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New, larger, Burlington Market Basket is coming

PinchOfSalt Aug 3, 2010 08:59 AM

For any Hounds who did not already know, here is an article about brand new Burlington Market Basket that will be opening late this year practically adjacent to the current one:

http://www.wickedlocal.com/burlington...

Every time I go to H-Mart or just find myself driving by on Middlesex Turnpike the progress is apparent. They have completely gutted the old Expo Design Center and the stores between it and the current MB. The other day all that remained was the roof - you could see right through the space! Given that it is hard to imagine that the new store will be ready before the end of the year, but that is what they are shooting for. I can hardly wait!

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  1. n
    nlg Aug 3, 2010 09:16 AM

    good to hear - because the one near H Mart is pretty dirty and sad looking.

    1. t
      taterjane Aug 3, 2010 09:32 AM

      This will be awesome, especially if they really do make it more like the Chelsea store. I was in the Chelsea store once and it was....well, it wasn't even like a Market Basket.

      That being said, I'm curious why the new MB in Burlington is going to have free Wi-Fi. Maybe it's just me, but I don't really see myself hanging out there long enough to pull out a laptop.

      2 Replies
      1. re: taterjane
        f
        Fly Aug 4, 2010 06:04 AM

        Laptop, no, but iPhone or iPod, sure. That way you can get your shopping lists online.

        1. re: taterjane
          l
          LStaff Aug 4, 2010 08:33 AM

          If they planning a food court with a seating area like WF in Fresh Pond, then it would seem to make sense.

        2. b
          bear Aug 3, 2010 10:40 AM

          This is really good news!

          1 Reply
          1. re: bear
            k
            Kunegunde Aug 4, 2010 09:27 AM

            I agree. This is the most convenient Demoulas for me, but during the day the old people will obliviously ram their carts into you in those funky narrow aisles (when they're not blocking them completely). Sometimes I can't face it and go to the Woburn one instead, which has worse car traffic outside, but much better cart traffic inside.

          2. s
            sablemerle Aug 4, 2010 10:26 AM

            Thank heavens. Since my mom (wisely) gave up driving, we've been shopping in Woburn or Billerica. The Burlington MB is 7 min. from my house but the aisles, and crowds, cannot accommodate mom's scooter.

            1. c
              chowmel Aug 4, 2010 05:36 PM

              A newer MB will be great. The only problem for me is the markets can get too big. I use a cane and getting thru the larger stores can be tough. As much as I love mB I bet I'll find myself going to Roche Bros more often just because of the size.

              2 Replies
              1. re: chowmel
                Gio Aug 4, 2010 05:53 PM

                But...There are scooters available in the each store. No need to hobble along with your cane. It really is a good alternative.

                1. re: chowmel
                  s
                  sablemerle Aug 4, 2010 07:08 PM

                  Can't speak for Woburn and Chelsea, but the Billerica MB has at least 8-10 electric scooters available at the front every time I take my mom shopping.

                  My mom isn't able to walk very far for medical reasons, and the scooters are vital to her shopping.

                2. Kiyah Aug 7, 2010 04:25 PM

                  That is fabulous news! Right now I can practically guarantee that I'll have a nervous breakdown if I go into that store, it's so cramped and crowded. I hope they reconfigure the entrance to the parking lot from the Middlesex Turnpike. The newest MBs have been putting in "Market's Kitchen" which prepares sandwiches and other take out items. Maybe they'll put in some seating, hence the offering of free Wi-Fi, so they can compete with HMart's food court, if the town lets them.

                  1. PinchOfSalt Dec 7, 2010 10:20 AM

                    Bumping this thread to let folks know that the opening is almost here. There is a fan page on Facebook that is claiming December 12, but an article in the local Burlington newspaper says the grand opening will be on the 15th.

                    http://www.wickedlocal.com/burlington...

                    It is at times like this that I do so wish that Market Basket had an official website! I will need to make a farewell-to-the-old-location shopping trip sometime in the next few days, just for nostalgia's sake.

                    1. PinchOfSalt Dec 9, 2010 05:47 PM

                      From the Burlington Union.... Details about the new store, set to open on Sunday.

                      http://www.wickedlocal.com/burlington...

                      1. m
                        marcreichman Dec 13, 2010 06:39 AM

                        Anyone go? We were actually around the area on Saturday night, when the old store was closed at 7PM, and the new one hadn't opened yet. The lot was full of people going in, and leaving. We had some Hmart needs so the trip wasn't a total loss but I'm dying to hear about any opening day experiences.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: marcreichman
                          PinchOfSalt Dec 13, 2010 07:23 AM

                          Alas, I missed it due to car troubles. I too would love to hear a report!

