The new Mariano’s Market opened in Harwood Heights this week and I couldn’t be more excited! I visited them on opening day and they must be doing something right – the store (& parking lot) were JAM PACKED! I had to park over a block away just to get in! Normally I wouldn’t bother visiting a store that was so crowded, but for Mariano’s I had to give it a try. And Oh. My. Word. I’m so glad I did!
Mariano’s is unlike any other grocery store I’ve been in – for one, their produce was so fresh. A huge peeve of mine is produce past its prime in other supermarkets. Mariano’s definitely delivered on that and so much more. The amenities in this store were so fantastic. Not only did they serve hot, delicious food and drinks at their numerous “mini-restaurants” but they also had indoor seating so you could enjoy your meal while you shop. Todd’s BBQ served barbequed meats and side dishes, OKI Sushi Bar had an on-site chef, Squeez’d Juice & Smoothie Bar mixed more than 250 varieties of smoothies, Vero served coffee and homemade gelato, and their Meat and Seafood section will grill your meat for you while you shop! Look no further for quick & fresh dinner options – Mariano’s has got you covered!
I have never shopped at a grocery store that provided such exceptional service and whose prices remained reasonable. I shopped all around Mariano’s and never once thought “Oh, I wouldn’t pay so much for that.” The personal touches Mariano’s offers would certainly make me want to pay more, but fortunately I didn’t have to. I even signed up for the #MyMarianos reward card using their fast and easy kiosk because I just know I’ll be back!
While I was at Mariano’s I picked up some ingredients I needed for dinner. Since the produce was so fresh at Mariano’s I made a Southwest Chicken Salad that my husband says is the best salad he’s ever had. No joke.
Southwest Chicken Salad with Homemade Tortilla Strips
Ingredients (for salad):
- 3-4 chicken breasts
- 1 packet Sazon (Hispanic seasoning)
- 1 Tbsp. Adobo (Hispanic seasoning)
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 50/50 lettuce mix (1/2 spring mix, 1/2 baby spinach)
- 1 large tomato, diced (I used a can of diced tomatoes because I forgot to buy some)
- 1 green pepper, sliced
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 large avocado, sliced
- 1 pkg. corn tortillas
- olive oil
Ingredients (for dressing):
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- Place chicken in a pot of water that covers the chicken by 2 inches and bring to a boil. When boiling, add the Sazon, Adobo and bouillon cube, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes. When done, cube. (I place my cubed chicken back in the water when they’re done to continue to absorb the flavors, but that step is totally up to you.)
- To make the tortilla strips, oil both sides of the tortillas and cut into 1/4 inch strips. Place on lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 15 minutes, or until crispy (not doughy).
- Place lettuce, tomato, green and red pepper, beans, and cilantro in a large bowl.
- Make dressing by whisking all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Toss with the salad, add chicken cubes and garnish with avocados and tortilla strips.
I even made a dessert based on a sample I tried at Mariano’s (and an excellent recommendation I received from a Mariano’s employee). You will totally thank me for this later.
These Italian waffle cookies are the bomb! All I did was add a little whipped cream (from a can) and sliced strawberries. OMG…soooo good!
You can also check out my entire Mariano’s shopping trip by viewing my Google+ Album.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study forCollective Bias® and Mariano’s #cbias #SocialFabric.