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Wholesome Choice Supermarket in Irvine

Dommy! | May 29, 200502:07 PM

My mission was clear, I had an Indian Orzo Recipe that called for Ground Lamb and Curry Powder, neither of which I had possession of… So Saturday I went on a little expedition to check out Wholesome Choice, the Middle Eastern Supermarket I had previously heard about on this board….

So… what is the simplest way to describe Wholesome Choice? Well… imagine the most AWESOME Whole Foods you’ve ever been in… and it’s in Saudi Arabia…

Upon first glance, you can’t help but be struck by just how pretty the building is… similar in design as the Grand Californian Hotel in Disneyland, but actually it gives a better mountain cabin vibe…

When you walk through the door of the spotless supermarket, the first thing you notice is the big banner announcing the goodness of their Organic Produce… but then you look to your right and see trays and trays of FRESH baked Persian flat bread and you know, you aren’t in Whole Foods anymore…

My mission was clear, I came to pick up some ground lamb and spices for an Indian Orzo recipe I’ve been wanting to try as well as get a few things from their prepared food section to accompany it… The lamb was pretty easy… the spices was lots of fun. There was the typical “Whole Foods”, organic selection of spices, but along side, a section twice the size of super cheap middle eastern/asian/latin spices. I now have enough curry powder to last me a life time… and for $3.00! Each section was like this, Amys frozen food, then Pillsbury Parathas… Ben and Jerrys… then Mashti Malone’s!! But I was good… I continued on my strict mission and turned the corner to the prepared food section…

And what laid in front of me wasn’t a prepared food section… it was a FOOD COURT! Stations serving a whole world of food. Mexican, Pizza, Chinese, Indian, even Hamburgers… Halal of course! The Bakery equally amazing… Pastries off all types, baklava, Indian sweets and Middle Eastern savory stuffed breads. I went to Persian food station and ordered my protein, Chicken Koobideh (Kababs made of ground chicken) $8. As I was waiting for my order, I went to go get my veggies, a soup called Ash Reshteh (Made Parsley, Leeks, Spinach and Lentils) $3 16oz. And while I was able to resist the baked goods (I was planning to bake muffins for breakfast the following morning) I was drawn to a BRIGHT tub of yellow rice pudding($2)… Then, in their deli I and saw their tuna salad… meaty white tuna studded with green peppers, red and green onion ($6/lb). I thought, for lunch tomorrow!! Finally, as I picked up my meat order, I remembered that I could not have an Indian/Middle eastern feast without some bread! So, I went over to the Indian station and asked for some Naan ($1.50). Made to order fresh in a real Indian oven.

With my mission complete, now my only concern was getting home before that Naan got cold! Thank goodness for my baby is a turbo!!!

So, I got home and poured half the soup and ate it with the Naan. The soup was herbal (due to the parsley), but very good. The Naan, still warm, was EXCELLENT…

Then, I opened the container with the Chicken and just gasped at the amount of food! There was enough to feed three frat boys! Each Koobideh was over a foot long (And there were two!) and the entire container was full of White and Yellow Rice!! There was also a small roasted Tomato, which I happily mashed into the rice… However, after a few bites, I was absolutely STUFFED!!!

So now, the Lamb is in the freezer (I guess that recipe is going to have to wait until later in the week)…

And for reviews sake, I took a bite of the Tuna (Since lunch is now going to be the rest of the Kobbideh!) and it was as tasty as I hoped… also richly spiced with pepper and I dunno what. A definite must try for any Tuna Lover.

And Finally… The Yellow Rice Pudding… It tasted just like Yellow Rice… cold… with sugar… Not at all as great as Mexican Rice Pudding… aw… well! :)

Oh yeah! As for the recipe… well… with so much food, the ground lamb is now in the freezer… for later in the week… :)


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