #21 - June 10th, 2007, 5:22 pm Post #21 - June 10th, 2007, 5:22 pm
    Ramon wrote:Since I would have to go to another store anyway, I dropped the basket right there in the aisle in disgust, and started marching toward the door …

    … only to be detained by several security officers, and taken to the interrogation room. When it was finally determined that I had no food stuffs secreted on my person, and the abandoned basket was retrieved, I was let go, with nary an apology.

    Did they actually search you?
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #22 - June 11th, 2007, 7:44 pm
    Post #22 - June 11th, 2007, 7:44 pm Post #22 - June 11th, 2007, 7:44 pm
    Cogito wrote:
    Ramon wrote:Since I would have to go to another store anyway, I dropped the basket right there in the aisle in disgust, and started marching toward the door …

    … only to be detained by several security officers, and taken to the interrogation room. When it was finally determined that I had no food stuffs secreted on my person, and the abandoned basket was retrieved, I was let go, with nary an apology.

    Did they actually search you?


    I was in a hurry, and thus took charge. I started quickly emptying the pockets of my winter jacket, which were many, and while some where edible, none were likely shoplifted from Dominik’s. When the jacket was empty, I removed it and handed it to one of the flunkees who may or may not have patted it down.

    I immediately whipped off my sweat shirt and turned the pockets of my jeans inside out. I was about to drop my drawers, in classic comic fashion, when I was asked to stop.

    So, to answer your question, Cogito, no, I was not searched, or ever touched. I still felt violated and somehow guilty.

    -ramon
  • Post #23 - June 11th, 2007, 11:50 pm
    Post #23 - June 11th, 2007, 11:50 pm Post #23 - June 11th, 2007, 11:50 pm
    If they did not see you doing anything wrong they shouldn't have been harassing you. I would've told them to have me arrested or release, one or the other, immediately. F'em.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #24 - June 12th, 2007, 8:42 am
    Post #24 - June 12th, 2007, 8:42 am Post #24 - June 12th, 2007, 8:42 am
    If I want good bread I'm not likely to be waiting at Dominick's at 5 p.m. for it.

    I think, though, that any problems the store chain has are localized. I have a neighborhood Dominicks (on McCormick Blvd. in Lincolnwood) and it's an excellent store; I've no complaints. I've also shopped at the Dominick's at the Fullerton Red Line station - and the bakery is fantastic. When I lived at Foster & Marine Dr. I shopped at the Dominick's at Foster & Sheridan, and, as has already been mentioned - that store can be "hit" or "miss".

    I'm fortunate to live close to North Shore Bakery on Touhy Ave., and the bread there can be good. My nearby Jewel - at Kedzie & Howard St. - has La Brea, kosher and other breads that are excellent. But, I've been in Jewel stores that have terrible bread products.
  • Post #25 - June 16th, 2007, 10:40 pm
    Post #25 - June 16th, 2007, 10:40 pm Post #25 - June 16th, 2007, 10:40 pm
    There's no doubt that immediately after the Safeway takeover, Dominicks suffered terribly. That's the problem with being owned by Safeway, which seems to treat the grocery business as something like high-fashion, with wild swings from one year to the next based on what's in and what's out, as opposed to establishing a long-term track record for quality, service, selecton and/or price.

    I regularly shop at the Dominick's at Roosevelt and Canal. As a south sider, it's one of the few decent options. I'm one-half of a two-career family with a young kid, so I don't have a lot of time to shop and I need a lot of the American grocery staples for the 5-year old. The Roosevelt store, after a big decline post-Safeway buyout, has seen a real renaissance of late. I'm especially pleased with the breadth of Safeway organic products available. The produce is OK, certainly not the best or most affordable, but almost always a decent selection.

