A couple of weeks ago, I visited the new Mariano’s on Halsted. I had heard such wonderful things about Mariano’s so I wanted to check it out for myself.
I got on the 36 and then on the 20 which took me to the corner of Madison and Halsted. Across the street is Domino’s, but I had my mind set on checking out Mariano’s so I walked 1 block South. I went into the store and immediately felt welcomed. The lower level has a coffee shop like area called Vero where you can get drinks and have some sort of pastry or similar items while you sit in front of the fireplace. Vero also has WiFi.
So then I took the escalator up to the main store area.
What to my wondering eyes should appear but an amazing view of their produce area, which is the biggest produce area I have ever seen in a grocery store. They have the usual organic and non-organic choices, but they also have vegetables and fruits I have never seen before. All of them beautifully displayed.
Immediately to the left is the Sushi Bar where they will make sushi to order. Behind the produce area you can see the spice section and the Oyster Bar. Once you walk closer to the Oyster Bar, you see a large specialty cheese section to your left. I have not yet tried the Oyster Bar, but they have Oyster Shooters! I want to try the oysters.
You walk a bit further and you see the fish and meat sections where the sign says that they will “gladly steam and process free of charge”. Most fish and seafood sections I have seen are 3-4 feet long. At Mariano’s the fish section appeared to be about 6 feet long and the meat section seemed to be a bit longer.. There is another seating section where you can eat what you have just selected and had steamed.
Walk a bit more and turn to your left and you see their deli and bakery section where you can get fresh baked popcorn, hand-made candy, bakery items that taste like they are home-made, a deli full of the usual meats, cheese and a lot items that you don’t normally see in delis, the salad bar, the hot bar, the grill, the sandwich area and more. I mean it is amazing. This is the section where you will see the most people. If you continue on past the sections I have already mentioned, you get to the aisles full of the usual canned products, meat section, dairy section, frozen foods, etc that you see in most grocery stores. But seriously, I have never seen such long aisles with so many choices. I swear – if you can’t find what you are looking for, then it doesn’t exist or you just didn’t see it.
Okay, so there is one bad thing, their delivery service. I do not own a car so I usually have the grocery stores deliver my food. Well, this is where it fell apart. After waiting several hours I called to see what happened to my delivery. Apparently the delivery service forgot to pick up my groceries. Sooo what did Mariano’s do, they had one of their senior managers, Jared, deliver the food. I have talked with them and they are working on changing delivery service so for now, I either get only what I can carry myself or I tell one of the managers that I am in the store and will need the food delivered. Don’t let this 1 bad thing hold you back from shopping there. OH, OH they have free parking on the top of the building so it is easy peasy if you have a car.
I could keep going on and on about Mariano’s because I have just scratched the surface when talking about all that they offer to the people who shop in their store. I think the next time I go, I want to go with a friend so we can get some oysters, sushi, pizza, cheese or meat grilled to order and go sit at the Wine Bar and drink some wine while eating our food and watching the crowd. I also need to check out the price for renting out their Agora (gathering place) area where you can have meetings.
Note: I cannot possibly show all the pictures I took when I was there so feel free to visit my Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/TheTektiteGroup) to see all of the pictures.