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Publix

putting this in Chains because I know Publix is bigger than just Florida.

Anyway, I rarely shop there these days because it IS more expensive than Albertsons and Winn Dixie and boy by a lot! I saw Flounder at $12.99 which is $5.99 at Albertsons and Tilapia at 7.99 which is 3.25 at Albertsons.

However, in some of the Publix stores they do fried balls of potato and meat filling fresh at the bakery counter which are very good and filling at about 1.70 each and cheesey potato fried things and yucca fried thingies all delicious.

Any other pros and cons of Publix?

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  1. Their cakes are amazing! The icing is light and fluffy. They also do a mystery penny item in their circular every week. You take in the coupon and get whatever it is (jar of spaghetti sauce, gallon of milk, etc.) for a penny. The employees are usually really nice, too. They must have excellent customer service training. I moved out of the Publix's jurisdiction about 5 years ago and still miss it!

    6 Replies
    1. re: jwishart

      I've grown up going to Publix . The penny deals aren't in every circular anymore - at least I haven't seen them! The customer service can't be beat. The other grocery chains in Florida seem to either have less selection or to be less clean (except for the new Sweetbays - the newer ones are my 2nd choice). I love their bakery. The wedding cakes from their are better than most of the fancy cake places in the area and much less expensive. They are also working hard to advertise local and organic foods. By the way, they tend to be a good employer as well. Too many friends have worked for Publix and I've never heard complaints. Albertson's was bought out by Publix last year and very few Albertson's were left to run as Albertson's since most were converted into Publix stores over the past year. We have a Greenwise Publix nearby and I prefer going there than to the Whole Foods that opened up in the same neighborhood.

      1. re: TampaAurora

        I grew up with Publix too and hope they eventually expand into the area I now live. You are absolutely right about their wedding cakes. They have always had great flavor, texture and are never dry. People act like you are crazy when you recommend a grocery for a wedding cake...but they do the job right!

        1. re: meatn3

          For our wedding, they did the best cake testing we attended. As kids, my SO and I both loved their apple danish so on a lark we asked to try the apple filling with the yellow cake. We ended up loving it so much that we used the combo for our wedding. Most of the cake was gone due to people asking for extras. Our friends still ask about it years later. So yummy.

          1. re: TampaAurora

            The guy who did my wedding cake was my maid of honors fiance. He was worked for public and then owned is own bakery down here. They he created pies for Village Inn. The French Silk is his creation. Or so he claims. He made my cake and I am not sure what he did but wow. He claims it was mostly Publix style of the wedding cake, the recipes that they mostly used. I agree to this day, everyone loved our cake.

            1. re: kchurchill5

              Any idea on the use of lard in Village Inn or Publix? I know a local Publix has some non-lard based foods, but I never know anymore.

            2. re: TampaAurora

              They made my wedding cake too! We totally forgot that the saved top layer was in my parents freezer. It was discovered several years later - and still tasted really good!

              At that point in time the So. Pasadena location in St. Pete was thought to make the best wedding cakes (in Pinellas). I have no idea if that still holds true.

      2. seconded on their customer service...head and shoulders above anything else around here (east side of ATL)

        Getting the basics and the cheapest total means going to Ingles.
        Getting exactly what you want (nicer meats and produce) means going to Publix.
        Getting mad b/c you didn't go to one of the other two means going to Kroger.

        1. It really is a pleasure to shop at Publix, and you can always get satisfaciton. If something does not measure up, just take it back and get a refund. They have never claimed to be cheapest, and they are not, but are impossible to beat.

          1. I loved Publix! The stores are much cleaner than Albertson's and everyone was always helpful. It was worth the extra money for me. All I have where I live now is Kroger, which is trying to get better.
            Publix carries a good variety of items, has Boar's Head Meats, love their carrot cake and Pecan rings from the bakery. They were carrying Lurpak butter long before anyone else that I knew of.
            As a somewhat foodie, I loved wandering the isles and shopping there. Never wanted any of my family coming along with me to rush me out the door.
            I miss Publix!

