Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Whole Foods

On Monday I went to Whole Foods for the first time. I happened to be in Union Square, after an unsuccessful shopping trip - the great little toy store I hoped to hit in preparation for 2 kiddie birthdays was closed for the Fourth. I was about to head back to Brooklyn to do some grocery shopping when there it was, right by the subway, the brilliant beckoning door of Whole Foods. So I went in, just to look, but amazingly, there was NOBODY on line. And 23 registers open.

And they had Peanut Toffee Buzz Clif Bars. Relatively cheap.

So I figured I'd do some shopping, nothing too risky (i.e., frozen) in case the subway broke down on the way home, and wandered around, upstairs and down. Verdict: It's pretty cool and big and bright and shiny and all, but it has nothing that I can't get in my own neighborhood. The little organic grocery down the street has all of the grocery items and most of the produce. (Nothing beats the food coop's produce, still; but my membership is in suspension. Another story, another time.) The bakery? Well, I live in Brooklyn Bakery Row - I can hit five bakeries within a one block radius - Italian bread, Italian pastry, French pastry, fancy cake, you name it. (See also previous post re: burnt sugar smell.) Fish? There's the great fish market down the street. (It also was a Monday holiday - the Fulton Fish Market had been closed since Saturday. Ugh.) Meat? I don't eat it, but there is a really popular butcher shop a few blocks away. Cheese? Yup, we got ourselves a fancy cheeserie (?) right here in the nabe, and if you just want a great assortment of delicious reasonably priced cheeses, there's always Sahadi's, a fantastic Middle Eastern grocery store on Atlantic Avenue. (Olives. Spices. Nuts. Dried Fruit. You name it.) Coffee? D'Amicos down the street has been named one of the best places to buy coffee in the city. (They roast right in the store - it's very cool.) The only thing maybe I don't have ready access to? Fancy chocolate in bulk. (Although Sahadi's might have it. Dunno. I can't eat much chocolate.)

So I carried my basket of lettuce, cheese, couscous, and Clif Bars back upstairs to the registers, knowing it was silly to cart this stuff all the way back to Brooklyn, but I was enjoying the experience, and so why not? I'd heard so many stories about how crazy it is to shop in Whole Foods, how long the lines are, etc., and here I was, on a holiday when all the cool kids were away, with the store to myself! I was just so high on my own accomplishment, until I got back up and saw that the checkout line had suddenly grown to about 35 people long. Did a movie just let out? Did a breakdancing crowd in the park just disperse?

But hey, now I have enough Clif Bars to last me two weeks. And a fancy Whole Foods bag to line my desk trash can with. What more can one ask?


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