                          1. re: marcreichman
                            s
                            sablemerle Dec 13, 2010 09:42 AM

                            I went about 10 am Sunday. Was greeted in the parking lot by an employee with an umbrella. The store is huge, nearly as large as Chelsea. The produce section alone is about a quarter the size of the old store. I didn't stay long, but they were giving out free samples, and I got 2 free quarts of organic chicken broth.

                            The store was already packed, but the checkout lines were moving right along. I'm just glad not to have to shlep all the way to Billerica with my mom anymore.

                            1. re: marcreichman
                              greygarious Dec 13, 2010 12:54 PM

                              I was there aorund 9:30 this morning, because I'd had a nearby medical appointment. Normally I'm just getting up then so I don't know how busy supermarkets usually are at that time. It was bustling but no long lines. There are 19 check-out registers. I recall reading that Chelsea has nearly twice as many.

                              My overall impression was that it is nothing extraordinary. There's a bit more of everything but I don't plan on shopping there regularly. There was an entire aisle of ethnic food, so maybe twice what a normal MB carries (caveat: I've never been to Reading or Chelsea). I noticed a line of Hispanic spices called Badia, which had larger containers at better prices than McCormick. The fish service counter was the same as the ones in Wilmington and Tewksbury, but adjacent to it was a case of pre-wrapped fresh fish which had whole fish and fish heads. The bakery was giving out muffin and donut samples but I've had MB bakery items before which were dreadful, so I passed. I didn't look at the prepared hot food or the snack/sandwich counter. The "cafe" seating area is on the opposite side of the entrance from the counter, and looked a little cramped, with molded seat-table units like in fast food places.
                              The managers in the various departments were all out on the floor but didn't seem to know their inventory very well. I explained to the bread aisle guy that Arnold's Everything Rye is hard to find in other MB's and was absent here. It sells out fast but this has not prompted them to order more of it than they do. Because I have read favorable mention of Asian dumplings with a brand name like Chinese Spaghetti Factory carried by some MBs, I asked the pair of middle-aged gentlemen in charge of the frozen food about them. Dumb and dumber. They led me to a package of Joyce Chen brand. I did notice, though, that they had LingLing brand - Costco carries a humongous bag of the chicken/veg. MB had smaller bags, and also the pork/veg version. In the fresh meat case, the labels on the shelves did not correspond to the packages in the pork and lamb sections. I was going to try some daikon (a first for me) until I noticed that the pieces felt soft and were bendable, as though they had been frozen and thawed. I assume they should have been firm. And, as always with MB, I had to re-bag my groceries even though this time it was not a teenage boy but a middle-aged woman with limited English putting the fragile stuff in with the cans and failing to segregate the perishables into one bag. Plus ca change....

                              1. re: greygarious
                                itaunas Dec 15, 2010 03:38 AM

                                greygarious as far as I know none of the Market Basket carry Chinese Spagetti Factory dumplings anymore and its been several years since they have*. Even if they did, it would be worth a trip to China Merchandise on 3A because they have a much better selection (and I think Hmart was carrying a similarly limited selection, but its been a while since I was in there). Plus you can get nice vinegars, spices (soy sauces you can get easily at Hmart). The fillings and skins don't compare to many of the fresh prepared ones that several restaurants make.

                                Badia is alright, but not going to compare to a nice bulk or ethnic spice store (again up 3A between the Indian stores and China Merchandise you can get some decent options). They have a lot of pre-mixed spices -- for rotisserie chicken, seasoning meat (like maggi), plus bullion etc. Johnnie's has a medium selection of their stuff and Price rite has a very extensive selection.

                                * Although this predates the recent larger stores (Chelsea, Reading, etc), as MB has grown they haven't been able to keep some smaller brands (I have particularly noticed this with ethnic cheeses) and have to devote large sections of shelf space to manufacturer-stocked displays like other large supermarkets. With the larger stores you generally get some interesting upscale products (columbus salame company, nicer fish section, more organics, greek yoghurt) but it can tend to mean less one-off specialty items.

                                1. re: greygarious
                                  mjg0725 Dec 15, 2010 03:50 AM

                                  Greygarious, the oriental market in the strip mall on summer St in Chelmsford carries the majority of the Chinese Spaghetti factory line. It's up high in the freezer along the top.

                                  P & R Oriental Food Market (I think this is the name)
                                  7 Summer St # 7, MA 01824-3063 (978) 256-8845 ‎

                                  -----
                                  Oriental Food Market
                                  30 Market Square, Lynn, MA 01905

                                  1. re: mjg0725
                                    greygarious Dec 15, 2010 05:48 AM

                                    Thanks for that tip, mjg. I am frequently in Chelmsford and will look for them as soon as I have some freezer room. I go to China Merchandise a couple of times a year but have never remembered to look for them there.

