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The grocery store de rigeur in DC is the Safeway. Sure, there’s that new Harris Teeter on Kalorama and this and that food warehouse here and there if you have a car and can make it to the burbs, but if not, Safeway’s mainly your game.

I had forgotten about the silly names the Safeways have here in DC until my sister and I were walking down 17th street in search of nibbles (why have you not yet tried Mr. Yogato’s tangy yogurt, ask yourself this) and she pointed to the Safeway there on 17th and asked me if that was the illustrious Soviet Safeway, so named for long lines, little food and cramped environment. It is no lie when I tell you that I once found toothbrushes hanging above the scrapple. Scrapple? NSFV (not safe for vegetarians).

Then I was remembering the Social Safeway up on Wisconsin Avenue which has kind of a suburban feel to it, and which was rumored to be a good place to pick up a date while you shopped.

There was also the Secret Safeway near Florida and S, which I actually couldn’t find tonight, which only confirms that a) I can get lost anywhere, even a city I lived in for eight years and b) it really is a secret.

The final Safeway that I had a name for when I was living here (though there is the Senior Safeway in the Watergate, yes, that Watergate) was the one up on Columbia Road near Adams Morgan. This one has derisively been called the Spanish Safeway, the Esafeway and the not-so-safe Safeway, all of which is probably rude and unPC and did anyone else ever see those guys walking near there holding their hands by their sides in a C shape? They’re offering fake IDs.

SoIwas thinking, Santiaguinos, what names would you give to your Santa Isabels, your Liders and your Jumbos? We always talk about them in terms of location, but maybe there’s a better way. I propose that my Santa Isabel, the one on Huerfanos should be called Cerveza Isabel, for the high number of people that go there just to buy beer. The one underground near the Moneda metro, I might call it the Si Lo Ves Supermercado (if you see it), because since it’s underground it’s easy to miss.

If you like, you can also name other supermarkets near where you live. You get bonus points for naming a Piggly Wiggly, because that’s hilarious, or an Ingles, because that means groins in Spanish.

Also, my sister cracks me up. She immediately knew what I meant when I said the awning at Lauriol plaza looks like that thing that upsets Fred Flintstone’s car at the drivein. Do you?

Here’s a nifty scrollover map of the Safeways and their names.