            3 Replies
            1. re: grouper

              LOL, grouper... one of my sons who lives in SF now came for a visit recently and asked me "Can you pick up a pecan ring from Publix please?" They ARE good but damn...$5.29??? A lot of their bakery items have become overpriced but I think they KNOW folks like the bakery and they are taking advantage.

              1. re: grouper

                Their bakery has the best sugar cookies I've ever had... I'd love to find a copycat recipe!

                1. re: summeranne

                  This is on the side of the Publix brand sugar. Someone said it was similar. Never tried it however.

                  http://eating-in.blogspot.com/2006/10...

                  And yes they are good.

              2. Gosh, I have mixed feelings about Publix. Their fish prices have really sky-rocketed; that's okay...I go to Captain Jerry's in Wynn's supermarket right around the corner from where I work now; they had fresh red grouper for $6.99 per pound last week, yay! But, Publix was the first in my area to offer Fage Greek style yogurt a few years ago, so I was very happy about that. Also, I must say that anytime our church was conducting a food drive for local food banks, Publix would provide paper bags for us at no charge--always. I don't conduct the food drives anymore but I'm assuming they still obtain the bags from Publix. I've never seen any savory items at the bakery that OP smartie alludes to. I must say I was so pleasantly surprised that the Northland Cranberry juice I bought yesterday rang up as an in-store special for $1.90!!!! You usually can't touch it for less than $3.89. Our nearby Albertson's closed and Publix was supposed to make it into a Greenwise place but the store sits there empty, and I am almost positive it is because of the economy. In Naples, it seems that Publix has a bit of a monopoly.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Val

                  val, not every Publix do these savoury fried balls - so it's hit or miss as to which ones do. However once you try one you are hooked.

                  I agree customer service is best at Publix, much less waiting than at Albertsons, better selection but it is pricier.

                  1. re: smartie

                    Publix is also much cleaner than Albertson's (in south Florida locations)

                2. You must be in South Florida. Our Orlando-area Publixes don't make papas rellenas (the fried potato-meat balls), but I love those things. Anyway, I've been shopping at Publix for most of my life between Miami, Gainesville, and Orlando, and they're usually the best around. Their cheesecake and key lime pie are always great, and you usually can't go wrong buying any Publix-branded products.

                  1. Publix, my savoir. Well for some things. I can't stand WD, don't know why. Every time I go, what I want they don't have ... but yes they do have some good prices, but their meat and seafood I wouldn't touch. But their other items they have good prices on I just don't buy often. But if I need a few items and it is close by, I don't mind. Not that picky.

                    Sweetbay, I love, Nice layout, seafood OK, some descent prices. Produce has an interesting selection over public and albertsons which I enjoy.

                    Albertsons, I love the seafood. OK, Publix says fresh not frozen, well we can all debate that until we are blue in the face. I still enjoy their prices but they are pulling out of FL slowly. 2 left by Sarasota, one closing soon, the other in Venice shortly after. I also enjoy many of their buy 1 get one free meats, very good from what I have had. Never a problem at all.

                    But publix I can always find the items I need for the most part and I just like the store, between them and Sweetbay for some specialty items but neither for seafood unless necessary. My Publix will order items even though they don't have them, easy to work with, always crowded but never a wait. I love the store.

                    If you haven't tried ... I don't like many dressings bottled, but their Creamy Caesar and Balsamic Vinaigrette are very good, I tried their Italian and wasn't bad but the other two I love. Also a few of their simple BBQ sauces which I completely dress up, also some of their lunch meats for just plain baked ham etc. I buy their brand for just me all the time. For company or catering I splurge but one time I admit I used their brand and no one knew. Equally as good.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: kchurchill5

                      Spouse swears that their store brand orange juice is a better mass market not-from-concentrate juice than Tropicana and the like. I've also had good luck with their store brand goat cheese and deli pizza dough.

