Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Jan 8, 2005 03:37 PM

Grand Mart at 7 Corners, VA - OPEN!

  • r

Proclaiming its multi-ethnic appeal the Korean owned market opened on Thursday, to the tune of a live Mariachi Band and Dancers in Traditional Costume.
Next to the band were about 15 "good luck" standing floral displays that are an Asian tradition when a new business opens.
The party atmosphere continued into the store where the lines were 5 and 7 deep but no one seemed to care.

The huge produce department is extraordinary with no
fewer than five types of "choy", several celery's, herbs galore, cactus paddles, six types of eggplant, colorful pepper selection both hot and sweet, and much more all beautifully presented and ripe. So unlike the products of the Chain grocery that used to be there and at one third the price.
The fish department literally smells of the ocean, that clean salt air aroma and features live fish, whole fish, packaged fresh and frozen as well as shell fish. What a treat.
The meat selections looked excellent and included the usual cuts and several specialty offerings as well as organ meats.

Quality food bargains galore and located next to the two BB&T buildings on Rte 50/Arlington Blvd.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Roe- Thanks for scouting this one! I have had my eye on it for several weeks while they finished up construction.

    How does it compare to Hahn ah Reum or H Mart? More/less asia-centric? Bigger/smaller? Cleaner (although I guess it is not fair to compare at this point)?

    I can't wait to check it out myself. I do my weekly shopping at Hahn ah Reum, but I would love to mix things up a bit.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Jen B

      How does it compare to Hahn ah Reum or H Mart? More/less asia-centric? Bigger/smaller? Cleaner (although I guess it is not fair to compare at this point)?

      This store is much cleaner than HAR and the GM at Landmark. But you're right that might change with time.
      The inventory is less asia-centric than HAR, the aisles are as narrow and the registers were fully staffed with checkers and baggers. I'd say it is somewhere between HAR and SuperH on most counts, sadly it does not have an "eat in" feature which makes my grocery shopping a pleasure.

      1. re: Roe

        Yes, this is where the Giant used to be...that parking lot does get full pretty quickly and can be a bit hard to get out of. I did notice that Han Au Rhem has been making some improvements, I guess in anticipation of its new competition. I believe there is a Grand Mart in Centerville too.

        1. re: Andrea D

          Yes there is a Grand Mart in Centreville - if only there had been such places back in toe 70s when IO was teaching Chinese cooking!

          But be warned - all the Grand Marts are VERY popular - I was out in Centreville with the family one Saturday recently and needed just a thing or two to make dinner - took the Mrs. with me into Grand Mart (bear in mind, she's a little shy and uncomfortable in places where we're the only Anglos) - YOU NEVER SAW SO MANY G**D**NED PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE! Every aisle jam-packed, every step needed a wait for someone to dart past. Nonetheless, plenty of stock and plenty of checkers (very short wait at the register) and in truth we were far from the only non-Asians in the place.

          On exiting, I noted that my wife's hair had turned completely white from shock and she was unable to speak for hours. OKAY, OKAY, the last sentence isn't true, but it really was something to see!

          1. re: Wayne Keyser

            Do tell: What about being the only "Anglos" (are you really?) in the store made you and your wife so uncomfortable? I can't see that it should matter what race of people you're shopping with, mate.

            1. re: McLeaner

              I think that was a bit uncalled for, mate. Not everyone is as worldly as you are.

              I've been shopping at GrandMart in C'ville since the day it opened and I can certainly see how the experience could be extremely intimidating and nerve-wracking for people used to shopping at the local Giant. The produce section is truly a madhouse (a tribute to the fantastic selection and great prices), but that translates into aisles being blocked, kids running wild, people who don't respond when you say "excuse me," produce knocked to the floor and not picked up, etc.

        2. re: Roe

          It certainly will. The Grand Mart up in Gaithersburg stinks like hell. I was initially impressed with all the exotic stuff they had, but was nearly struck blind by the overpowering stench of rotten meat and fish. It's like Calcutta in there! WAAAAUGH!

          1. re: flavrmeistr

            I'm not a GrandMart fan, but in their defense, I don't think the smell is rotting fish and meat. I think it's just the fish (not rotting, just naturally, um, aromatic) combined with poor ventilation. The areas around fish stands in Giants and Safeways have similar odors, as does Maine Ave. on a warm day...

            1. re: TH

              Well, Super H doesn't smell at all around the fish counter and its next to the produce. I went to the grand mart yesterday and was not impressed. I was hoping to have an option that is closer to DC than Super H. I wouldn't go back to grand mart unless I was already in the area.

              1. re: TH

                As a former commercial fisherman, I actually like the smell of fish. It reminds me of money. The smell at Grand Mart is one of decaying flesh. The place is in need of thorough and frequent cleaning.

        3. Apparently it's quite a hit. I thought I'd stop in today and check it out but the parking lot was full at about 2:30 PM

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mike

            If the lot is full, of course, there is ample available parking, for free, over at the Eden Center.

          2. Is this in the building that used to be a Giant?

            1. My first trip to this Grand Mart was yesterday.

              Like Roe, I was very impressed with the produce. There was a great selection and some items that were bargains even when compared with the other Asian stores (i.e., raspberries for $1.99 per container, American broccoli for 49 cents per pound, cilantro at three bunches for $1.00). Quality was very good.

              I didn't notice an odor around the seafood department. However, I do think that the selection at Hanh ah Reum is better. I did like the meat department.

              The store's middle aisles are evenly divided between Hispanic, Asian and American groceries (and the frozen foods aisle). As the building is not very large, they don't have the room to have an large selection of all types. I didn't look at the Hispanic and American offerings; I was not that impressed with the Asian section (when compared to Hanh ah Reum, Super H, and the Centerville branch of Grand Mart, or even with Korean Korner, which is not that large). The cookware selection was very small.

              The parking lot was only about half full. Navigation inside the store was very difficult. I'm used to having a hard time getting through the produce aisles; that's standard when shopping in the Asian stores on the weekend. However, the other aisles were difficult to navigate, as well. I can only imagine what a madhouse it would be if they had the increase in number of customers that a full parking lot would signify. Checkout was very quick.

              This is the third Grand Mart that I've been to. I would rank this one in the middle, between the one in Landmark (the worst) and Centerville (the best). I'll return when I'm in the neighboorhood, and might make a trip specifically to go there, depending upon what I need to buy, as I don't live too far away. However, Super H is far superior overall.

              On a slightly different topic, Super H now has a machine in the food court which makes pastries whose name I've forgotten. They're similar to creme puffs and fantastic when they're still warm.