It was about quarter to 1 in the afternoon today, a clear and slightly chilly Saturday in Connecticut. I figured I owed our neighborbood’s still-new Whole Food a quick visit to see what’s up. They’re the only place around for dry-aged steak, and I was wondering what they had.
I’ve written about Whole Foods in my Shared Dish column in the Post (it never made the website, but here’s another one), and my review was decidedly mixed. I think they got off the wrong foot with me. Even before the crummy breakfast buffet, their segregated parking lot turned me off. How sanctimonious to put “carpool” and “fuel efficient” vehicle spaces up front like that, not that anyone’s paying attention.
But their guacamole is unparallelled, and they do indeed have some items not found easily anywhere else. And I like how their produce section smells.
So here I was, on a Saturday, and I was reluctant to do so because I wasn’t exactly beat the crowds. Or was I? When I got there, it was actually kind of dead! The parking lot was kind of deserted, and there were checkout clerks hanging in the front aisle waving people in. No lines.
I got the guac, passed on the steaks, and found some whitefish on sale, as well as some marinated anchovies I thought would be good on a Caesar salad. Then I took that little back road that leads almost directly to BJ’s, the Costco-like wholesale club about a mile away. It was packed to the gills. There, I got the things I like to get there: bottled water, carnitas, chips, limes, baby greens. I was elbowing my way around other people almost constantly.
Especially considering you have to pay to shop at BJ’s, what does it say that our wholesale club was packed and our premium store wasn’t, here in affluent Fairfield County on a lovely fall Saturday afternoon.