Thursday, May 03, 2007

Foodie Heaven

The largest Whole Foods Market in the universe opened up near work last week. Mark had to check it out the day it opened. I need to stay away from crowded areas for health reasons. We ate lunch there today, after the massive opening week crowds had died down.

(An even more massive Whole Foods will open up shortly in Pasadena. LA Curbed has pictures of that project. Sigh, we lose another one to our cross-town rivals at JPL.)

Plaza El Segundo has many chi-chi stores. However, look across the parking lot. Notice the penchant for SUVs in the area. Look in the distance and you will see storage tanks for compressed gases. El Segundo is home to many industrial and light industrial businesses. It got its name because it is home to the second Richmond Oil refinery in California.

Back to the food. Walk inside and you encounter the chocolate bar, complete with a chocolate fountain.

The fresh breads make me rethink my commitment to eating less carbs.

Noodles and sushi.

We split a sandwich and each tried a different soup from the soup bar. We also ate a small selection of antipasti. ($10 per pound!) Everything was delish.

We dined at the indoor tables near the door. Mark warned me that they do not give you cups for water from the fountain. We brought our own cup and avoided the expense, calories and packaging of a purchased drink. They sure use a lot of packaging and plastic for such a green place.

You really do need the map when you enter the store. We encountered a display of mangoes (conventionally grown in Mexico) and strawberries (conventionally grown in CA). The strawberries were well-priced at 2 pints for $3. The mangoes were displayed in boxes of 8 and marked $4.99 each. I could not figure out if they meant $4.99 for each mango or for each box. I read that measured pesticide residue in all tested produce, after washing, is highest in conventionally grown strawberries. Well-priced or not, we didn't buy any.

This stretch of Sepulveda Boulevard is also known as Pacific Coast Highway, CA 1.

Aside:
Mark is a real foodie. In the 1980s, when it was fashionable to make fun of yuppies, Mark used to go around defending them. He said that we have yuppies to thank for being able to purchase more than one type of tomato in the grocery store.

I planted four different kinds. See the ripening strawberries in the foreground? They are half hidden by the garlic chives.

3 comments:

  1. Your gain is our loss. All the experienced workers from my local Whole Foods have moved over to the new stores--the people that knew me and knew exactly what I wanted each week. Sigh :o(

    Meahwhile the price of organic beef has gone up to $20 per pound! Makes buying directly from the rancher much more attractive even when you calculate in the shipping costs. Let me know if you are interested in sharing.

    And yeah! Stay away from the bread.

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  2. I've been to the headquarters store in Austin and a store in San Antonio (the closest one to us).

    I love Whole Foods. If you shop their sales, you can end up with very affordable organic foods.

    I like that they label all their produce with place of origin and how it is grown. I don't know if they still have the "transitioning" label, but that's what Mr. Gaia and I would buy a lot - people need to be able to make money in that transitional period.

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  3. Mardel06:44

    Hmm, I love whole foods but there is not one near me. Years and years ago I would love going to visit family in Texas to go to Whole Foods.

    Now, if I am in NYC, I might stop in and drag something home on the train, or the nearest one is an hours drive if we are stocking up on a bunch of stuff there and at other stores we might make it a day's trip. Sometimes I wish I lived in a more metroplitan area.

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