HOME > Chowhound > Florida >
Are you making a specialty food? Tell us about it
TELL US

really good grocery stores

s
skillet May 10, 2007 10:59 AM

Hi all..

Am going to be in miami for a photo shoot, and need to find some good grocery stores..actually we will be in the Keys..
Where i usually shop is trader joes and costco for the big stuff..but know that there is no TJ's in miami/florida so am searching for some options...

thanks

  1. t
    tangelo Feb 15, 2009 06:37 PM

    I shop at a number of Publixes throughout Dade and Broward and yes, there are good ones in Boca and a couple of adequate ones in Dade. I live in Pinecrest and I think the Dadeland location might be the very worst of them all - fortunately we have Joanna's Market for bread. I'm a native and my mom shopped at Publix when I was little, and it's completely different now. Employees routinely chat on cell phones while working, bag boys light cigarettes while wheeling your groceries to the car, and customers are treated as a nuisance. The produce is poorly handled and not worth buying, the dairy is often sweaty, and I've seen tons of past-dated items being sold. Prices often don't ring up the same as what's on the shelf, either. It's pretty bad when SuperTarget is better than the local outfit!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: tangelo
      s
      sarge Sep 24, 2009 03:47 PM

      In the spirit of fairness, it is quite apparent that as of late, Publix is having far more sales, BOGO's, and they are keeping wine prices down. Clearly they realize they were pushing the price envelope

    2. dbarnard Feb 15, 2009 07:39 AM

      This topic is getting old, but still worthy of update. Up here in SE Broward, I find that I have to hit a few different stores to get the varied goodies to satisfy my appetite. There is a primarily produce store called Farmers Market on Federal Hwy at Atlantic Shores (next to the dog track/Mardi Gras Casino) that serves up very fresh produce. They have a limited fish counter, but what they have is good and cheap. Up the street, just north of Pembroke, is President Market, a Sedano's clone that has great cuts of meat at extremely low prices. I'm usually one of the only gringos in the place, that may be a turnoff to some.

      I'm still looking for a good fish market, one that has local caught fish and Key West pinks

      1 Reply
      1. re: dbarnard
        Shirley U. Jest Sep 15, 2009 05:18 AM

        I'm going to also recommend Presidente market just north of Pembroke Rd, west side of Federal Hwy.. Cheapest meat in town!!! they have fresh snapper in big ice chests sitting in front of the fish case.

        I want to find a butcher that keeps the fat on all his cuts of meat. I can't stand all this meat I'm finding that has all the glorious flavour enhancing fat removed. Some of us believe in healthy eating!!

        I also wanted to add that Winn Dixie is the only store around that puts whole prime rib on sale at great prices.. No one else in town does that, and for a Carnivore, that's really important to find good protein at good prices..

      2. j
        jimmyodonnell Aug 12, 2008 02:58 PM

        There is a good gourmet store, mentioned earlier in this thread, called EPICURE on Alton Road at Lincoln in Miami Beach. It's pricey but they have nice stuff and the management staff seems knowledgeable too. I don't think I'd spend this kind of money for all the basic stuff but for you'll definitely find certain things here that you won't find at Publix or at Dixie

        1. Shirley U. Jest Aug 11, 2008 07:17 AM

          i just had to put my 2 cents in here about Publix...
          one evening while strolling past the fish dept, one of the employees began talking to me. I told her that I usually buy my shrimp from Penn Dutch and feed my cat. she offered to "give" me 5 tiger shrimp for my cat because she felt like it.

          i took the shrimp home and peeled them and put them in a dish for my cat.
          she wouldn't touch them.
          now.......... if my cat isn't going to touch the shrimp from Publix, i guess i shouldn't either!!!!
          my cat knew best! <wink>

          2 Replies
          1. re: Shirley U. Jest
            l
            LargeLife Aug 11, 2008 08:57 AM

            Just for the record....produce from Imokalee isn't available on a year-round basis.....During the fall and winter months mostly....I sell perishable products to Publix....and have for years....Their buyers are demanding....and very professional.....The reason their in-store produce prices are so high....is that they only buy "No. 1s".....Many fresh neighborhood produce stands purchase and re-sell "No. 2s" and "No. 3s".......This kind of produce might have just a slight scar or small imperfection.....and still.... not "good enough" to be a "No. 1"......even though there's really nothing the matter with it.....Can't fault Publix for buying the best for their customers.......They're one of my larger accounts.....

