Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Whole Foods Pasadena: The next fern bar?
Could there be a more beautiful phrase in the English language than "custom butter bar"? New Zealand butter blended to order with flavorings like roasted garlic or herbs are just one of the wonders of the new Whole Foods on Arroyo Parkway. I checked out the new store on opening day along with every walker-pushing little old lady in Pasadena -- I guess Whole Foods will have to replace Beadle's Cafeteria for them. I wanted to ask the folks gaping at the shopping cart escalators for the two-level store, "People, have you never been to Target?"
If butter doesn't do it for you, how about an entire counter of spiced nuts -- I sampled some assertively flavored chili-lime almonds -- or freshly-ground chocolate peanut butter? Upstairs is an airy eating area-cum-food court with stations devoted to Asian food, a carving station for sandwiches, etc. There's more prepared food by the pound than in any other Whole Foods, including a cobbler bar where I can imagine my pie-loving son spending quite a bit of time. The cheese selection is also larger -- basically each department carries a few or lots more items than other Whole Foods, from Mashti Malone's ice cream to a vast display of Belgian beers to a candy counter the size of most chocolate shops (pumpkin and turkey truffles, pictured). But that's not all. There's a full-fledged Wine & Tapas lounge with couches, a wine bar and beer on tap, and get this, singles night starting Thursday, November 15 from 6-8 pm. Oh, and a chair massage room. Ask for Manny if your neck hurts.
at 5:24 PM