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gutreactions | Feb 3, 202005:02 AM     5

I live in the suburbs of NYC, but I have to blame Whole Foods in Virginia for this one. It all started during our regular visits to friends and family in The Beltway around D.C. A number of years ago we went shopping at a new Whole Foods in Fairfax, VA. It was what they called a prototype of future operations the company was planning. That very day, they were filming an indoor segment with Chef Emeril Lagasse and we coincidentally were invited to do walk-ons as he moved from one food station to the other. That was what started it. This store, unlike any other I had visited up to that point, had food stations and kiosks galore, most with seating. Well, we tried a few as time went on: their seafood counter was very good, run like a restaurant. Their BBQ counter was very good as well. In recent years came the Ramen counter, also very good. And to top it all off, a wine tasting room, and a craft beer bar. Guess what: also a very good selection. All the food sections were busy, too.

On our last trip to The Beltway, just a couple of weeks ago, we were enjoying a few brews at Whole Foods in Fairfax when another patron told us of the newest Whole Foods in Tyson's Corner, McLean. The next day, on our way to downtown D.C., we made an exploratory stopover and found ourselves at their big craft beer bar on the second level called: Highpoint. There were food stations and kiosks galore on the first floor that you could bring to the bar/lounge area. And it was busy, I guess from the surrounding office buildings nearby. Parking was free with any order at the market. So one beer, and you had free parking.

And let me point out, all the offerings, the food counter and craft beer bar, were very reasonably priced. We're talking $5 for a good 16 oz. craft. I have not seen this at our local Whole Foods in the New York area, at least not in Westchester County.

My confession: whenever we go to The Beltway, we make Whole Foods a dining and drinking destination. We are hooked. ; )...

How about where you reside? Do you eat and/or drink where you shop?

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