|The patio overlooking the Columbia lakefront|
They pointed. They talked varieties. They were clearly excited by just the idea of seafood because they were dressed for the office and clearly couldn't carry a fish with them.
Then the woman turned to the guy. "Oh, wow," she said. "We're in trouble." He nodded. "Yes, we are."
|The pickle bar|
I barely looked at the central aisles today. My first visit was a long circle around the edges where Whole Foods serves all kinds of convenience -- from ingredients like fish, sausages and meats to takeout like salads, fresh pasta, and olives to full meals like pizzas, bi bim bap, and sandwiches.
The meals seem as important to me as the grocery store. Like Wegmans, Whole Foods offers tables after table of seating. They want you to buy and sit. They even have a deck and an indoor space that look over the lakefront.
I've said that this makes the Columbia lakefront a broad magnet. People can shop. They can just buy a meal. In good weather, they can picnic outside. Maybe stroll for a drink at Clyde's or our favorite cookie at Le Comptoir.
I took my leap at that seafood counter. I had two great fishing trips that both ended as fish-catching failures. But Steve Vilnit talked up rockfish and showed me how they're caught in Chesapeake Bay traps. I took the plunge on a small one that the fishmonger scaled, gutted and butterflied. That's sitting now in the fridge with olive oil, roasted garlic, basil and lemon juice smeared inside. Ready for the grill.
Does anyone else have stories from the Whole Foods opening day? I'm sure that I'll post more as I try new items. (Four kinds of kimchi!) I'd love to hear about the actual meals -- the pizza, the lunch counter. . . . Welcome to Whole Foods -- especially to the folks who moved to Columbia to work at the store. I met a cheese guy who left California and felt duty-bound to warn him that this isn't the August heat that he should expect next year.
For more on the Whole Foods, check out the Two Dudes Who Love Food. The teenaged bloggers made a short video about the store and making two healthy school lunches. Just don't believe them about "wraps." I love whole grains. I love tortillas. But America has ruined too many great sandwich ideas by switching bread for whole grain tortillas.