August 31, 2007

I'm in Love

With the new Whole Foods in Northbrook at Willow and Waukegan.

After my friend Red Thread stopped into the new South Loop Whole Foods (just off the Taylor Street ramp off I-90/94) she politely offered me blogging dibs on the store. I thanked her for the heads up, but then made wry comment like, *yawn* Big Organic is growing again?

I can head to the Whole Foods in Evanston, Deerfield or the newish one in Sauganash. But I stopped in to the just-opened Northbrook location and I get it. I'm smitten. The store is more spacious than any Whole Foods I've been in. Everything looks so fresh.

And their foragers, professionals who seek out local foods, are doing a good job. They have fabulous pastries from Rolf's Patisserie in Lincolnwood (pricey enough that it's easy to keep temptation at bay), Chef Earl's fresh salsa and hummus, some great Wisconsin cheeses. To steal a phrase from another ubiquitous food outlet: I'm lovin' it!

Here are excerpts from Red Thread's post at the Chicago Moms Blog that I now relate to:

The angels sang and my recyclable tote bag was hungry for new items. First, you walk into the produce. Glorious, glorious fruits & veggies stacked like art....

The next thing I really noticed was a huge section of not just cosmetics and vitamins for sale, but IMO, a larger section of clothing than I've seen at Chicago WFs.

But wait...turn a corner to the bakery! A wall of fresh bread greets you and get this. There's a dessert bar! Dear goddess, why do you tempt me so? You can also get fresh pizza, made-to-order sandwiches, gelatto, fancy chocolates, and deli stuff.

The Curious Incident of the Cow (and my 7 year-old) in the Day (at Whole Foods)

My mother-in-law brought the boys to the Northbrook store the day it opened. I was dismayed to learn that Pikachu, who "doesn't like people dressed up in animal costumes" harassed someone in a cow costume. My progeny stepped on the cow's toes, whacked the poor thing's tail and goodness knows what else. After missing out on from a mini-golf adventure my bad seed wrote a letter of apology to the store manager. When we delivered it yesterday, the manager-on-duty, Red Elk, kindly and sympathetically accepted the suddenly shy and demure Pikachu's note. He even got down to my boy's eye level to have a gentle talk with him. He's either a dad or a former preschool teacher.

Apology complete, we picked up the fresh loaf of bread we planned to buy. We also purchased several items we hadn't planned on, but got hooked after a sample or three: Earl's mild salsa, artisan cheese, beer chips (completely addicting honey-sweetened potato chips), and artichoke-lemon pesto. Damn you Big Organic, you've got me under your spell!

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