One of the things I love about traveling is visiting the different grocery stores that I do not have in my area. On a recent road trip, I stopped in at Brennan's Market in Madison, Wisconsin (the location on Watts Road). It was a fun shopping experience. As I walked into the store I was greeted by a nice selection of produce. And there were tons of samples available. I have never seen a produce section with so many samples ready to try. They put even put Whole Foods to shame. After you pass through the produce you enter where the cash registers are, which I thought was a little interesting. You pass through the produce section once you are done shopping to get back out of the store. In the next part of the market you had the cheese section, again with plenty of cheese to sample. And the prices were reasonable. One of my favorite features of the store was their beverage section. They had several different varieties of soda pop produced by breweries from all over Wisconsin (as well as the beer and wine). The best part is they pulled bottles out of the boxes they came in, so that you could mix and match. So instead of just being forced to buy 4 bottles of the same flavor, you could sample 4 flavors in one purchase. So I took the opportunity and stocked up on drinks for the rest of my trip (and beyond!).
If you are looking for processed food this is not the store go to. They had very little of those kinds of items, which I think is a good thing. Americans eat too much processed food anyway. The only thing I didn't like in the store was the meat section. Their meat section is branded Jacobson Brothers Meats. I don't know about the quality, but for someone on a budget I did not like the prices, so I opted to go elsewhere to get the meat for my dinner that night (we were staying at a hotel with a full kitchen). Besides that, I know if I lived here I would do a lot of shopping at Brennan's. It may not satisfy all my shopping needs, but it does satisfy one of the most important - good produce.