    Still, you regularly confront absolutely bone-headed decisions, whether from local management or the idiots on high. For awhile, you couldn't buy a bottle of Murphy's Oil Soap at that Dominick's. You could get the spray-on stuff, but not the stuff to mix with water in a bucket to clean hardwood floors. You know, those floors that LOTS of Chicago homes, new and old, tend to have. Also, they eliminated non-microwave popcorn for a long while. My wife is a popcorn lover and proficient popper. When we make it, we prefer the "old-fashioned" way to the microwave super-hot plasma bag from hell. Apparently, we're too old fashioned for Dominick's. This irks me especially because the store is large enough to hanger an Air Force squadron in. Seems like you could spare 2 feet of shelf space for real popcorn! You could drag race down these aisles, and what do the fill them with? 10,000 varieties of Cheetos!
  • Post #26 - June 17th, 2007, 11:35 am
    Post #26 - June 17th, 2007, 11:35 am Post #26 - June 17th, 2007, 11:35 am
    rdb66 wrote:For awhile, you couldn't buy a bottle of Murphy's Oil Soap at that Dominick's. You could get the spray-on stuff, but not the stuff to mix with water in a bucket to clean hardwood floors.


    BTW, we get Murphy's Oil Soap at Costco at a significant savings to Dominicks (of course).

    I've found that Costco, although the selection is limited, cuts my Dominicks/Jewell requirements by half or more. Unfortunately, the closest one is on 2700 N Clybourn, so it might not be convenient.
  • Post #27 - July 4th, 2007, 11:51 am
    Post #27 - July 4th, 2007, 11:51 am Post #27 - July 4th, 2007, 11:51 am
    Rick T. wrote:Went to the new Strack & Van Til on Elston just after it opened. NEVER stepping inside a Dominick's again if Strack keeps up the opening quality and variety.


    Yes, I shopped there Sunday just past, and it was quite pleasant. Not only did they have the Goya Mojo marinade, they had 4 varieties of it! The store was clean, the staff friendly and you don't have to have a loyalty card. Nice.
    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 #28 - July 4th, 2007, 9:34 pm
    Post #28 - July 4th, 2007, 9:34 pm Post #28 - July 4th, 2007, 9:34 pm
    We have a newish Dominick's in our neighborhood at Columbus and Grand. As Dominick's goes, they've done it right; indoor free parking, employees who practically fall over themselves to help you, and an in-house Starbucks. But when you really get down to it, it's just the same old Dominick's. The produce is marginal, the bakery crappy. The meat is ok, but with Treasure Island, Whole Foods and Fox & Obel nearby, I have little reason to buy anything but staples and non-perishables there.
  • Post #29 - July 9th, 2007, 8:28 pm
    Post #29 - July 9th, 2007, 8:28 pm Post #29 - July 9th, 2007, 8:28 pm
    My Dominik's (Dundee & Sanders) is just horrible. Over the last few years that I have shopped there I have brought home dairy that was weeks past its expiration date (teaching me to always check the date!). I brought home Halloween candy that had turned white b/c it was from the previous year. The turnover on the shelves is horrible. However, to make things better, they have totally remodeled the store. Now there is a Starbucks (even though there is already one in the strip mall 4 stores down). And they have shortened some aisles to add cooking supplies like $250 food processors. My other option is shopping at Sunset Foods, which is a great place to shop, but not on a budget.
  • Post #30 - July 10th, 2007, 9:04 am
    Post #30 - July 10th, 2007, 9:04 am Post #30 - July 10th, 2007, 9:04 am
    FoodieMom wrote:My Dominik's (Dundee & Sanders) is just horrible. Over the last few years that I have shopped there I have brought home dairy that was weeks past its expiration date (teaching me to always check the date!).


    I pretty much refuse to shop at Dominick's anymore for a number of reasons, but the above is one of my biggest complaints about this chain of stores. I've searched in vain through the milk selection for unexpired containers (or at least containers that don't expire within a day or two) on more occasions than I can count at the Roosevelt/Canal Dominick's. I usually buy two or three gallons of milk at a time for my family, so it just doesn't make sense for me to waste my time at Dominick's anymore.

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more