Friday, April 29, 2005

Whole-Effin'-Foods

I have been known to be a critic of the new Whole Foods Megalopolis SuperDuperCasinoStore, in the past. It opened a couple of months or so ago, here in Austin, at Sixth and Lamar. I was a critic because I believed that the concept for this mammoth venture was geared more toward tourists than for those who have looked to Whole Foods to be their local culinary delight-cum-natural food store for so many years.

I attended the grand opening a while back, and truly, it hit me like a frickin' casino. Remember that first time you stepped foot into a Las Vegas hotel? It was like that...a raging spectacle of visuals that made you want to shut down like an overstimulated infant. The sheer amount of prepared food, of every ethnicity and type, the live Alaskan King Crabs jostling in the wall-mounted tanks, the fountain of chocolate...it was all too much to handle. I couldn't imagine actually trying to shop there. Who the hell would want to be bombarded like that, every time they needed a loaf of bread and some flax seed oil?

So I decided to check it out today, now that it's had time to get in the swing of things, now that the honeymoon is over, and the place isn't packed with people.

I was not suprised by what I saw. There was an average crowd. The feisty Alaskan King Crabs had been replaced by lethargic lobsters. I inspected the prepared raw foods in the meat department, a rather quiet department now, and found a few kebobs that were showing some age. The place had settled down significantly.

The prepared foods, however, was still abuzz. And I realized: this part of the store is where people will always flock. Forget being a do-it-yourself chef. Whole Foods is there to do it all for you.

Want noodles? In the mood for Palak Paneer? Tacos? Pizza? Meatloaf? Or are you one of those raw food nuts? It's all there for you, ready to go, by the pound, in and out and on your way.

And verily, despite myself, I was impressed.

I don't wanna fucking talk about it. I am still wont to feel a crushing ennui, with the whole thing. I mean, where does it end? Here's a store that caters to the whim of any freaking target market you can think of, from soccer moms to hardcore hippie vegans. I still can't shake the feeling that we're all a bunch of spoiled brats. Oh, no...it's not good enough to have a store that caters to those who love to cook their own food, for the love of the experience. We gotta have all this stuff spoon-fed to us.

Feh. It's hurting my head. Almost as much as this shitty rose I'm drinking.

2003 Vega Sindoa Rose
(half garnacha, half cabernet)

I bought wine while I was there, okay? Hey, man, their prices are whip-ass. So I grabbed this little rose because I love me some Spanish garnacha.

The nose is berries and barnyard, which intrigues me, but the palate...

eeek. I dunno. It's kinda refreshing, but there's something like artificial cherry flavoring in there that kinda grosses me out.

I've definitely had other roses that have moved me more. I was hoping it was a cool cheap find, but I'm not impressed with anything other than the cool label.

Did I mention the rosemary/garlic roasted almonds at the nut bar? Oh, jezus, they're good.

Clinkies.

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