            Emac

            1. re: Shirley U. Jest
              b
              beachmouse Aug 11, 2008 04:45 PM

              Seafood is one thing I wouldn't buy from a mass market grocer down here. For all that I live in the rare place in Florida without much local agriculture, there are multiple fishmarkets close by where I can get fish from local waters that were swimming in the Gulf less than 48 hours ago, and shrimp that were in the bay that same time frame ago for the same price as the grocery stuff that's been sitting around and shipped around from some unknown location and time frame. And I'm also more comfortable buying fish that I know came from waters that I feel are being well managed instead of coming from a place where they're overfished.

            2. Icantread Aug 7, 2008 09:41 AM

              has no one here tried Publix's round cakes? the three tier yellow with chocolate frosting or the all chocolate? I always thought those were pretty good.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Icantread
                m
                Mollybud Aug 10, 2008 11:28 AM

                What do you expect from grocery store bakeries? Are you comparing publix to a high end first rate bakery? What I have bought from Publix bakery has been just bakery store standard. For that reason I do not buy from their bakery. Their produce is way over price and mostly always grreen. Their produce comes mostly from CA or Mexico, rather than the local farms of Immocoli, or peaches in season now in GA. But what know one has mentioned of Publix, is their customer service. If they do not carry an item I can requst it and they will do thier best to get it for me. Just last week they did a special order for me. I just called their Corporate office in Lakeland and I had it by the next week. Saved me from ordering on line and paying high freight.

                1. re: Mollybud
                  lax2mia Aug 10, 2008 01:42 PM

                  But you're saying most of their produce comes from CA or Mexico rather than local farms. Do you have to special order local produce then? Are they good at that?

                  1. re: lax2mia
                    m
                    Mollybud Aug 10, 2008 04:43 PM

                    No, it was not produce. It was George Washington Seasonings and Broth that I could not find any place local. I would have paid $12.50 for shipping off the internet which was more than the cost of the item. I just think it is a nice favor. They have ordered several products for me. I usually buy my produce at local farmers market.

                  2. re: Mollybud
                    b
                    beachmouse Aug 10, 2008 07:47 PM

                    The Publix we shop at tends to be about 80% tourists, so the staff (some of who have been there since the store opened in the late 90s) know the regulars by face. We've mentioned to the butcher that the prepackaged ground chicken we'd tried there hadn't been satisfactory, and he not only offered to grind some fresh boneless chicken breasts on the spot for us, he also had the power to essentially give our replacement chicken to us for free.

                2. d
                  dancingpig Aug 6, 2008 07:05 AM

                  I really can't add anything to the already more than sufficient rants on local grocers, expecially Publix....I wholeheartedly concur. Its the pits. What I would do to have a Wegmans nearby again....sob.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dancingpig
                    l
                    LargeLife Aug 7, 2008 09:06 AM

                    I know....everything is better "up north".....Wegman's is a fine supermarket chain and I happen to sell them a lot of product......Publix is generally consistent and yes they do vary from town-to-town....area-to-area....I live in Ft. Pierce....and Publix there is no great shakes.....There's an old, down-n-out Publix on PSL BLVD and Westmoreland......that has an incredible meat section.....and old-timey guy running it.....and you can't believe your eyes when you go there.....At least Publix managers have the creative freedom to meet their market place....The Publix near my office in Miami....on Flagler just west of the Palmetto XPressway is like going into a Sedanos.....and as a paleface I feel out of place there as not many employees speak English.....but it's the neghborhood they're in and that's the way that it is.....and I do respect that......In Stuart....there's a Stuart Fine Foods on Ocean Boulevard......that's an awesome place to go and probably has one of the finest selections of wine that I've seen in any grocery store setting........Still love Epicure Market on Miami Beach.....Publix.....where shopping is a pleasure.....and it still generally is.......