                                    1. re: greygarious
                                      justbeingpolite Dec 21, 2010 04:16 PM

                                      They're definitely in China Merchandise. But as long as you're not far away, why not drive to Formosa Taipei in Lexington and get their frozen veg, pork and cabbage, or pork and chive dumplings. Better than Chinese Spaghetti Factory, IMO.

                                      -----
                                      Chinese Spaghetti Factory
                                      73 Essex St, Boston, MA 02111

                                      Formosa Taipei
                                      315 Marrett Rd, Lexington, MA 02421

                              2. Bob Dobalina Dec 13, 2010 08:14 AM

                                So I was in the neighborhood Sunday night, at the H-Mart, and the H-Mart was forced to close at 8pm because there was some sort of water emergency at Market Basket. Have no idea what that was all about, but there you have it.

                                -----
                                H-Mart
                                3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Bob Dobalina
                                  t
                                  Torolover Dec 13, 2010 11:57 AM

                                  I was there this morning. They are open!!

                                  1. re: Bob Dobalina
                                    PinchOfSalt Dec 13, 2010 01:43 PM

                                    According to a MB employee, there was a water main break at the MB.

                                    I was at the new MB this afternoon. It is sort of a cross between the Reading store and Chelsea. Take Reading and add more ethnic items. They do not have a Goya aisle like in Chelsea, nor do they have Cinco do Mayo tortillas warm from the factory, but they do have an interesting expanded Latino selection compared to the old MB and the ones in Woburn and Reading. What was a nice surprise was a small but mighty Chinese ingredients section in the ethnic aisle. It was jam packed with all sorts of staples that I have never seen in a MB (or any other local American-style supermarket). For example, they had bags of dried cloud ears. Who'd a thought? All in all, a very nice shopping experience. The aisles are three shopping carts wide!

                                    When I was at the store at about 2 this afternoon the parking lot was very full. Samples were being given out inside. For example, I had some high-end Genoa salami (Columbus? not sure about the brand). Also, MB is selling coffee beans under their own label. Right now they only had ground, but they should be getting whole-bean in soon. It was pretty decent for that sort of thing. The person handing out the samples told me the coffee is roasted by Rao's.

                                    Time to put up a pot of water - the $4.99/pound lobsters were running between a pound and a quarter and a pound and a half...

                                    1. re: PinchOfSalt
                                      itaunas Dec 15, 2010 03:48 AM

                                      The two ethnic items the old Burlington store used to stock a bit more than other MB's was Chinese and Greek (with maybe a bit of Armenian too). What I was wondering is if they kept the latter up. I would think they might take advantage of the increase in space to add more Indian products. Woburn isn't particularly strong in Latino stuff -- they need space for Brazilian products as that is a heavy shopping population. Until there is a real latino demand, not certain if it will be worth Cinco de Mayo stocking displays in those stores. They are the ones which maintain the displays directly in Chelsea and Somerville.

                                  2. t
                                    trishaluna Dec 14, 2010 02:27 PM

                                    I went today to check it out. I usually shop at Chelsea but Burlington is about equal distance from me. It was a huge improvement over the previous store but it can't hold a candle to Chels. One thing I did notice that they had that I have not seen at Chelsea was a definite increase in asian products. They even had some udon noodle soup packs w/fresh noodles by the deli. Also, as noted more asian ingredients and spices. They were still giving out lots of coupons and I got a free tub of grape tomatoes which was nice. The bakery section was also giving out samples. As someone noted before they think the MB baked goods are dreadful I do agree that they used to be but I've had some great things from the bakery in Chelsea. They have a pecan nut bread that is sooo good toasted w/butter that I don't buy it often because I gobble it up.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: trishaluna
                                      PinchOfSalt Dec 15, 2010 11:31 AM

                                      I agree about the bakery. Some items are great and others are definitely try once, buy never. They have a raisin pecan bread that is to die for good. On Monday I tried a sample taste of the ricotta pie and it was quite nice. We are not talking about show-off artisan stuff you would serve to honored guests, but something that you could put on the table for family and friends to enjoy. On the other hand, the store-baked French bread is definitely not to my liking - a lot like any other mass-market par-baked pseudo-french bread: the crumb is very fine, soft and fluffy, and the crust is thin and almost tender. In other words, it is like batard-shaped white bread. Unh unh, not in my home. But there are people who like that, so I can't blame MB for selling it to them. To me the question is whether they would consider also selling loaves that are more in line with the standards of traditional French bread. I know that there are suppliers of the right kind of par-baked loaves....