                      And of the Florida grocery chains, they seem to be the best at remembering that 80% of the population of state grew up Somewhere Else and being willing to bring other regions' favorites to the Sunshine State. I was much amused at this spring's Fat Tuesday display urging us to buy king cake, paczki, AND mojito supplies for our pre-lenten parties. I just wish those little guava patries had been more popular in the Panhandle. They ended up discontinuing most of them for lack of sales.

                      1. re: beachmouse

                        I agree, I buy their OJ and many of their own products, LOTS actually of their products in fact and they are fine. From napkins, toilet paper, cheese, milk, anything. I am very impressed. I believe in buying quality but still affordable. The good stuff comes up for a nice party or catering, but for me or close friends ... the regular brand is just fine.

                    2. Publix bakery is yummy! I buy all my meat at Albertsons because their prices are so much better (chicken pieces for under a dollar a pound and so on) but for almost everything else it's Publix hands down.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Kajikit

                        Agree, I'm not much on sweets, but I do like their baked goods. The one place who makes my small bread bowls for me. I could make them myself, but they do such a great job. Alway lightly crisp, perfect for filling with chili or a creamy potato soup.

                      2. We *love* Publix. Found them while visiting friends in Fort Myers and thought it was one of the best stocked, best layed out stores ever. At the time, we lived outside Chicago and had a vast selection of stores to choose from, allowing us to find everything we needed at the best quality. We found they carry a large selection of items, the employees are friendly and helpful, the stores are clean. The prices for certain items may be a little bit higher but I think the cost is off-set by the quality. I'm willing to pay more for quality, even in this economy.

                        I now live in a mostly rural area in TN where my shopping is limited to WalMart, Kroger and a two independents. There is no variety of products at all and the produce is terrible; we have one Kroger where I will buy meat from the butcher counter but I prefer to go to a local butcher (we're lucky to have Menonites who raise cattle nearby). Fortunately, there are several Publix stores in Nashville so we periodically trek there to remember what grocery shopping is really like!

                        1. I've got a love/hate thing going with Publix. I think the "hate" part comes from the fact that they're a virtual monopoly where we live (Central FL-east coast.) We have 3 within 5 miles of the house, while nothing else within 10 miles.

                          The service is great & their employees do go the extra mile. The one gripe I have is with their produce section. For some reason, it seems that it has a very short shelf life once we get it home, much shorter than when we buy from the local produce stand.

                          Now if I could just get the bakery to produce some NYC-style hard rolls!

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: cavandre

                            Yep on the produce...and they pre-package most items like green beans which I *HATE* so I do shop at the Farmer's markets for most of my produce from Oct to May since they all close in the summer.

                            1. re: Val

                              Val, you need to head north from May to Oct. It's not the greatest market in the world, but it sure has nice fresh green beans. Well other stuff too. I latest I found was the round zucchinis, strange looking, but fun to stuff. Like a giant oversized tomato but a zucchini. Wierd, but tastes the same.

                              Besides I love the japanese eggplant, the white and pink varieties which are fun to try. And the mango and melons have been great.

                            2. re: cavandre

                              Do I ever agree with you on the produce!!! I hate packaged produce, and what ever is not packaged seems to be half dead. I shop at Sweetbay, Fresh Market or the local Amish store for my produce. I have complained to Publix but they sure haven't done a thing about it!! What they don't seem to get is, while I am at the other stores buying my produce, I am also buying other things that I would normally buy at Publix!!

                            3. Their tarragon chicken salad with almonds is delicious. I always bring ice packs when visiting Fl. in order to bring some back home!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: meatn3

                                It is pretty good I admit. I rarely buy salads from grocery stores. But I have bought that for sandwiches when I am out of the boat during the day. It is a nice salad.

                                1. re: kchurchill5

                                  It is one of the only two pre-made salads I buy. The other is Fresh Markets jalapeno pimento cheese.

