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|Wegmans has fresh wild salmon from the Copper River in Alaska, above.|
Correction (May 16, 2012): After reading news reports about the size of Wegmans Food Markets, I called company headquarters and was told the Woodbridge store is nearly 140,000 square feet. A year ago, an employee told me the store is 45,000 square feet.
By VICTOR E. SASSON
As big as it is, I completely missed the Wegmans Food Market in Woodbridge and drove a mile or so out of my way on Friday before asking for directions.
At nearly 140,000 square feet, this is the largest Wegmans in the state and likely one of the largest supermarkets in the Garden State -- if not the largest.
We entered the long, two-story brick building at the end with a cafe and market, and decided to have lunch before doing any food shopping.
We saw a sub shop, a pizzeria, a kosher deli, a bakery, a large cheese counter, an olive bar and a sushi section, in addition to hot and cold buffets. You can eat your food in a spacious second-floor dining room.
My wife and I chose food from the Asian Wokery, including white or brown rice, all at $7.99 a pound, resulting in a pricey lunch that wasn't worth the detour.
For $6.95, I got vegetarian meatballs, which I liked, though the Panang curry sauce was bland; plus cauliflower and stir-fried tofu. But the small container of brown rice rang up at an additional $2.96.
My wife chose what looked like three meaty ribs and broccoli for $8.39, but asked for and got a refund. She said the ribs tasted as if they weren't cooked thoroughly.
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We found a small shopping cart and started exploring the grocery aisles under a two-story, warehouse-like ceiling, discovering a garden shop, kitchenware section and pharmacy.
The prices at the seafood counter were through the roof, but Wegmans is the first store I've seen this season with fresh wild salmon from the storied Copper River in Alaska.
The fillets were $24.99 a pound -- about $10 more a pound than Costco Wholesale charged last June.
Unlike Whole Foods Market, Wegmans carries live lobsters for $9.99 or $10.99 a pound, depending on size.
We saw lots of groceries at low prices with a store card, including a 64-ounce bottle of organic lemonade for $1.99; a 6-ounce cup of low-fat yogurt with fruit for 40 cents; and VO5 shampoo for 77 cents.
I also bought a 10-ounce container of panko breadcrumbs for $1.99 that is sold under the Wegmans label, as are eggs, milk, cola, pasta sauce and many other items.
A half-gallon of Smart Balance fat-free and lactose-free milk was on sale for $2.79, an unusually low price for milk without lactose.
I asked an employee at the courtesy counter whether Wegmans is planning a Bergen County store. He said a few years ago, the company looked and couldn't find a property that was big enough in the "Hackensack area."
Now, he said, the company is pursuing expansion in other states.
Wegmans Food Market, 15 Woodbridge Center Drive, Woodbridge; 732-596-3200.
Web site: Wegmans