Our expectations were low. Uh, no offense.

On its face, it was a small, frill-less grocery store.

Groceries hardly make the heart skip a beat. However, a tub of pickled eggs, lunch-box-sized paper cartons of wine and one giant Italian bread pizza later, and our tune had changed.

Food City, it was an absolute pleasure.

Week two of our road trip through Lisbon and Lisbon Falls, we hit the grocery store on Route 196 and came out the better for it.

* 8th Continent soy milk, half-gallon, $3.19

Choose between light chocolate, light vanilla, original or fat-free vanilla. Though, of everything on that list, all you really need to know is chocolate.

* Mexican Coke, 12 oz., $1.50

Made from cane sugar! Comes in a cool glass bottle! Sounds a bit illicit! (Go ahead, brag about your new fondness for Mexican Coke and see the looks you get.) We both tried one. The verdict: Pretty sweet.

* Italian bread pizza, $3.99

In the deli, this started life as a loaf of Italian bread sliced in half, loaded down with fresh toppings and Saran-wrapped. Enormous. And it looked delicious. If you like that sort of thing in food. 

* Sam’s Italian pizza dough, 4-pack, $3.49

For people who want the joy/control/frustration of make-your-own pizza without the joy/control/frustration of making the dough from scratch. And since there are four flats of dough per pack, you can mess up — er, experiment — a few times and still get dinner.

* Moxie, 1 liter, 10 for $10

Honor Lisbon, the unofficial-official Moxie town, with this adorable bottle of soda. Half the size of a large 2-liter, it’s small enough to pack away or carry around, but big enough to quench the thirst of two or three people. (Or just one thirsty bird who really digs Moxie.)

* Bandit and Vendage wines, 500 ml-1 liter, $3.49-$7.99

Bandit’s tag line: “Good to go.” Also comes with the top 10 reasons to buy, including the fact that it’s 96 percent wine, 4 percent packaging. We’re 96 percent agog at the notion of a paper carton of wine (think juice box) that’s small enough to fit in a lunch bag. We’re also 4 percent tempted.

* Food City Grab and Go Snack (deli), $3.59

Two kinds of cheese, a short roll of Ritz crackers and sliced salami. For when committing to a sandwich (fear of mayo) isn’t an option.

* Food City 4 dozen pickled eggs, $12.99

That is so many pickled eggs. We’re again agog.

* Martinelli’s Sparkling Classic Lemonade, 25.4 oz, $3.49

To us, classic lemonade doesn’t sparkle, but hey, we’re willing to give it a try. Never let it be said we aren’t progressive.

* Calavo guacamole, 14 oz., $4.99

Contains two 7-ounce packets, so you can have some guacamole now and some guacamole later. Because life without guacamole is sad.

Best find: Sanders Collection 1,200-thread-count sheet sets, various sizes, $20

Yes, bedsheets. Packs of them in different colors and sizes sat in a shopping cart in the middle of the store. We don’t know where they came from and we’re a little afraid to ask. (Visions of a mob-run bedding racket and/or a pallet having fallen off the back of a truck came to mind. Uh, no offense.) But, boy, the sheets were soft and that price can’t be beat.

Think twice: Chang Farm fresh bean sprouts, 12 oz., $1.59

According to the package, these bean sprouts are rich in vitamins and low in carbs. Which is awesome. The fact that they’re squiggly yellow things that kind of look like a bowl full of brains? Dramatically less awesome. But, a good segue for next week’s column: We scour Lisbon, shopping for Zombie Appreciation Month. Chain saws! Barbed wire! Good times.

* Prices as of 5/11

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who are always willing to commit to a sandwich) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected]

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