David and I lived in Clifton while we were in college, and all it took was a few trips to the Corryville Kroger (referred to as the kro-ghetto by some students) to give an appreciation of a nice grocery store.
David and I now go to Bigg's in Hyde Park Plaza for our shopping. Bigg's has a nice produce department, pretty good meat, and most of the standards. Their organic selection is pretty varied as well.
Bigg's beer selection beats Kroger's by a lot. They have Stone, Dogfish Head, Bells, Mt. Carmel (now in 6 packs as well as growlers, a new development) Victory and many others as well as the standards.
With that in mind, we ventured to the Kroger Fresh Fare to see what Kroger's new crown jewel of its empire was like. Walking in, you are greeted with a sample of fruit (last time it was cantaloupe) and routed across the shiny polished floor to the bakery, which shows loads of loaves ready for you to slice yourself in the DIY slicer and take home.
They have a very nice boars head deli with boars head cheeses and boars head meats that you can get by the pound and a prepackaged boars head display.
They have a Starbucks, but I am not sure that it is held to the same standard as other Starbucks in town. I think my order of two double tall coffee frappachinos did not compute very well with the cashier.
They have a large selection of dips, of which there are samples, and a large gourmet cheese shop that contains a variety of cheeses and the best hummus ever (I don't know why some of the hummus is with the dips and the best of it is with the cheese) Sonny and Joe's. More on the hummus later.
They have lots of prepared meals that you can just throw in the oven, although I am not sure how good the finished product is, and a pizzeria and deli that looked decent.
The seafood looked pretty good too, David and I picked up some Salmon. Last time we were there you could get turtle meat and a whole wild octopus. I felt bad for the turtles and I have no idea how you would cook an octopus so I was a bit put out about that.
The rest of the Kroger is pretty normal. It's shiny and new, but they've tacked on a deli, pizzeria, cheese shop and really extensive bakery.