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Jan 21, 2010 11:25 AM

Is Bloom Really THAT Good?

I was on a mission to get some coffee at Beanetics in Annandale this afternoon gave up finding a parking space in that shopping center. The new Bloom market where the Annandale Magruder's used to be just opened and the lot was packed end to end with cars, I assume from people going into Bloom. Maybe they were giving away free food today. I dunno. I wouldn't think there would be that many people eager to shop for groceries at 2:00 on a Thursday afternoon.

I've never been in a Bloom before. What's the deal? It's the upscale Food Lion, isn't it?

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  1. It's in between Giant and the renovated Safeways when it comes to quality. Nothing special, but if you need toilet paper you could do worse.

    If it's a new store, they might've had a great sale for the first few weeks. It's a pretty common grocery store strategy.

    13 Replies
    1. re: reiflame

      There's also the forecast of the dreaded "wintry mix" tonight. So people need to stock up for the three weeks they might be stuck inside.

      1. re: reiflame

        I know this tread is over a year old, but the Bloom in Gaithersburg has really been beefing up it's quality brands lately; today I found Beechers cheese, Mayorga coffee and now they have a huge selection of premium chocolate bars. It's no Wegmans, but it'll definitely do until the Germantown Weg opens in a few years.

        1. re: reiflame

          The Frederick Wegman's opens next month. Don't tell anyone.

          1. re: flavrmeistr

            I'm not driving from Gaithersburg to Frederick to do my weekly shopping. I go up there often enough but it's a hike and the store is going to be insane for months (not the Germantown one won't).

            1. re: reiflame

              Is that worse than driving to Leesburg or Sterling? In case you cave, the opening date in Frederick is June 5th.

              1. re: flavrmeistr

                From Gaithersburg it's way shorter to drive to Frederick, but it's still too far to go for my daily/weekly shopping.

                I'm definitely glad to see some upscale/harder to find brands at Bloom in the meantime.

                1. re: reiflame

                  I live in Dupont Circle and do most of my weeky shopping at Wegmans - either Fairfax or Lanham. To me, worth the drive in the quality I can get for less money than any local grocery store. Was just there Sunday AM and to me, visiting any Wegmans is something you do early on a weekend morning - preferably Sunday - and it's over quickly and is relatively painless. But yes, I drive 25-45 min almost every weekend for groceries and it's worth it.

                  1. re: Jeserf

                    The fact that DC doesn't have even a halfway decent grocery store is the main reason we moved out from the District. Of course, that was 15 years ago -- is there still no good grocery store in NW?

                    1. re: Transplanted Texan

                      Whole Foods, and people like Teeter, but both are overpriced IMO and I really don't mind going to Wegmans - it's cheaper, the employees are friendly and helpful, and they often have ingredients that inspire me. The main grocery near Dupont, Safeway, is a dump to the 10th degree. But the Whole Foods works for those that can't get anywhere else. It's just insanely expensive.

                      1. re: Jeserf

                        It's interesting that people think Harris Teeter is more expensive than other grocery stores. I've always thought it was comparable, at least for the stuff I buy at regular grocery stores. (Mostly I go to MOM's and Trader Joe's)

                        The latest Checkbook Magazine, however, shows that Harris Teeter is actually less expensive than a lot of other local grocery stores.

                        1. re: Transplanted Texan

                          I think that HT is very close in price to other supermarket chains, especially when you compare their sale prices on meat, seafood and groceries. What I find expensive (and not worth it) is the produce section. Ditto at Safeway and Giant.

                        2. re: Jeserf

                          The newly remodeled social Safeway in Georgetown is pretty good. Better produce than the Harris Teeter's I've been to, in Pentagon Row. That was bad.

                          The Safeway in Mt. Vernon Square is also pretty nice from what I've seen. It's also brand spanking new.

                          I do most of my shopping at Whole Foods because it is the most convenient, but I try to go to Trader Joe's and Safeway when I can.

                          1. re: hamster

                            I find the produce at TJ's to be quite disappointing. I love MOM's for produce (Mom's Organic Market).

        2. Bloom, fancied up Food Lion, in an attempt to hide the negative connotations that chain has inflicted upon itself.

          1. I think to day was the opening day. Last week, they mailed out $5 off $25 purchase coupons. I think you got caught in the crossfire.

            Which may be bad news for me -- I'm supposed to have dinner at Silverado tonight (same parking lot).

            1 Reply
            1. re: weezycom

              I expect that the Bloom will be off the rose by dinner time. I'd love to learn how they make the short smoked salmon at Silverado.

            2. For what it's worth, my coworker usually buys our office birthday cakes at Bloom and they're absolutely sinful. Never a "eh, the cake's OK" moment - they're very, very good.

              1. That's a pretty small parking lot, I'm curious what it's going to be like on a typical Saturday afternoon. I like Beanetics; I hope the Bloom brings them customers instead of pushing them out.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Henry Spencer

                  I can say that at 11 am today it was full. I thought I might drop in...and was quick disabused of that notion.