Monday, August 23, 2021

Best items in Lidl, Grand opening of store in Charlottesville, Virginia

Since the grand opening of Lidl Food Market in Charlottesville, Virginia on July 14, I've been exploring their unique options. The first trip into the store I was a little overwhelmed by the layout and offerings. But the seduction of a register coupon for $10.00 off when you purchase $30.00 was enticing so I came back the following week.

My positive experiences with Lidl (pronounced Leedl) encouraged me to blog about our new store and some of the best tasting products that I have discovered thus far. I specifically hunt for items with limited ingredients or that are organic. Many of the tasty items of course contain sugar but my picks generally do not have an obnoxious amount. I will leave label analysis up to each of my readers.

The second time in the store was easier to navigate. During this trip I roamed through the non-food items that include kitchen and home goods plus a little clothing. I was shocked to discover they had tall back chair cushions that might fit my 1980's retro outdoor patio furniture. I gave up years ago on trying to find them but took one home for a fitting. Presuming I was on the only person on the planet that needed to fit this style of chair I waited until the following week to buy the other matching three. Sadly when I returned, they were all scarfed up! This led me to contact, who responded immediately and directed me to other nearby stores that had this item in stock. I was thrilled at the quality and great pricing of this item!

I'm totally hooked on the pack of four light and fluffy brioche burger buns. They toast up really quickly so beware, they can burn easily. Hands down better than any other plain bun that I've eaten and a nice quantity for households that don't have a large family. There also is an inhouse bakery that churns out a lot of different breads and pastries. None of which I've tried so there could be some really nice options here as well. 

I should mention the layout of our store, when you enter you will find produce and seafood freezers. The rest of the frozen food wraps around the entire back and other side of the store. Finding other packaged dinners, ice cream and veggies on the opposite side of the store near the check out lines.

Another favorite is the Lidl labeled Whole Wheat and 12 Grain Bread. My husband loves both of these pan sized breads and the price is incredible. The only downside is that they are not organic but I don't always purchase organic bread so it's not a deal breaker for us.

There were not a lot of organic produce options. Lidl advertises they provide the lowest prices so possibly this is a difficult task when supplying organic but one would presume consumers would realize organic sadly often costs more. Hoping the Charlottesville market will encourage Lidl on this front for future offerings.

Also stocked is refrigerated Lidl Orange Strawberry Banana Juice. I never drink any packaged juices but we had company in town and did serve this with breakfast and it was a sweet not overly banana in flavor blend. It was one of my few shocking amounts of sugar items (all bottled fruit juices will be) but was pleased that it was organic.

Next row over is the specialty imported item section. Mainly sweet treats, teas, coffee, oils, and jarred items. I found a nice bottle of  Grapeseed Oil. The only return that I made was for an organic bag of coffee that I found very acid leaving a very unsatisfactory, undrinkable taste in my mouth. I would not purchase again either of the organic coffees they offer. Lidl is a German company so possibly in Germany they prefer a more acid coffee. I disliked it immensely. Lidl has a 100% satisfaction guarantee in all their 10,500 stores, so you can always bring back what doesn't float your boat.

Lidl operates in 29 countries around the world.

In the specialty section we found two items that our household hands down loved. The number one sweet treat was the dark chocolate topped butter cookies. I even made a Smore out of 2 of them and it was fabulous. I purchased the Chocolate chip Shortbread cookies out of desperation when they were out of my number one choice and they too were very nice. Fortunately, I was glad to find the butter cookies in stock when I went back the following week! 


A few more honorable mentions; I was happy to find Lidl labeled organic apple sauce which was excellent! The organic Planet Oat Oatmilk is very nice and does not contain added sugar or Sunflower oil which is always a negative for me as that particular oil is highly inflammatory. The organic eggs are reasonably priced and are in recyclable cardboard - YAY! The Lidl flavored seltzers are tasty - mango and grapefruit I've tried and are nice. Happy to see bottled gallon jugs of Drinking Water that I need for my one sensitive stomach cat :) The box of 40 green tea bags has a decent flavor for bagged tea (I typically drink loose tea but nice to have a back up). The Lidl small chunk light canned tuna in water also has a nice pleasing flavor. Beyond Meat Sausage patties and a decent tasting Falafel are in the freezer section. Little Debbie Oatmeal Pies make my husband happy.

A few more items that I would like to try have been sold out. Understandable for a new store opening trying to gauge consumer likes and dislikes. No worries, I'm hooked so will be back!
I remember going into Trader Joe's for the first time and saying I didn't get what all the excitement was about. It seems we often think this way until we get used to the store layout and their offerings. I've changed my mind in both instances about Trader Joe's and Lidl. Give it a try a few times - leave a comment about your Lidl favorites so others can give them a try!


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