Monday, March 31, 2008

Safeway Versus Harris Teeter; Or, Evil Versus Sanity


I've blogged before about how much I hate the shopping experience at Safeway (here and here). Yesterday, I was able to experience the juxtaposition between shopping there and at Harris Teeter. I've shopped at HT a lot recently. I haven't shopped at Safeway at all. Lest I forget how annoying it is, I went yesterday. It was actually to get baking chocolate for the cupcakes I was making. Safeway was closer...that's about all it is. Here's how it went.

Harris Teeter. I parked my car in the underground lot at the Pentagon Row HT and walked up and into the store. I sanitized the handle of my cart and walked to the freezer section. I leisurely strolled around, picking out my food. I reached the soda aisle and was disappointed to find out that there was no HT brand diet ginger ale. I asked the guy stocking wine if they had any in the back. Even though he didn't work in the soda section, he looked me in the eye sympathetically, and said he would go and check if there was any in the back. He was sincerely apologetic that they were all out, and suggested I check back the next day when a shipment would be coming in. I went to the deli and got freshly sliced chicken breast, where the deli worker asked me if the thickness was okay. I waited about 2 seconds in line before being checked out by a friendly cashier.

Safeway: I parked in the lot and dashed through to avoid getting hit. Mind you, I only had one item to get, so the shopping part of it was pretty painless. If I had to buy a whole order as at HT, I can tell you how the situations I encountered would have gone:

  • Soda aisle--I wouldn't have been able to find anyone. If I had, they would have taken about 2 seconds to pretend to listen to what I was asking before they summarily dismissed me by shrugging and saying they didn't know.

  • Deli--I would have been given presliced meat and given attitude if I asked for it fresh. I probably wouldn't even have had a choice of chicken. They would have had one flavor and it would have been Safeway's "primo taglio" (which I'm pretty sure is Italian for "tasteless") brand.

As for my actual experience yesterday, I stood in the "express" lane for an inordinately long period of time during which it appeared the checkout woman wasn't doing anything. Also, a dog ran through my aisle. Better than what I thought it was at first (a rat), but still--a dog! Followed by a girl.

It goes without saying that I can't wait until the HT opens in my 'hood.


  1. Finally someone who agrees with my opinion on Safeway's Primo Taglio. Once I bought a pound of Safeway's best turkey breast. When I got home my groceries smelled like dead animal, it was the turkey breast. Serious.
    Did you see the 2006 Dateline Report about Safway's unsafe food-handling record?

  2. Oh, I forgot to tell you my two other experiences with unSafeway.
    The time I picked a bag of rice from the shell at Safeway only to spot many bugs visible through the bag. All the Safeway-brand rice had bugs.
    My absolute grossest experience was the time I was eating a sandwich. The sandwich was made using Safeway-brand bread. While enjoying my sandwich I found a "Lee Press-On" nail baked within a slice of the bread. Yummy! Wegmans and Balducci's should only be so lucky as to sell bread with this secret ingredient.
    These are all the reasons I love Safeway.


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