Ahhh Safeway. That little piece of paradise to which I escape at least once a week.
Escape? To a supermarket, you say?
Yes, but not just any supermarket. My Safeway, on the southeast corner of Frank Lloyd Wright and Thompson Peak Parkway in Scottsdale, is very special indeed.
I’ve already written about how incredibly friendly the staff is. Even if you’re not doing “vacation” shopping for fun things like chips and beer but merely cruising for your same old boring old weekly staples, they somehow make it feel like a holiday. For me, it’s my own personal version of “Cheers”. And I’m Norm.
These people cannot do enough for you. They’ll remember you by name and ask ten times over how your day is going and whether you need any help. Sometimes to the point where I can almost lose patience. (At those times I have to take a deep breath and repeat to myself, “Susan, remember you’re not in New Jersey anymore”.)
And no matter how busy they are, they will go out of their way to help a customer look for any item, any time. Gotta give them credit for that, even if they don’t have every single thing that customer could ever want. But that’s because we’re in Arizona and food stores here simply aren’t stocked with all the Italian favorites. (The staff is also to be forgiven when they mispronounce “Bolognese“, making it sound something like “Boglenaise”.)
At least they try. Oh boy, do they try.
Because now they have gone above and beyond. NOW this incredible store has added another incredible, life-changing, over-the-top benefit to all that they offered before. And I’m not talking about the fact that all coupons are now worth at least a dollar.
When the store was remodeled (yet again) last year, it was made into a signature store. This means they not only added a nut bar and a bulk foods section. They didn’t just enhance the wine department. And they didn’t stop at putting in “The World of Cheese”. No folks, this store now has Ken and his cart.
Ken and his cart set up between the produce section and the meat department every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from about ten in the morning until six at night. And wonderful Ken and his miraculous cart produce some of the most delicious, mouthwatering and easy dishes I have ever come across.
But wait. The best part is that Ken hands out not only the recipes, but free samples! I no longer eat lunch at home on Sundays. I just go to Safeway. He once even tracked me down at the front of the store with a hearty portion of Chicken Breast Lombardy (my personal favorite) so I wouldn’t miss out when it was ready. I can’t promise, however, that he’ll do that for you
Hey, we can’t all be Norm.
I’ve personally tried quite a few of these recipes at home, and I can say they have added new life to my marriage. (And there haven’t even been oysters involved.) But after twenty-something years of making dinner, a girl needs some new ideas. And Ken’s got plenty.
For example, in all of my married life, I had never cooked a steak inside the house. It was either grill it outside or don’t eat it. My hubby was always afraid otherwise it would turn out like a salty overcooked minute steak. But Ken taught me the secret to a perfect steak from the kitchen with his pan-seared method.
If you want to delight in some of the amazing recipes this little gem of a store has shared with its customers, click here.
And if you want to have about as pleasant an experience as can be had while grocery shopping, visit this Safeway next weekend. Bring your appetite and make sure you stop by and see Ken.
Tell him Susan sent you.
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