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Like I may have discussed before, Houston has a highly competitive grocery market, but I'm curious as to what stores HAIFers like/shop: Kroger, Fiesta, H-E-B, Walmart, Trader Joe's?

 

Please put a line as to why it's your favorite (organic produce, closest to home, has a specific brand of fish sauce you enjoy, etc.) and what the location is (not all H-E-Bs and Krogers are created equal).

 

I'm not doing this for any project, it's just for fun.

 

Thanks!

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Spec's in Midtown or Phoenicia

or

Kroger (for just the run-of-the-mill)

 

Yeah, I'm one of those people.  They have what I need, give gas discounts, and have decent enough prices.  Plus I don't have to circle the entire store to pick-up 1 or 2 items (like HEB).

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Spec's in Midtown or Phoenicia

or

Kroger (for just the run-of-the-mill)

 

Yeah, I'm one of those people.  They have what I need, give gas discounts, and have decent enough prices.  Plus I don't have to circle the entire store to pick-up 1 or 2 items (like HEB).

 

Phoenicia has a great bakery and deli section, or at least the original location does.  Haven't been to the downtown one, yet.

 

I miss Auchan for the bakery, though.  Their pasteries were fantastic.

 

Viet Hoa Supermarket on the Beltway and Hong Kong on Bellaire are great for asian items.  There are at least a dozen other places down Bellaire that have good stuff as well, especially roast pork and duck (Dynasty Supermarket).

 

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^Whole Paycheck has quite delicious seafood... though since I live much, much closer to the coast I tend to frequent the whole sale places and buy my fish fresh out'a the hold.

 

I do like the HEB pesto!  Quite delicious on flatbread topped with a small amount of mozzarella and a little dash of garlic!

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I enjoy Krogers or it's sister company Ralphs from CA. The Krogers on Eldridge and West Little York has very fresh proteins and produce, as well as sushi. Manager specials are amazing, sometimes up to 75 percent off. I scoffed when my friends tried to talk me into buying sushi from a supermarket, but then I tried that locations sushi. Not bad. Also, Trader Joes Alabama or Woodlands is awesome. Pecan cereal, black bean bean dip with flax seed chips spicy version, green chilies burrito, egg roles and soy ice cream are my favorite things. Plus, I love the atmosphere of the Alabama location. :)

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These days, I like HEB and also occasionally go to Central Market, Phoenicia, or Specs.  Trader Joe's is nice for a few things, too.  Krogers is OK, but I kinda detest Randalls (Safeway) now.  A friend (from abroad) who used to go to Auchan still comments on how good their baked goods were, and that in talking to the bakers he found that Auchan had actually brought them over from France.  

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^Whole Paycheck has quite delicious seafood... though since I live much, much closer to the coast I tend to frequent the whole sale places and buy my fish fresh out'a the hold.

 

Oh, man!  I grew up in Pensacola and we used to buy all our seafood that way.  It's the only way to go if you're nearby.

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1.) HEB Montrose for produce and everyday staples 

2.) Central Market for treats and meats

3.) Whole Foods Dallas St. for prepared foods, treats and meats too

4.)Trader Joe's S. Shepard for pantry goods and frozen stuff

5.) Phoenicia downtown for specialty ethnic foods and baked goods

6.) Specs Midtown for deli/condiments/treats and beer

7.) Fresh Market Westheimer for baked goods

7.) 99 Cent Ranch I-10 for fresh seafood and asian foods

8.) Amazon.com for pantry goods

9.) Randalls Midtown for convenience store goods like treats beer and emergency needs

 

Edited by infinite_jim
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1.) HEB Montrose for produce and everyday staples 

2.) Central Market for treats and meats

3.) Whole Foods Dallas St. for prepared foods, treats and meats too

4.)Trader Joe's S. Shepard for pantry goods and frozen stuff

5.) Phoenicia downtown for specialty ethnic foods and baked goods

6.) Specs Midtown for deli/condiments/treats and beer

7.) Fresh Market Westheimer for baked goods

7.) 99 Cent Ranch I-10 for fresh seafood and asian foods

8.) Amazon.com for pantry goods

9.) Randalls Midtown for convenience store goods like treats beer and emergency needs

 

4 out of 9 reference treats and 2 out of 9 reference beer.  I like the way you think.