                    Emac

                    PS - - There's still a bus running north on I-95 every hour!!

                  2. Frodnesor May 6, 2008 07:58 AM

                    OK, the original heading on this thread is probably a misnomer if we're talking about Publix, but the subject matter of the rest of the thread is probably apropos, so...

                    On a visit to Publix (Miami Shores, 90th & Biscayne) this weekend, I was quite surprised to find several cuts of USDA *PRIME* beef in the butcher's case - I saw strips, ribeyes and t-bones, all cut nice and thick too. I bought a big ribeye (about 2" thick) for about $20 which I cut to half thickness and pan-seared for Mrs. F and myself (I do ribeye thinner than other cuts to render out the fat). It was not the greatest steak I've ever had, but it was pretty good and vastly better than what I've usually seen at Publix.

                    1. m
                      mialebven May 24, 2007 11:48 PM

                      I actually like the small supermarket, El Nuevo Siglo, in Calle Ocho in Miami, but the produce isn't as good as the ones in Wild Oats, Fresh Market, Norman's, Laurenzo's, or Gardner's (all great suggestions btw). But El Nuevo Siglo is just a tiny market that is set up by Argentinians (I think), and they have delicious looking bakery goods in the back, ethnic, some gourmet, goods on the shelves (although their selection of goods are really small), and a cafeteria with good food at good prices in a nice comfortable setting. It's small though - there's only 2 or 3 cashier stations!

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: mialebven
                        ekeeney May 31, 2007 01:48 PM

                        Maybe down in Miami the Publix's are no good. But I gotta say I would rather go to my Publix here in Tallahassee than any other store I have ever been to in any other state in the country! Publix is amazing! The one here was completly redone, they always have the freshest and most variety of produce. Great selection of wines and cheese. The deli and bakery never disappoint. Also we like to call the one we go to club-publix, since all the FSU girls get dressed up to go there. I believe it was actually in a playboy as a place to pick up chicks!!

                        1. re: ekeeney
                          c
                          crach Jun 5, 2007 10:34 AM

                          Some of the Publix's are fine; it's the bakeries that are pathetic.

                          1. re: crach
                            p
                            pringle347 May 6, 2008 06:29 PM

                            What supermarket bakery isn't pathetic?

                            Although if you are comparing those in Florida, I will definitely give Publix a vote over Winn Dixie...as Flavrmeister indicated, the baked goods all look (and taste) the same...bad. I used to work in an office where the closest market was WD....when others brought in "treats" from the local WD I regrettably sampled them occasionally. Each time I was sorry I did, till I learned my lesson. Some of the specialty cakes from Publix are at least edible.... and Fresh Market has a decent bakery dept...but nothing that rivals a really really good stand alone bakery.

                            1. re: crach
                              c
                              CMT Dec 3, 2009 04:22 PM

                              Still looking for a real bakery experience....have tried a couple around 41st in MB....La Provence is pretty good, and La Brioche Doree (4017 Prairie) of 41st has fun mini-croissants & chocolatines...any thoughts?

                            2. re: ekeeney
                              lax2mia Jun 5, 2007 10:50 AM

                              If you'd put Publix up to any store in any state you've been to then my guess is you must not travel very much.

                              1. re: ekeeney
                                b
                                Big Bad Voodoo Lou May 6, 2008 05:53 PM

                                Haha, we had a "Club Publix" back in Gainesville, when I attended UF in the late '90s. It was the Butler Plaza Publix on Archer Road, and all the college hotties would get dolled up just to go grocery shopping. It was great!

                            3. m
                              masala maci May 18, 2007 12:51 PM

                              There was a really nice but pricey gourmet grocery called Epicure when I lived there a few years ago, on Alton Rd b/n 16th and 17th, right before Lincoln Rd. I hope its still there.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: masala maci
                                f
                                Foodman53 May 18, 2007 07:07 PM

                                Now, it may be "gauche" or "tacky" to say so on a gorumet blog such as this, but if you're buying meat only(not prime grade or kobe beef)...on a day in-day out basis....it's still hard to beat Winn-Dixie, particularly if you catch them in a sale.

