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Whole Foods Napa Redux – Good prices (no really) and mimosas on Sunday at the wine bar

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Whole Foods Napa Redux – Good prices (no really) and mimosas on Sunday at the wine bar

rworange | Jan 22, 2008 11:54 PM

… and I wasn’t drinking too many mimosas. Sunday I had a chance to take a closer look at Whole Foods.

The prices beat my local Raley’s, Trader Joe’s next door and for one item … Wal-Mart which was selling grape tomatoes for $2 while they were $1.50 at WF.

It even came close in one case to Grocery Outlet … organic tomato sauce …2 for $1 at GO… 69 cents at WF.

Other good prices I noted
- Navel oranges 79 cents lb
- Organic cameo apples 99 cents lb
- Bulk organic rolled or steel cut oats 99 cents lb
- Bulk organic popcorn 99 cents lb
- Bulk spices (30 – 80 cents oz)
- Bulk tea (60 – 90 cents oz)
- River Ranch wine 2 for $8
- Blackberries and blueberries 2 for $5

I decided to check out Trader Joe’s next door and produce-wise almost across the board everything was a dollar or two higher at TJ and the quality wasn’t as good.

Speaking of quality, the produce was very impressive. The only nit I have is they don’t identify the farm.

I’m sure that amazing watermelon radish I bought had to be from some farm like Quetzal. It was the most intense raspberry red prettily outlined in white and green. The taste was wonderfully mild and the texture dense and crisp. It was just lovely.

The Hanna yams, unlike many light-fleshed varieties were not dry and just great.

The beautiful organic icicle radishes, scarlet rutabagas and multi-colored carrots matched anything I’ve seen at good farmers markets.

Mushrooms were from Far West Fungi, Wine Forest Wild Mushrooms and Gourmet Mushrooms, Inc
http://www.mycopia.com/

There were lots that don’t make it to most markets. They also had a nice selection of dried mushrooms. FungusAmongUs had Dried Organic Shiitake,Morels, Porcini, Portabello and Maitake. Poides Montagnes had dried Horn of Plenty mushrooms, Chanterelles and Forest Mix

As mentioned in a separate post, they have Alexander Valley sauerkraut and pickles. They carry my favorite ricotta, Caiabro … whole milk, skim, fat-free, and in the metal containers.

And that was the thing. Not only do they carry many different products, they carry a wide selection of each product. I think they had seven flavors of Fage yogurt including black cherry which I haven’t seen before.

The ice cream selection was great and also had little-seen flavors in this area. Mashti Maloney’s had the usual flavors and two I’ve never seen …Lavender and Turkish coffee
Even Golnazar had chocolate chip. They carry Vosges ice cream, Pandan, Wattleseed or Red Fire Ice(ancho & chipotle chillies, Ceylon cinnamon, dark chocolate)

There is also an in-store Naia gelato counter.

Nice selection of jarred salsas and moles including …
- Xochitl (Chipotle, Chipotle queso, Asada verde)
- San Angel mole (Black, red and cascabel)
- Frontera salsa and mole

Speakng of Rick Bayless between his Fronterra Fresca in Macy’s and the frozen pizza line at WF, I’m wondering how good those supermarket products are.

Very nice wine selection with anything from wines like Robert Sinsky to Trade Winds Pineapple wine. There was a good selection of small .375 ml bottles. There were about 20 sakes, some with no English on the label The one called Dreamy Clouds Sake sounded pretty.

Nice hot chocolate section including Vosages Aztec elixir, Don Puglisi and Chuau.

At the ends of the produce counters were local artisan products like …

Robert Lambert preserves, sauces and syrups.
http://www.robertlambert.com/store/in...

Some of the following looked interesting.
- Calamondin Marmalade
- Four Orange Chocolate Sauce
- White Ginger Syrup
- White Grapefruit Syrup
- Salt-Preserved Meyer Lemon
- Black Grapes in Pinot Noir Syrup
- Dark Cherries in Merlot

Hurly had jams and deep dark chocolate fudge sauce

Gabriel Farm’s Asian pear, blackberry and lavender conserve seemed interesting.

Whoever makes the Indian food for the steam tables does a great job. There were these potatoes that were better than what most Indian restaurants sell. The taqueria had colorful Cruset pots filled with various Mexican foods like carnitas.

One more TJ / WF comparison ... free samples ...

TJ - sample size coffee, organic orange juice, mint stick, cranberry muffin sample, non dairy blintz sample

WF - Large cup of Allegro coffee, Model bakery cheese baguette and apricot-walnut bread, blue cheese burger sample, cheese meatball sample (both from meat dept), pear-poached wine sample, crispy cole slaw sample (really good), pasta salad sample, SmackMaster Gourmet jerkey (original ... really good, teriyaki, ahi tuna, salmon), and two Allegro tea bags.

And this just scratches the surface … as the infomercials say … but wait … there’s more.

Anyway, I have it scoped out for my needs and definitely will be stopping by when I’m in the area and need to do some shopping.

Now if they'd only let you wander around with your cart with a glass of wine in-hand ... that would really be something.

Previous post.
Napa’s newest wine bar - Whole Foods … Sipping 1988 Chateau d’Yquem sauterne and dropping names like Quetzal, Riverdog, Bouchon and Model Bakery
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/480509

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Whole Foods
Napa, CA, Napa, CA

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