 

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1.) HEB Montrose for produce and everyday staples 

2.) Central Market for treats and meats

3.) Whole Foods Dallas St. for prepared foods, treats and meats too

4.)Trader Joe's S. Shepard for pantry goods and frozen stuff

5.) Phoenicia downtown for specialty ethnic foods and baked goods

6.) Specs Midtown for deli/condiments/treats and beer

7.) Fresh Market Westheimer for baked goods

7.) 99 Cent Ranch I-10 for fresh seafood and asian foods

8.) Amazon.com for pantry goods

9.) Randalls Midtown for convenience store goods like treats beer and emergency needs

Good list. I would add Fiesta for those south of the border "treats" you can't find anywhere else. 

I have been buying my seafood and good cuts of meat from WF. Costs more but there really is a difference. And they have a good craft beer selection. 

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Randalls San Felipe. Because it's the nearest regular type grocery store (my definition of regular type is rather limited - it means Kroger, Randalls, or non-crackhead HEB).

 

Also, Randalls Bellaire, because it's on my way home from work.

 

Also, Randalls W. Holcombe, because it's ALSO on my way home from work, non-freeway route.

 

Also, just Randalls because people who say it's more expensive haven't been in there since the Bush administration and need to shut up.

 

Anti-vote for crackhead style HEBs. (the Central Market ones or whatever it's called. I shouldn't have to go through a rat's maze to get milk)

Edited by MikeRichardson
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  • 4 months later...

I realize that Randall's has had sort of a bad rep since the Safeway acquisition, but does anyone have a feel for how Randall's prices compare to the competition?  They used to have a reputation for being a good bit more expensive.  I've only been in one recently to pick up one small item so it's hard for me to say.  

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Fiesta on Patton for day to day stuff, table wine, prepared chickens (oh, how I miss the one on Studewood).  And Dickey's clothing.

Spec's mother ship for wine, cheese, coffee (and hooch, of course)

Phonecia downtown for its excellent halal meat counter, warm pita, prepared dips, good cheeses and imported sausages, and import odds and ends

Farmers markets for produce in season

Central Market for less pedestrian produce, meat, seafood, cheese, deli meats, and some etc.

Canino's for produce

El Bolillo for baked goods

99 Ranch for Asian produce, frozen dumplings, giant bags of rice, condiments found nowhere else, and seafood

The giant enormous HEB on Katy @ Bunker Hill for when I want to consolidate some

 

Out of respect to Subdude, I refer to "produce" rather than "veggies."

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It would be really nice to get a decent non HEB or Kroger store down Clear Lake way!  Sure does suck having all those people and nothing besides those two and 2 Aldi's!  Really unfortunate.  People who live Inside the Loop have it good - take advantage and enjoy the variety.

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For us its usually HEB on I-10 and Bunker Hill or Costco.  I also like to occasionally hit the Trader Joes on Voss and if its just a small quick trip the Krogers on Briar Forest at Eldridge or Dairy Ashford since they are both close to the house. 

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Randall's on San Felipe and Sage as i have lived and worked within 1 block of it for the past 16 years and my Randall's card helps keep the prices low enough for me to be happy...and Central Market for specialty items or when shopping for a party or special occasion etc. Although...i am super excited about the upcoming Whole Foods on Post Oak which is just a couple of block away from where i live and work, so that will probably take over the role that Central Market plays! Love Whole Foods but the others were always closer and more convenient!

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I live and work in the Greater Eastwood area and there isn't a good, fully stocked grocery store for miles around to meet the weekly shopping needs of local residents. The small "Kombat Kroger" on Polk@Cullen was cleaned up recently but has a limited selection in all departments. The HEB in Gulfgate. Fiesta on Wayside and Sellers Bros. on I-45 are all merchandised to compete with the small, Hispanic-oriented tiendas scattered throughout East End neighborhoods. A recently-opened Super Walmart on I-45@Wayside has yet to discover the meaning of  "fresh produce" -- its grocery prices aren't all that wonderful either. By default, my go-to grocery stores are HEB on W. Alabama, Kroger on Montrose and Randall's in Midtown. Often, I see my neighbors -- of all ethnic backgrounds -- shopping in these same stores.