                                Over the years, Publix has changed suppliers several times, and has just been less consistant than W/D at the meat counter...However, travel to any other department in the store, and Publix beats them hands down.

                                Again, I'm not speaking of organic or gourmet quality meat....but, if USDA Choice fufills your needs....don't forget the "Beef People"....

                                1. re: Foodman53
                                  s
                                  smartie May 24, 2007 12:11 PM

                                  the Public bakery White Mountain bread and their Multigrain bread are reasonably good as I am not a fan of American bread, I find it too sweet and soft for my English palate, but these 2 breads are neither sweet nor too soft.

                                  In Boca and Delray we are lucky enough to have King's Market and The Boys respectively.

                                  1. re: smartie
                                    c
                                    crach May 24, 2007 02:49 PM

                                    The White Mountain bread at my Publix looks and tastes like a cream filled donut without the cream.

                                    1. re: smartie
                                      steakman55 May 24, 2007 02:50 PM

                                      Hey Publix is not so bad....look at what it attempts to be: a comprehensive supermarket to the masses, and it hits much more than it misses. We have a Fresh Market, which is a smaller and less extensive cousin to Whole Foods, and is pretty good. Albertson's is headed the same way as Winn Dixie...local ones are dirty, expensive, and generally unpleasant. (Tallahassee)

                                      1. re: smartie
                                        hatless May 24, 2007 02:59 PM

                                        Is this what we've come to? Getting excited about bread slightly less soft than Wonder with a hint of a crust? Woe! :)

                                        The multigrain you're talking about, is that the one that tastes like sunflower seeds and cotton?

                                        1. re: hatless
                                          s
                                          smartie May 24, 2007 04:42 PM

                                          if both of you (hatless and crach) read my thread properly you will see that I said REASONABLY good. I wouldn't call that getting excited or even complimenting Publix on their breads, however they are a big improvement on Wonderloaf and other factory produced sliced stuff.

                                          1. re: smartie
                                            s
                                            sarge May 24, 2007 06:41 PM

                                            Publix (all locations I have tried) has the best fried chicken fingers of anywhere I have been, pretty handy after a long day and no enrgy to prepare a meal

                                            1. re: smartie
                                              c
                                              crach May 28, 2007 12:11 PM

                                              Okay! I'll compromise. Publix breads are an improvement upon Wonder bread; however, is this what we are relegated to? Compared to virtually any bakery in France, Italy, Germany -- in New York, Boston, SF, and Chicago too, Publix finishes last! I think we deserve better, but we don't demand better, and the masses do not know any better. It's virtually hopeless. At least the chains like Panera have some good product.

                                    2. keysrat May 17, 2007 03:11 PM

                                      Lorenzo's Italian Market, off of West Dixie Highway in NMB. Great stuff.
                                      Try their Farmer's Market just across the parking lot for excellent fresh produce.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: keysrat
                                        Covert Ops May 18, 2007 08:00 AM

                                        It's spelled Laurenzo's (well, the Italian market is, anyway, I've never been to the farmers market) if you have trouble Googling it.

                                        The cannoli are to die for.

                                      2. Lovthebluz May 15, 2007 02:28 PM

                                        http://www.normanbrothers.com
                                        Norman Brothers, Inc.
                                        7621 S.W. 87th Ave.
                                        Miami, FL 33173
                                        Phone: (305) 274-9363

                                        1. c
                                          crach May 11, 2007 05:04 AM

                                          The Publix on US 1 and 146th is a cut above the other Publix. Wild Oats on US 1 takes organic food to a new low. The Fresh Market is beautiful and exorbitant. Norman Brothers is simply exorbitant. Costco is as elegant as a warehouse -- an agro-business dream.

                                          1. m
                                            miaedu May 11, 2007 12:15 AM

                                            Fresh Market in the Grove or on US1 on the way south Wild Oats and Gardner's Market.
                                            Norman Brother's in Kendall not too far out of the way.

