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I am in Love with Wholesome Choice Market, Irvine!

torta basilica | Jul 1, 200510:30 AM

Had some time to kill & started wandering around & really looking at all the stuff they have. In order of my visit - 1st, yummy warm flatbread samples - just came out of the oven! Nice produce with a pretty large selection. The meat case - OMG - I'm used to Gelson's & Von's prices & quality & choice and was blown away here!! Chicken leg & thighs for .99/lb ($2.69 - 3.19 at Gelson's), skinned for $1.69/lb. We roasted the skinned that night & they were really tasty - not all dried out like most skinless chicken. Beef Tenderloin (slice into filet mignons if you wish) $6.99/lb!!!!! Organic is $8.99/lb, but I saw that after I got the basic - we cooked this last night just like a regular tenderloin & it was so juicy & delicious! I swear, we've paid up to $22/lb for this around Christmas at Bristol Farms! Rib eyes next to it looked nice @ $8.99/lb. Lamb shanks $1.79 I think & lots of veal (un-PC, I know,,,) for very reasonable prices. All meat is hand-carved for you by several butchers standing by & the service is great!!

Picked up some marinated eggplant in a large jar I haven't tried yet, Ponzu sauce, drooled over all the European jams, El Presidente butter was something like $2.19, more English & Indian food than in most UK supermarkets, interesing frozen International appetizers, meals & ice cream, big cheese selection (but someone warned to check expirations...), more feta cheese brands than I thought possible, bought Kefir cheese, which is interesting & kindof like a lighter cream cheese, ok wine selection, salad bar & that huge food court - Persian, American, Indian, Eastern European, Mexican, Italian (I think - or at least pizzas) big ol bakery with all kinds of breads & goodies. My favorite find of the day was Mango Corn soup from the Indian counter - kindof like pumpkin - didn't really get the mango, but it was sooooo delicious! Perfectly spiced & even better when I threw some of that stirred kefir on & a dusting of deep fried onions (also freshly made & bought there!) I'm getting this every visit, even if it is summer & i would be oh so perfect on a cold rainy day!

I am going there from now on for all my meat & poultry needs - been so disgusted with how expensive it all is in my regular stores, I'd almost stopped buying it. Has anyone tried their fish - it was the one thing that didn't look quite as exciting - will stick with Santa Monica seafood for now! May have a carnivore summer, though, after all!! Fire up that BBQ!

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