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I'm actually really pleased with the selection at kombat Kroger. But then I stick mainly to the outside isles (produce, meat, dairy) they've got really fresh produce. Not as great a selection as the Montrose heb, but it gets me through the week.

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1. Target 

2. Krogers 

3. Wal Mart 

4. Fiesta 

5. Food Arama 

6. Food Town 

7. Randall's

8. HEB

Please don't tell those are ordered favorite to least favorite, because that would make me very sad that you would put Walmart above Fiesta and H-E-B. And if it was reversed, it would also make me sad that you put Foodarama above Fiesta and Kroger.

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  • 5 months later...

Super H-Mart.  Awesome Korean foodcourt inside.  Marinated bulgogi by the pound and fresh kim-chi (not just the cabbage variety).

Yeah, I've fallen in love with H Mart too. The bakery is semi-separate from the rest of the store (in the food court), and the stuff in general tends to be a bit pricier than your typical store, but it does carry a coconut water beverage I like (at only a dollar, too!) and the seafood department is absolutely fantastic.

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Favorite: Central Market (cant afford it)

Daily use: HEB on 18th

Major shopping HEB Bunker Hill

 

I used to work for HEB and love the company best friend roommate worked for krogers, i hate krogers and the only time ill shop there is if i cant get to bunker hill in time 

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Favorite: Central Market (cant afford it)

Daily use: HEB on 18th

Major shopping HEB Bunker Hill

 

I used to work for HEB and love the company best friend roommate worked for krogers, i hate krogers and the only time ill shop there is if i cant get to bunker hill in time 

 

I've been to Central Market once, got lost, and never went back.  Is the layout not confusing, or is it just me in my dotage?  At least HEB sells some Central Market items.

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^ I like exploring Central Market from time to time for their seafood and specialty selections, but I agree the store layout is terrible. I suppose they're trying to manage the traffic in a sense, but if you forget something in one section, it's annoying to go backwards through the maze and play bumper cars against the tide of shoppers. 

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I've been to Central Market once, got lost, and never went back.  Is the layout not confusing, or is it just me in my dotage?  At least HEB sells some Central Market items.

 

I actually like the layout of Central Market.  It's main thoroughfare meanders through different departments rather than take the grid approach of a conventional store.  That said, when I go there it's to browse and explore, not to get the milk and toilet paper and get out as fast as possible as I do with normal grocery stores.

 

Best thing by far about Central Market, though, is you can buy single bottles of good beer on the cheap and drink them on the patio upstairs with whatever cheese or deli items you find.

 

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Piggly Wiggly. What's not to love, especially with a name like that? Hated to see it leave Houston. We went to the N. Main location in near Northside. I think it's called El Güero now.

Active grocers, I actually don't mind Joe V's on Vets Memorial and Antoine. Good prices, easy to navigate. I don't care much for Kroger itself, but if I'm near the one on 20th and need to pick up something for the Mrs., I'll stop there since I know a good amount of the longtimers that work there. Some, like Paula and Miss Delia, have been there since I was still in school.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Kroger in general I've found works as a second best alternative to H-E-B in most cases. I don't like it because the quality from store to store is inconsistent, worse brand names (although that one isn't quite fair, since the HEB brand names tend to go above & beyond the norm), the noxious Kroger Card has to be used to get an equivalent price to H-E-B, and stores generally tend to be smaller and less upscale than H-E-B (at least, that's my experience), while on the plus side, they tend to have more lanes open and have a simpler layout (maybe because of smaller stores, but most H-E-Bs force you through a maze of some sort). I haven't been to a Randalls store before, but if the combined Albertsons/Safeway can get it moving in the right direction like what Albertsons has been working on with the United division--namely, comparable prices to H-E-B/Kroger and no shopper's card, they just might bump Kroger to third place. Either way, I'll have to go to it before I rate it on my list.