                                            1. Bob W May 10, 2007 11:08 AM

                                              Miami has Publix, which is a very good standard supermarket chain. WholeFoods is also in South Florida (there's one in Boca, anyway).

                                              27 Replies
                                              1. re: Bob W
                                                lax2mia May 10, 2007 11:32 AM

                                                Publix is mediocre at best. There's a Costco if you take a detour off the Turnpike at 88th Street (on 137th Ave.). It's the southernmost costco that I know of. There's a Wild Oats on US1 on the way to the Keys as well. Once you're in the Keys choices become very limited so if you can do your shopping before you'll have a better selection.

                                                1. re: lax2mia
                                                  advisor_Girl May 10, 2007 01:49 PM

                                                  skillet>

                                                  "Really good?" Hmmm... Where in the Keys?

                                                  Key West has small stores to graze> Fausto's for meat, try Pirates Seafood in the little trailer at Owens gas station on the boulevard. Good price on pinks and they are always excellent and huge. He usually has lobster and stone crab in season as well as grouper and snapper, both fresh. Dions Market for fried chicken... Waterfront market for produce (meat, seafood too).

                                                  AG

                                                  1. re: lax2mia
                                                    f
                                                    flavrmeistr May 17, 2007 11:40 AM

                                                    Publix changes according to the neighborhood it serves. The one on Southern Blvd. and Parker in West Palm Beach and the Palm Beach Publix kick ass. Great wine, cheeses, bakery etc. The one on Alton Rd. in South Beach is awesome. The one one Key Largo is pretty good. The one in Homestead sucks. Incidently, Publix wins internationally-juried competions year after year for its bakeries, widely considered the best in the industry.

                                                    1. re: flavrmeistr
                                                      lax2mia May 17, 2007 03:28 PM

                                                      You're kidding. Tell me you're kidding. Some of my Diet Coke just came out of my nose when I read your remarks about Publix.

                                                      I would list list the incompetencies of Publix on this board (e.g. baguettes that are soft including the crust, vegetables that are pre-packaged and shrink wrapped, etc.) but I'd probably have to start a new topic, if not an entire website. Next time you're in Northern California step into a Raley's or Bel Air supermarket. There you can get a freshly made tri-tip sandwich, as opposed to the freshly made Marshmallow Delight salad you can get at Publix.

                                                      1. re: lax2mia
                                                        f
                                                        flavrmeistr May 23, 2007 12:21 PM

                                                        You must be thinking about Winn-Dixie, which you are describing to a T. Thirty kinds of cheap bologna and marshmallow salads galore. All the baked goods have the same glazed-donut texture. Depressing. Any supermarket in Northern California has a more toothsome assortment of groceries than damn near anyplace else in the country. Why be so callous as to rub our face in it?

                                                        1. re: flavrmeistr
                                                          a
                                                          amyvc May 23, 2007 02:36 PM

                                                          With that in mind, is Publix really as bad as lax2mia is making it out to be or has lax simply had a better-than-average supermarket experience? I've read the posts on this but hesitated to post, as I'm not really sure. I've always thought Publix was great for some things and convenient. The markets that had the stuff I didn't want to buy at Publix didn't have other stuff I needed, etc. I've also shopped in Cincinnati area (processed food, megastore heaven) and the N Chicago suburbs (prettier on the outside but less selection than Publix).

                                                          1. re: amyvc
                                                            lax2mia May 23, 2007 02:54 PM

                                                            In response to both posts, no, I wasn't talking about Winn-Dixie, and no, I'm not rubbing it into anyone's face about the groceries in NorCal. The thing is, if they can do it in NorCal, why can't we do it here? I understand that California is produce heaven, but does Publix really think that shrinkwrapping asparagus makes it more appealing? If Wild Oats and Whole Foods can have nice looking produce sections, why can't Publix?

                                                            So no, in response to post #2, I don't think I've had better-than-average supermarket experiences. I've had experiences at supermarkets that go the extra step which means, if given the incentive to do so, our dear local Publix could also do.