                                      1. re: PinchOfSalt
                                        greygarious Dec 15, 2010 12:29 PM

                                        I think that cream cheese swirl brownies and oatmeal scotchies are the only okay things I've bought from the instore bakery this century. I have heard that people like their honey-dip type donuts. Haven't tried their basic cakes in decades and recall them as airy-dry, with overly sweet icing. Butterless baking, it seems. Breads of various types were also cottony and airy.

                                        1. re: PinchOfSalt
                                          t
                                          trishaluna Dec 15, 2010 04:08 PM

                                          That's it! Raisin Pecan bread. It is very very good. I haven't bought any of the french breads, i make my own 'no knead' bread at home. I have had some of the ciabatta's (olive, rosemary etc) and they're fairly decent.

                                      2. m
                                        marcreichman Dec 19, 2010 04:45 AM

                                        We went yesterday, and probably live a hair closer to this than Chelsea, but definitely could pick either. My general impression is that while this is clearly a slightly smaller sibling to Chelsea, it's nicer to get there for us in east Arlington. They took chelsea's inroads for SE Asian ingredients and really ran with it. The Goya section is comically smaller but had what we needed. Will probably go here now if the lot isn't going to become a major hassle.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: marcreichman
                                          greygarious Dec 19, 2010 07:07 AM

                                          It is my impression (I'm not certain) that the rows in that lot are a couple of feet narrower than those in the other area markets I frequent. If I'm right, it may have been on the small side for the amount of business mall planners anticipated. The current and planned roster of businesses would seem to have potential for drawing more customers than earlier ones did.
                                          When MB was at the end, it effectively had its own dedicated parking spaces.

                                        2. q
                                          qianning Dec 21, 2010 06:28 AM

                                          anybody who's been there notice if they carry fresh duck?

                                          11 Replies
                                          1. re: qianning
                                            s
                                            sablemerle Dec 21, 2010 06:52 AM

                                            Sorry quianning, frozen duck only.

                                            1. re: sablemerle
                                              greygarious Dec 21, 2010 07:29 AM

                                              Maybe they have fresh at H-Mart, which is only a few hundred feet away from the new MB.

                                              -----
                                              H-Mart
                                              3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

                                              1. re: greygarious
                                                Maxinella Dec 21, 2010 07:37 AM

                                                Wilson's Farm, which is relatively close by depending on where you're coming from, carries fresh duck.

                                                1. re: Maxinella
                                                  q
                                                  qianning Dec 21, 2010 08:34 AM

                                                  coming from s. nh, so wilson farm is kinda out of the way...my local mkt bskt has frozen, so really only want to make an extra trip is I can find fresh....don't remember seeing fresh duck at H-mart....

                                                  1. re: qianning
                                                    p
                                                    phonelady Dec 21, 2010 08:55 AM

                                                    Roche Bros. in Burlington? May be worth a call.

                                                    1. re: phonelady
                                                      s
                                                      snippet Dec 21, 2010 09:12 AM

                                                      I think I saw duck at the meat counter at RB in Acton recently, so maybe Burlington too. (Commercially wrapped though, so hopefully fresh as opposed to frozen and thawed...)

                                                      1. re: snippet
                                                        q
                                                        qianning Dec 21, 2010 10:14 AM

                                                        thanks i'll look into it.

                                                        1. re: snippet
                                                          PinchOfSalt Dec 21, 2010 02:06 PM

                                                          I actually checked for duck during my visit to the new Burlington MB. They do have frozen ducks (at an amazingly low $2.59/lb, lower than H-Mart or any place else I can think of, but alas water-added), but no fresh ducks. Having said that, one of the more amazing announcements that came over the PA system was that the store has a real full-service butcher shop in back and if you don't see the cut you want in the case, ask, and they will get it for you. So, what better test of this claim than to ASK the new Burlington MB butcher dept. if they can get a fresh duck for you. Can't hurt. And I have a sneaking suspicion that they will do it.

                                                          1. re: PinchOfSalt
                                                            greygarious Dec 21, 2010 03:50 PM

                                                            Bought a commercial frozen duck at another MB a year ago - not only is water added, but there is a LARGE packet of atrocious sauce included. If memory serves, the price was $2.59 then, too, and the packet looked to be at least 12 oz.

                                                      2. re: qianning
                                                        Maxinella Dec 23, 2010 09:40 AM

                                                        Wilson's is actually only three miles away from MB, but I do understand--especially at this time of year when traffic is so bad. They also have a store in LItchfield, NH, but I don't know if it's open year round.

                                                        1. re: Maxinella
                                                          q
                                                          qianning Dec 23, 2010 10:37 AM

                                                          thanks for all the info folks! roche brothers does carry bell & evans duck, labelled "fresh". wilson farm...i didn't realize it was that close to burlington....as for the NH branch of wilson farm, because of the merrimack river and the way the roads/bridges work it actually takes longer to get there from my home than to burlington!

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