I've been to a Trader Joe's now (but not Aldi, WF, or Central Market, either) and while I do like it, it's hard to put it on a list like I would Kroger or H-E-B. Fiesta at least crosses the gap where it's "special" enough to put it on the list but "mainstream" where I could bunch it with Kroger/H-E-B, while H-Mart and TJ's are on the "exotic" side of the scale. I like them, of course, but they'd never work as a "real" grocery store for me. Maybe an ideal grocery store would involve Fiesta's bakery, H-Mart's seafood department, Trader Joe's cleanliness (at least I seemed to get that impression), Walmart's general merchandise department, H-E-B's store brands, and Kroger's layout.

Yes, that would work, I suppose.

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  • 2 weeks later...

HEB Montrose and HEB Buffalo Speedway

 

There is just so much to appreciate with how much HEB have grown in terms of their attention to detail and degree of sophistication in their developments. Yes they are still big box stores (yuck), but they go the extra mile to actually incorporate thoughtful design into their buildings and it's obvious that people appreciate that. Of course their prices and selections beat any grocer right now.

Edited by Luminare
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I realize that Randall's has had sort of a bad rep since the Safeway acquisition, but does anyone have a feel for how Randall's prices compare to the competition?  They used to have a reputation for being a good bit more expensive.  I've only been in one recently to pick up one small item so it's hard for me to say.  

 

I go to the Randall's in midtown mainly (walking to a grocery store? In Houston? Blasphemy) and their prices seem about inline with other Krogers the few times I go there.  Main issue on the price front would be the card discounts aren't typically as good as at Kroger, and since they do card discounts the without card price is way higher than HEB

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So I went to a Whole Foods or two recently, and I gotta say...even though I'd probably never shop there normally (not too big on organics or "natural" stuff) but they had a great sandwich bar and a place to get beer and wine by the glass, which I probably would've indulged in had I not been driving around (plus on a budget).

 

Do any HEB stores locally have a beer and wine bar?

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So I went to a Whole Foods or two recently, and I gotta say...even though I'd probably never shop there normally (not too big on organics or "natural" stuff) but they had a great sandwich bar and a place to get beer and wine by the glass, which I probably would've indulged in had I not been driving around (plus on a budget).

 

Do any HEB stores locally have a beer and wine bar?

 

Central Market sells beer and wine for consumption in their seating area and patio.  Don't think I'd go so far as to call it a bar.

 

The new Whole Food on Post Oak actually has a microbrewery/bar.  All the other Whole Foods I've been to have had bars put in recently.  Haven't seen that at any other grocery chains, yet.

 

EDIT:  just remembered you can buy bottles of beer at the main Phoenicia and I recall there being a bar at the downtown location. 

Edited by august948
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  • 5 months later...

I go to the Randall's in midtown mainly (walking to a grocery store? In Houston? Blasphemy) and their prices seem about inline with other Krogers the few times I go there.  Main issue on the price front would be the card discounts aren't typically as good as at Kroger, and since they do card discounts the without card price is way higher than HEB

 

 

Ever since the Safeway/Albertson's merger closed there have been some really good Randalls card sales.

 

Right now you can get 12 packs of Coke, Pepsi, DrPepper, 7 Up etc, cans, $2 each pack as long as you get 5. 

 

So $10 for 60 cans of name brand soda. That's cheaper than the damn store brand literally anywhere. It's cheaper than "Always Low Prices Walmart". And you can mix or match.

 

They also have some "Monopoly" promotion kind of like McDonalds now? I don't know if it's any good or not but you get a bonus Monopoly ticket for every case of soda, and a lot of other stuff as well. Some of the tickets are instant win for free products.

 

Anyway there's some good deals to be had depending on what you buy, but on any given week I am likely to hit all 3: Randalls, Kroger, and HEB.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Daily use:  Randalls in Meadows Place on W. Bellfort

Favorites:  HEB on 6 and 90, Costco on University, and Trader Joes on Voss (Can't wait for the Westheimer one to open!)

 

Is that the building they've built in front of Kohl's?  Is it still a go?

 

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