Chicago Mariano’s is here! Dominick’s who? Lol. Well my Saturday experience at Mariano’s on Halsted was everything a trip to your local seafood house, wine bar and community social scene should be. It’s like grocery shopping for the cool kids. The Hipsters. It was definitely more than a grocery store experience.
Upon entering Mariano’s, with the most beautiful 4 month old ever, I had the pleasure of being serenaded by a live pianist. Fresh out of the free valet parking offered Saturday’s and Sunday’s, the tuxedo clad pianist furthered my expectations of a good shopping experience. We proceeded with our shopping cart and Sophie the Giraffe in hand and was greeted by a full service wine bar! Although I took a pass I did notice the exquisite ambiance and 3 friendly ladies seated at the bar sharing a glass of wine and lots of laughs. Further along in the store I encountered a very neat and beautifully displayed seafood counter. Everything from Octopus to Crab Legs to fresh Wild Salmon. Despite the entrance being relatively small and crowded, once we passed the seafood counter and entered the store the aisles widened and were very easy to move through with the cart. It was super busy inside the store but everyone was surprisingly polite. From the staff to the other shoppers everyone said their please and thank you’s and wore their best Saturday morning 85 degrees finally in Chicago happy face. Que Pharrell. While a lot of grocery store experiences will leave you drained and feeling like doing anything but cooking when you get home this shopping experience was not stressful.
So now, the question you’ve all been waiting for……how were the prices?!?! I must be very honest; for all of the ambiance, upkeep and extra amenities that Mariano’s offers, their products were affordable and reasonably priced. As always there were a few specialty items that I purchased which cost about 10% more but for the family staples like meat, bread and veggies the prices were on target. For the organic lovers like myself, Mariano’s offers an organic selection for almost every type of produce available. This saves me the debate of good prices versus chemical free, fresh and quality produce.
As for cons, there were no sanitation wipes or methods of disinfecting your shopping cart at the entrance of the grocery store. That’s a major Royal Diva no no! Fortunately I keep hand sanitizer and sanitation wipes handy. Additionally there were no cart return decals in the parking lot on the upper deck. After loading groceries and packing up the family it sucks to have to walk all the way back to the store to return the cart. Overall my Mariano’s experience was very positive and enjoyable. Royal Diva will definitely be returning to shop again.