While I appreciate a good trip to Whole Foods, I certainly wouldn't consider myself a rabid fan - I reserve that for Wegmans - but the 80,000-square-foot flagship store is a short walk from the hotel, so Sam and I made a stop on the way back from a very long day of walking around. Sweating, sore, and starving, we were hoping for a bathroom, air conditioning, and mega amounts of delicious samples. We got two out of three...there were almost no samples.
It absolutely pains me to say this, but this Whole Foods impressed me maybe a tiny bit more than the "super Wegs," the flagship Wegmans in Pittsford, a suburb of Rochester, NY. The prepared foods and the eat-in counters - Pittsford Wegs' strongest points - were also present, and possibly better, here at Whole Foods. Really, though, I'm kind of comparing apples and oranges. While both are grocery stores, the focuses are entirely different; Wegmans is more of an all-purpose grocery store with a wide range of products and prices, not focusing on organic and local nearly as much as Whole Foods. If I currently lived near both, I'd use Wegmans for my frequent normal shopping needs, and I'd throw in an occasional Whole Foods trip to find better produce and seafood. From my recollection, though, Wegmans did have pretty solid produce and seafood. Now I'm stuck with Shaws, and both are pretty terrible.
There were a lot of appetizing things to look at at Whole Foods, particularly in the bakery and prepared foods sections. I stared hungrily at the beautiful gelato counter for awhile and then tasted a sample of the chocolate jalapeno bacon flavor. Amazing.
After our long and sweaty walk, Sam and I were both in the mood for some sustenance, so we settled on the smoothie and juice counter, where I experienced my first green smoothie, which featured kale. The color was very unappetizing, but it actually tasted great, and it gave me the boost I needed to get through the afternoon.
Other posts in the Fork it over, Austin! series:
Part 1: Whip In
Part 2: Foreign & Domestic
Part 3: Caffe Medici
Part 4: Walking Along SoCo and Lunching at Chi'Lantro
Part 5: The Capitol, UT Austin, and Lunching (Again) at Torchy's Tacos
Part 6: Museum of the Weird
Part 7: Uchi
Part 8: East Side King at The Grackle
Part 9: Franklin Barbecue
Part 11: Late Night Pizza at Via 313
Part 12: Kebabalicious
Part 13: My Robotic Kitchen Planned This Dinner Party
Part 14: Papi Tino's
Part 15: Annie's Cafe & Bar
Part 16: The Peached Tortilla
Part 17: Cupcake Quest: Hey Cupcake!
Part 18: Arancini
Part 19: The DeLorean, Boxing Robots, and Roller Derby Pillow Fights
Part 20: Second Bar + Kitchen
Part 21: Tia Kelly's Navajo Tacos
Part 22: Hopdoddy Burger Bar
Part 23: Gourdough's
Part 24: The Ice Cream Social
Part 25: Walking to Barton Springs
Part 26: Izzos Tacos
I'm also posting daily recaps on the Tasted Menu blog, FOOD=LOVE:
Day 1: A First Taste of Austin
Day 2: Tons of Tacos, Sushi at Uchi, and a Late Night Trip to East Side King
Day 3: Early Morning Barbecue and Late Night Pizza
Day 4: Globetrotting: Kebabs, Enchiladas, Pommes Frites
Day 5-6: Meeting and Eating