I've been waiting for the Zanotto's in Willow Glen to open for months. We've desperately needed some sort of grocery store in the area since the Safeway (at Curtner and Almaden Expressway) and the P&W (at Foxworthy on whose site the new Zanotto's opened) stores closed. When I saw a sign that said the store opened Wednesday the 23rd at 10AM I knew I'd be stopping by after work.
They are still setting stations up inside, some shelves are not full but you can still find most of what you'd want for sale. The store isn't that big, so you're not going to see the produce or meat inventory you'd find at say, you're local Safeway or Lunardis, but Zanotto's does have a wide selection of items and most of them are of good quality.
Zanotto's sells only 100% natural and hormone free beef. The guy behind the meat counter said that most of the meat and poultry section is "local". The leg of lamb they were selling comes from a farm in Northern California, the chickens from Petaluma. Lots of organic items, be they fresh produce, meats or boxes of pasta, sauces, cereal. But no worries, they do sell regular items too (Stouffers Mac and Cheese, Pop Tarts, Lays Potato Chips etc).
Lots of organic and healthy choices. A sign outside said "we sell brown rice sushi" but alas, the sushi counter was pretty bare when we got there so we decided to try the sushi bar another time. The deli section too, was pretty much wiped out (we got there about 6:30). We decided to do a "deli taste test" and get just a bit of a few items that were left. We took home some of their macaroni salad, a stuffed bell pepper (you could buy them by the half), some grilled tri-tip (Zanotto's is known for their yummy tri-tip), a small piece of meat lasagna and a dessert (a brownie topped with all sorts of goodies).
All the items were pretty decent with most being things we'd buy again. We were very fond of the macaroni salad (we love a good mac salad and have been partial to Lunardi's brand, but we may be switching back and forth with Zanotto's) . The meat lasagna was cheesy with a great flavor. The brownie moist and quite decadent. The stuffing for the bell pepper was really good, I just felt that the bell pepper itself was a bit undercooked. All in all a good "taste test". I can see stopping and grabbing dinner at Zanotto's instead of a quick trip to a fast food place. They also sell wonderful sandwiches which we hope to try soon.
We picked up a small batch of pork ribs to BBQ this weekend along with some staples (we needed Cascade) and various food items that struck us as needing to be sampled (Ciao Bella Ice Cream being one :). They had a wonderful cheese section along with a section of pre-made packaged foods (their own deli foods packaged for quick pick up and go like tamales, salads etc).
I will say that Zanotto's is not cheap. I know that seniors in the area have been clamoring for a grocery store that wasn't so far away that they could shop at. Zanotto's might not be that store because of the prices. I'm going to take my mom there and have her check out items and try things and see what she thinks.
For Mr. L and I, I'm just glad there is a store nearby that I can grab a good meal at when the need arises, and that if (which happens more than I'd like to admit) I run out of an ingredient in the middle of preparing something, there is a place close by that Mr. L can run to to save my butt.
Note: Sorry for the lightning bug people in front of the store. My blur tool wasn't functioning.