                                                            And in a slight retraction, I don't know if any of you have visited a Publix Sabor, the Publix markets aimed toward Hispanic customers. The one in Hialeah is actually a better concept than a "normal" Publix. Aisles are wider, there's a butcher that cuts meat to order, there's a pre-prepared food counter with rotating dishes, the produce is presented in baskets (although some is shrinkwrapped). If you live near one you should visit it. Hopefully Publix will take ideas from this venture into its mainstream locations.

                                                            1. re: lax2mia
                                                              f
                                                              flavrmeistr May 25, 2007 10:01 AM

                                                              "If I live near one, I should visit it"!? That's what I've been trying to get through to you! The Publix in my neighborhood caters equally to wealthy Palm Beachers and a burgeoning Cuban community. A killer combination, in my opinion. You can get a whole roast pig, top-notch Cuban baked goods and desserts (flan, diplomatico, rice pudding), great variety of fruit and produce and all manner of other good stuff. Sorry that you haven't been to a good one, but they really do exist. By the way, in South Florida, "Hispanic" is mainstream.

                                                              1. re: lax2mia
                                                                m
                                                                mkris Aug 4, 2008 03:02 PM

                                                                I totally agree with lax2mia. A desert like Phoenix, AZ has grocery stores that are 100 times better than the ones found in FL. Fresh Market is the only decent grocery store. Much of the produce in FL grocery stores (including Publix) are already rotting and they are damn expensive. I guess west coast and southwest has way better groceries and wider variety of both fresh produce and bakery products

                                                                1. re: mkris
                                                                  b
                                                                  beachmouse Aug 5, 2008 08:14 PM

                                                                  I have the exact opposite experience with Fresh Market produce. In my experience, it's been the stuff that's engineered to look pretty at the expense of taste and scent, and because they don't turn it over as quickly, it's rotting already as I'm leaving the store. (or molding in the advance of the sell-by date in the case of cheese) And you pay a significant premium for pretty and tasteless. The only produce I consider buying there is the organic bananas.

                                                                  I have far better luck with a Publix in a nice part of town- not as pretty produce, but far better smell and taste, and they do enough volume that everything is normally as fresh as you get in a grocery store situation.

                                                                  1. re: beachmouse
                                                                    s
                                                                    scscr Aug 6, 2008 06:27 AM

                                                                    A thread about Publix and I missed it? Thanks to whoever revived this thread so I could add my two cents. I've lived all around the country and I have never lived in a town that really has only one grocery store chain. Publix is so bad that I call it the "Communist Republix of Miami". The veggies and meat are average to bad and the fish is completely unedible. Forget baked goods as they can't get bread, rolls or sweets correct. It is funny that people will defend this chain saying, "you haven't been to a good publix". Believe me. Live somewhere else where people have choices as to where to shop and you will understand what a good grocery store can be. My last stop at publix was for coconut flakes. All they had was sweetend, shredded coconut. When pressed where the dried coconut was, two people at the store told me they never heard of it and I must be crazy to think it exists. Ahhhh, publix....if it isn't in the store, it just doesn't exisit in the world.

                                                                    1. re: scscr
                                                                      lax2mia Aug 6, 2008 11:27 AM

                                                                      Love the nickname. Things are bad when you actually wish Safeway were here.

                                                                      1. re: lax2mia
                                                                        s
                                                                        scscr Aug 7, 2008 05:29 AM

                                                                        Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons, Safeway, Gelsons or Trader Joes would be great, but what I really want is a 99 Ranch Market.

                                                                        1. re: scscr
                                                                          lax2mia Aug 7, 2008 06:59 AM

                                                                          Totally forgot about 99 Ranch! There was another place on Centinela that changed its name to Mitsuwa that was really good too. I miss Han Ah Reum in the Mid-Atlantic even. Then again, there's no Sedano's outside of Miami!

                                                                          1. re: lax2mia
                                                                            dbarnard Feb 15, 2009 07:07 AM

                                                                            I used to go to the 99 Ranch on Sepulveda in Van Nuys! Great store, but you had to time it right if you wanted fish. Those short Asian grandmas have sharp elbows, and they weren't afraid to use them!

                                                                            I really miss being able to get that thin shaved lamb for hotpots- I can find beef and pork, but no lamb...

