Great Takeout: Wegmans Market

(Fairfax, 703-653-1600; Sterling, 703-421-2400; Woodbridge, 703-763-5500; Gainesville, 703-222-7117, opening November 2). This Rochester-based superstore is beloved for its variety—you can get everything from $70-a-pound jamón Ibérico and a case of Veuve Clicquot Champagne to Hoffman’s Red Hot hot dogs (some of the snappiest around) and Tropicana orange juice. There’s an all-organic section, lots of frozen foods, a bakery and chocolatier, and a sprawling in-store cafe. Wegmans does chicken proud, with standout fried legs and breasts that are good cold and a kosher roast chicken—$3 more than the $4.99 regular bird—that’s worth it for the amped-up flavor; it’s tastier than the Caribbean lime and lemon-pepper versions, too. Velvety red-skinned mashed potatoes go well with it. New Englanders will find the Italian grinders of their memories at the sub shop, and the bagels, especially the salt-topped rounds, are as good as you’ll find in this area. Sushi offerings ($3 to $10), made throughout the day, are fine, but the sticky-sweet Chinese and Thai dishes at the Wokery are skippable. For dessert there are eggy éclairs, towering slices of coconut cream pie, and airy vanilla cupcakes.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.