Dierbergs is the second-tier grocery store in this area. Here is the Great Chain Of Being as it Pertains to St. Louis Groceries:
Straubs.The first tier, Straubs, only has one outlet, or only one that the masses know about. I have only been in it once and headed straight to the bathroom. I imagine it has shelves and shelves of La Sueur Peas.
Dierbergs. Gary's store. When Trader Joe's wants to compare prices, they compare their prices to Dierbergs.
Schnucks. My favorite, because it's closest. They have a few "Super Schnucks" which have lobster and the like. (And I'd like to thanks all the stores for dropping the apostrophe from their names, because I just tried to search on the plural apostrophe of Schnuck's. Super Schnuck'ses?)
Shop and Save. I love Shop and Save because it sells my new car-friendly breakfast:
When Gary wanted to justify sitting up front for the next BNL show in Kansas City, he promised that we'd go through Shop and Save before the final swing through Dierbergs for the next three months.
Aldis. I can't shop there. I want to but I can't.
When I heard that there was a particularly fancy Dierbergs, a Super Dierbergs if you will, I knew Gary would want to see it. It's in Des Peres. (If anyone got here by searching for the answer to 111 Down in the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle, "___ Peres (suburb of St. Louis)," that's the answer.)
Some of the photos are blurry because I had to take them surreptitiously. Gary was justly horrified that I was some hoosier who came to see the new-fangled store in the Big City of Des Peres (pretend I pronounced the "S"s.)
There are three levels: the parking garage, the store, and the "mezzanine." ' I work with two people who use this store, and they both love the covered parking garage. No mad dashes across the parking lot in the rain.
Dierbergs tried to dress up the garage by painting some art of happy affluent Des Peres families on the walls.
That cart, of course, is a fancy cart with a cupholder.
You can use the elevator to move through the levels ...
... which I imagine some do, but my friends don't because they have a special cart-friendly escalator.
You put your cart in the "cart-a-lator" at the top, and ride down on the human escalator beside it.
I couldn't wait to use the cart-a-lator, so here I am, humiliating Gary by going down the cart-a-lator with my empty cart.
After you get to the store level, you are amazed by how vast it is.
So big it needs a Starbucks.
SO BIG it needs two places to eat: a little cafe on the grocery level ...
... and an actual restaurant on the Mezzanine level.
I didn't go up to the Mezzanine because the was no live music at that moment, and because Gary would have burned to a crisp from embarrassment.
We did actually buy one hundred dollars worth of groceries, which just barely filled up the top of that tiny cart. (It was hard parting with actual groceries on the cart-a-lator. I kept thinking they'd spill over and further humiliate Gary.)
The groceries themselves were mostly standard grocery fare, with an added layer of huge slabs of raw salmon and fancy cheese. They had one boxed item I'd never seen in our Dierbergs: a fast-cooking pasta for busy Des Peres ladies:
And of course they did not have the one thing I was looking for:
All in all, an amazing adventure, and we didn't have to drive ninety minutes to get there.