                                                                          2. re: scscr
                                                                            b
                                                                            beachmouse Aug 7, 2008 01:26 PM

                                                                            Albertson's was in North Florida for around 10 years (they sold their Florida stores to Publix earlier in the year) and I was never terribly impressed with them. They managed to be better than Food World or (yuck) Winn-Dixie, but the meat and produce were only average, the bakery sucked, and their prices on middlebrow packaged products were about 20% higher than what you'd pay at other stores in the area.

                                                                            If you missed their attempts in the Southeast, you didn't miss much.

                                                                            1. re: beachmouse
                                                                              s
                                                                              scscr Aug 7, 2008 02:07 PM

                                                                              I never really shopped at Albertsons. I just think it's strange that we don't really have a choice in SoFla.

                                                                        2. re: scscr
                                                                          scubadoo97 Aug 10, 2008 08:40 AM

                                                                          The problem is that when comparing Publix to Albertson's now owned by Publix, Winn Dixie and the now Sweetbay, Publix has much better service hands down. I hate the prepackaged produce but Publix's customer service is better than the rest of the pack of basic grocers. When you get into the upper ends stores like Fresh Market and Whole Foods you are into a different market.
                                                                          I was recently out west in Colorado and went to Safeway and City Market. Neither were significantly different than what we have in Fla. except the prices were much higher on produce.

                                                                          1. re: scscr
                                                                            z
                                                                            zenana Aug 12, 2008 12:36 PM

                                                                            I'm with Lax2mia, too. I hate Publix with a passion verging on homicidal rage. I've bought semi-rotten produce countless times from Publix (in many different locations -- you can't tell till you get it home because it's frigging shrink wrapped.) The Publix in my neighborhood is filthy, understocked, and half the perishable products are out of date. Shrimp? Mushy and stinking. I only shop there when totally forced to.

                                                                            1. re: scscr
                                                                              m
                                                                              mutti Sep 23, 2009 04:54 PM

                                                                              having just come back from a road trip to Ocala Fl, my first stop was to a publix, where I got myself a decent loaf of Rye bread,I'm originally from Miami and am now living in Harrison Arkansas where they don't know what a loaf of Rye bread is, nor in Springfield Missouri I'll gladly exchange all these stores for just one Publix or one Costco, so when I do go home I go to Penn-Dutch for my meats,take home loads of bread from Publix along with foods I can't get here,and thengo to Joe Patti's in Pensacola for my seafood, then boogy home.Consider yourselfs lucky.

                                                                      2. re: amyvc
                                                                        Frodnesor May 23, 2007 02:56 PM

                                                                        The Publix experience is becoming a bit more hit-or-miss (as compared to pretty uniformly bad). Depends on which store, and sometimes on just luck of the draw as to when they've restocked. I primarily go to the one in Miami Shores which is a relatively new store for Miami-Dade County.

                                                                        Their produce is generally decent and reasonably fresh, selection is not terribly broad but is serviceable. Will occasionally come across some interesting items (saw blood oranges recently) and their organics selection is improving. The organic strawberries are delicious if you can find them. Selection of unusual latin american fruit and veg is pretty good.

                                                                        Their poultry and pork are generally fine but their meat (beef) is just not very high quality. Winn Dixie does do beef better than Publix. Seafood is also usually pretty scary, veering between frozen stiff and stinking to high heaven.

                                                                        Bakery is passable, deli has Boar's Head, prepared foods are not much to speak of (though for all I know the fried chicken might be good).

                                                                        Also often some interesting finds on the shelves in the ethnic sections (Miami Shores has a good Caribbean section).

                                                                        Doesn't even begin to compare to some of the higher end chains in other parts of the country though.

                                                                        1. re: amyvc
                                                                          b
                                                                          beachmouse May 25, 2007 10:15 AM

                                                                          It really is a case of your Publix may vary. My local one has minimal shrinkwrapping in the produce section, a bakery that gets crunchy breads crunchy, and if there is a marshmallow salad, I haven't seen it.