                                  My last Fl. visit I did try the Caribbean (?) chicken salad from Publix. It was nowhere close to being as good as the tarragon.

                              2. Try this, a copy cat recipe I made it once and it was very close. I just often buy it when I'm in a hurry, but I did make it and pretty darn close.

                                2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked chopped fine and cooled
                                3/4 cup mayonnaise (if salad is too dry you can add more)
                                1 1/2 teaspoons fresh tarragon chopped fine
                                1/2 cup sliced almonds
                                1-2 teaspoons grated onion
                                1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
                                s/p to taste

                                This is a almost perfect copy cat recipe. I really can't tell the difference. However ... NOTE ... let it set 2-3 hours for a much better taste, that is KEY!!

                                Enjoy it I know you will.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: kchurchill5

                                  Wow! Thanks...I'll have to try this soon.

                                2. I'm in SE Florida and have shopped at Publix all my grocery-buying life. I prefer it because of the wonderful customer service, cleanliness, and wide selection/good quality of store brands. I'm surprised to read folks think Albertson's prices are better---I find them the most expensive of all the major grocery stores, although they had the best variety of produce.

                                  I also like Publix's live demos of the Apron recipes and the wine samplings.

                                  Their seafood prices ARE high, and I was surprised to discover their seafood selection varies greatly by ZIP Code. That revelation reminded me of Publix's reputation during my childhood of clearing out when a neighborhood transitioned to Black or Hispanic.

                                  1. I hardly go to Pubs any more because of the high prices and packaged produce. They do have a good selection and prices of wine however.

                                    Publix also has the best fried chicken tenders of anywhere. Better than any other grocery store or chain restaurant. A little pricey at $7.19/lb., but worth it. Their a staple at any of our entertainment

                                    Day in/day out I prefer Sweet Bay. Way better produce and prices

                                    1. When I'm down yonder (Meridianville, Al. It's just north of Huntsville) we have our choice of two stores locally. Publix and Star Market. Star is cheaper, there's no question about it but if you need to buy more than a few things, most likely you'll end up having to go to Publix as well. I like the stores. It's not the shopping Mecca that Mrs. Sippi makes it out to be but it's good.

                                      DT

                                      1. Sometimes I ask myself WHY am I back in Publix when I can save so much more at Super Walmart - it's because I hate the atmosphere at Walmart... Anyway- I have also (often) remarked out loud 'They are out of their MINDS' when I see a carton of Almond Breeze for $4.99 or the SAME exact tomatoes for $3.99 that everyone else has for $1.99 - it's insane.

                                        I don't know about this super duper high level of customer satisfaction, either. Here in Lake County, I have witnessed a deli manager publicly berate an employee (I spoke up), deli employees fighting while slicing food for customers (I left), the guy at the fish counter go from bleaching down a work area and with the same dripping gloves on, walk over and start plopping fish into a bag for the customer in front of me (I left). I don't want this to turn into a Publix rant so I will stop- and list the things I do like:
                                        selection at some stores of Greenwise and similar products

                                        Boar's Head Mortadella w/pistachio nuts (my fav)

                                        Fage (no one else locally has this- I don't have Sweetbay close by)

                                        I also want to mention their Buy One/Get One Free offers- they are excellent deals in particular if you have a coupon for two of something, they will honor the coupon on the deal (Buy two Barilla Pasta/Get $2.00 off coupon on a BOGO Barilla deal- get it?)

                                        I do not care for their cookies (they are WAY under cooked) or their cakes - I have enjoyed the cherry cheese danish until they started charging $6.00 for it, they can keep it and I can keep tying my shoes without breaking a sweat.!

