Whole Foods wonderland

Categories: Chow Bella

So the big adventure of the weekend, aside from getting a long-overdue Lola Tapas fix (I loved the two specials, a melt-in-your-mouth braised pork dish, plus velvety mocha flan), was my visit to the brand-new Whole Foods at the 101 and Ray Road. One of my favorite local restaurateurs raved about it recently, so I couldn't wait to get over there to check it out.

The place is insane -- a super-supermarket with too many things to look at, and everything presented so beautifully. As usual, there's aisle after aisle of the usual gourmet/healthnut grocery items, but the offerings go way beyond staples. There was a tapas and wine bar with tastings of some nice high-end wines (a good way to try before you shell out the bucks on a bottle), a panini counter, an Asian food counter with sushi and noodle soups, and a by-the-pound salad bar area with both hot and cold dishes -- everything from pakora and chicken korma to quinoa salad and pasta with mozzarella and tomato. I loaded up a plate with literally 20 different things, then spent ten minutes deliberating on a drink. (I ended up with some kind of fancy bottled kombucha, one of maybe a dozen varieties.)

After lunch, I found dangerous areas in other parts of the store -- namely, the wine and beer aisles. I also got sidetracked by all the non-edible stuff, including beauty products, incense, and magazines. Hell, they even sell cute hemp sneakers and messenger bags. It seemed like no stone had gone unturned by the Whole Foods people, until I overheard one lady say to another, "You know, some of these stores even have massage therapists."

I didn't find anybody to rub that kink out of my shoulder, but I did feel like I caught a glimpse of the future.

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