                                                                          And their fruits and veggies actually taste like they're supposed to, unlike the woefully disappointing Fresh Market down the road, which seems to be mostly about finding the pretty apples and peaches which then smell (and taste) like absolutely nothing. They're also really expanded their organics section at my local one in the past year, and we got decent smelling and tasting apples into late April. And as someone who grew up in apple country, I'm picky about grocery store apples.

                                                                          Bakery- good french hamburger and faux-Cuban rolls, the general bakery breads are average overall, but still much better than what you find at other grocery stores. The 'artisan' breads are significantly better, and regular buys in our house. I know they're frozen dough brought in, but they taste like real bread and not cotton candy.

                                                                          Other organics and specialty products- they've got some sort of subcontracting deal with a local independent grocer (Modica Market in Seaside) who is responsible for selecting and stocking a lot of that category, and they do well. Lots of quirky little shelf goods that don't normally show up in other grocery stores. They also tend to come out significantly cheaper than Fresh Market on items they've got in common.

                                                                          Fish- never buy it there since there are several local fishmarkets where I know the product was swimming in the Gulf 24 hours or less ago.

                                                                          Meat- our butcher will cut product to request if you don't like what you see.

                                                                          They aren't Dean & Deluca, but the Publixes here do well on middlebrow
                                                                          products. I wonder if once you get out of their core markets in the Peninsula, they're targeting a more specialized demographic.

                                                                          1. re: beachmouse
                                                                            s
                                                                            summeranne May 29, 2007 07:54 PM

                                                                            Commenting on the same area, I love the Publix stores in Destin, Sandestin & Ft Walton on Hwy 98. Won't step foot in the one on Mary Esther anymore, they have let me down more times than I like to remember.

                                                                        2. re: flavrmeistr
                                                                          hatless May 23, 2007 03:59 PM

                                                                          Oh, to be sure, Winn Dixie is much, much worse. And Flordia Albertsons' (Albertson'ses?) manage to be lousy and expensive at the same time. But whenever I'd visit family in the Philly or DC suburbs, I'd gawk at the loose green beans in the produce section and the crusty bread at the bakery and fall back to Earth.

                                                                          I will give Publix one thing: they do tend to stock all the basic non-perishable goods a sane person would expect to find at a mainstream supermarket. You can't say that for Winn-Dixie. I lived near one in a neighborhood full of Mexicans and Central Americans and they had four(!) brands of fresh corn tortillas but stocked neither cilantro nor any Mexican-style salsas, just Ortega/Old-El-Paso crap. They'd have several cuts of lamb in the meat cases and not a single condiment of any kind involving mint. They had an olive bar, a "fancy" cheese case complete with tubs of hummus and $12 dry sausages... and no flatbread. None of any kind. Didn't have a shelf for it. Didn't stock any. And lest you think all of this was because Winn-Dixie is targeting "southerners", my neighborhood Winn-Dixies stopped carrying Moon Pies some time in 2005.

                                                                          1. re: hatless
                                                                            c
                                                                            crach May 24, 2007 09:22 AM

                                                                            Publix, despite the universally horrifying bakeries, differ from store to store dramatically. In the West Indian neighborhood near hear, the Jamaican/Caribbean offerings are quite extensive. Another nearby Publix stocks good salsa like Herdez. Yet another has the gourmet bakery, however exorbitant it my be for dough prepared a thousand miles away. Regardless, everyone here should complain about the produce, the lack of local produce, and the shortage of organics, etc.

                                                                        3. re: lax2mia
                                                                          a
                                                                          anyasmom Apr 26, 2010 07:47 PM

                                                                          Can't agree with you more regarding Publix. Bel-Air/Raley's are the best. Wonderful people in those stores. Sure beats the places in FL. Can't wait to go back!

                                                                        4. re: flavrmeistr
                                                                          Covert Ops May 18, 2007 08:02 AM

                                                                          I hear ya on the Publix. They're everywhere, in every kind of neighborhood, and like most places the quality does differ.

                                                                          Is the Alton Road one the art-deco one with the crazy escalator? I have a vague memory of that...

                                                                    Show Hidden Posts