Friday, July 6, 2012

Sometimes, it is just nice to find something nice because a friend was nice enough to invite you to a place they really liked!

To: Bill Bishop 28 July, 2012

% Willard Bishop LLC

840 S. Northwest Hwy

Barrington, IL 60010

Re: Adventures in Dining and Shopping at Mariano's Palatine store

Dear Bill,

I (finally) found an excuse to get my father over to Mariano's Palatine store yesterday (27 June, 2012). He was hungry, we were about out of groceries, and all the planets seem aligned.

We started at the lunch counter, and each of us went for one of the $6.00 meals plus two sides. While waiting in line, I tell dad, “Grandpa Harry (dad's dad, who was a butcher) would have liked working here!” Dad replies, “Yes, but he would have spent too much time flirting with all the beautiful women.” And NOW, after being totally embarrassed by my father's overt flirtatious habits (CONSTANTLY flirting with women I should be dating) which I have been aware of for almost forty years, I discover something new about my Grandfather Harry, and observe (not for the first time) that sons either embrace or reject their father's idiocyncricies (never total rejection; never total acceptance, either).

Dad selected the pulled pork, with baked beans and one of the pasta salads; I selected the teriyaki tuna, the same pasta salad dad ordered, and a hot veggie combo – brocolli and cauliflower. Dad pays the cashier $12 plus tax. He whispers (“This place is gonna put a lot of restuarants out of business.”). I ask what he's like to drink. He wants a soft drink, hands me two dollars, and asks if that will be enough. “Better make it $3.00,” says I. Get him a ginger ale (one of his personal favorites) and a very tall can of Green Arizona Tea for me. I return with $1.27 in change. At our favorite Italian joint, Sergio's in Barrington, we'd have spent $15.00, and the pulled pork portions would have been comparable (Mariano's would probably win out, but not by very much; I would have been the loser – can't get teriyaki tuna at Sergio's). All of a sudden, the Ganzer's have a conundrum of loyalties. Hopefully, it will resolve itself.

Dad also inotes that it is not too hot in the store. This is a matter of GREAT importance to him. He is constantly admonishing the Jewel Store employees that they need to keep the temperature lower.

After lunch, we shop, picking up $76.99 in groceries (which includes laundry detergent, laundry softener, and paper towels) on twenty-six items. We have enough meat / poultry for me to fix at least 10 main courses for two bachelors, saving money all the way over that store in Barrington whose only redeeming feature is its convenience, at about one and a half miles from home.

Hell, I haven't even told you how incredibly efficient and fast they were in processing us through the check out line and taking dad's debit card (he ALWAYS gets flustered when he has to use it in a new place). Such nice, friendly people work for Mariano's. Just how in the world (or where) does one located and train such a wonderful staff?

Please feel free to share this with anyone from Mariano's (or where ever) who might find it useful or interesting. They just picked up two consumers for life and really deserve to know at least some of the things they are doing REALLY well. Other store chains might also profit from our experiences. Accept my apology for suggesting to tell you how to do your business.

With Warm and Fond Regards,

Mark Raymond Ganzer