                                        **Just wanted to add that I am in Publix about 2-3 times a week, both personal and for work -usually the service is fine but I have seen ugly employee behavior at several different Publix locations and all times of the day. No one is perfect.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                          BD, do you have a Super Target near you? Probably not since you did not mention it...but I feel your pain on the Super Wal-mart comment and that's why I'd rather go to Super Target. I've never seen any manager mistreat workers at Publix and believe me, in Naples, there's a Publix practically on every corner. I DID go to a very different Publix today and actually tried their hot Latino stuffed potato and yucca for $1.49 each that Smartie is talking about in his/her OP--pretty good!

                                          1. re: Val

                                            Even a non-Super Target these days has a fair number of the good quality for the price Archer Farms products.

                                            1. re: beachmouse

                                              We yet to purchase any "Archer Farms" product that wasn't above-average or better.

                                        2. i haven't read this thread, but i am sensitive to this issue as it is like a family "war": mom is adamant that winn-dixie is cheaper than publix, but my sisters shop only at publix. on a recent visit, for most items in n. ft. myers, i found publix to be cheaper. there's a better meat selection at winn-dixie, though.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: alkapal

                                            One reason I never shopped at Winn Dixie was its ridiculous club difference. A single chicken breast would be $2.50 with the club, $5.50 without. I feel like I shouldn't have to join anything to get cheap prices and Publix does have decent specials from time to time. There are certain items I can find significantly cheaper at Super Target, although my semi-close one has discontinued carrying certain Archer Farms items I really adored and the next nearest one is about 45 minutes away.

                                          2. i love the publix 20 hot and spicy wings for $7.40 i could eat that all day lol

                                            http://tastychomps.blogspot.com

                                            1. Okay, I don't think I've ever seen THIS before...Buy One Get One Free at Publix here in SWFL...Montecillo Crianza Red Wine...!!!! Just letting you know....oh, this would be in the "pro" column, definitely.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: Val

                                                hey val, i don't know if i've mentioned it to you before, but publix (at least the one on hancock bridge pkwy in n. ft. myers) gets hood's dairy brand PUMPKIN eggnog for the holiday season. it is a knockout delicious drink -- like a superbly creamy pumpkin pie (**very** light on the spices). if you remotely like pumpkin, you've gotta try it! ;-).

                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                  AP, thanks for that...will check it out locally this weekend!

                                                2. re: Val

                                                  They do have some BOGO specials for higher end products and products that never seem to go on sale elsewhere.

                                                  My family's latest Publix rave is their premium ice cream- tastes just as good as Breyers, and both cheaper than Breyers and still a proper two quarts instead of the name manufacturers 1.5-1.75 quart containers. And such nice big chunks of fruit in their strawberry ice cream.

                                                  1. re: beachmouse

                                                    Beachmouse, yep, we do like their ice cream...this week it's on sale @ $2.50, a good savings. They used to have a cinnamon flavor one that was really great but I haven't seen that in a while, I think it was called "fried ice cream" or something.

                                                3. by accident I discovered at Publix.com you can enter your zip and find the 2 for 1 specials in your area at all the Publixes around you. Well worth it if you want olive oil or other expensive item.

                                                  1. I loved PUBLIX so much I moved here...lol it was really because I HATE SNOW and RED Sox Training Camp is close by...But Kudos to Publix their French Hamburger Rolls and Baquettes are AWESOME...But I am now PREGNANT and IN LOVE with HULA HULA ice cream (wish it wasn't Limited Edition...powers that be at PUBLIX please make this a regular Premium flavor...it is one of the best ice creams EVER)...

                                                    1. In the area by work we don't have any decent sub shops so Publix is where we go for a sub. The boars head meat is delicious.

                                                      We also like the pizza dough when we don't have time to make our own. The wine club and sometimes the BOGO Specials are worth it.

                                                      The reason we go to publix is because it is more conveniet that other places. Winn Dixie can feel less clean at times and the vibe at walmart just isn't my thing. In Central Florida we don't have a lot of weekly farmers markets or trader joes. We do have a whole foods which is even more expensive than publix but the qualty is always wonderful.