Just returned from visiting the first Whole Foods Market opened in Portland (Brewery Blocks). I should preface this by saying I hate supermarkets and chain stores. That having been said, I was quite impressed.
We're no strangers to very good co-op markets and Farmer's Markets in Portland and I won't desert them for this market, but Whole Foods is putting on a pretty good show. First of all, it's a really big store with a lot of organic goods and a great produce department. Most important to me however were the choices in the meat department, seafood and cheese (I'm a devout tulophile) - all great. The spring chinook and tuna looked wonderful and they included mixed seafood like salmon wrapped around lobster meat. The meats were really well done and the poultry case had everything in it from Muscovy duck to pheasant. Cheesewise, a really nice selection of goats (Cabachou, etc)and triple cremes (good looking d'Affinois) and the man behind the counter knew his stuff, a refreshing change.
There is also a cooking school in the market, a "household goods" department upstairs and, thank god, a parking garage under the market devoted solely to the market (they even have a conveyor that conveys the food down to the garage to be loaded in your car).
All in all I'd say check it out and do so this week while their promotional prices are still in effect!
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