Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Short list of things I never thought I'd get excited about

A grocery store.

They opened up a new Whole Foods right near me and, honestly, my first thought was that I ought to go back with a camera to illustrate this blog entry.

Well, no.  That was my second thought.  My first thought was "can I live here?"

I have never been in a grocery store like this.  While riding on the escalator (more about this in a minute) the woman standing in front of me turned around and said, "It's like Disneyland!" 

Well, the parking lot certainly is.  It has underground parking.  The first level is the complimentary valet.  Beneath that is self-parking, and they've got employees in bright orange vests at every turn, directing you to the next available spot.

You take an elevator up to the store.  The store has two levels, which are connected by escalator.  This seemed odd to me.  Wouldn't you need an elevator (and a big, huge one at that) so you can bring your shopping cart from one level to the other?  No.  You don't.  The escalator does it.  Now, I was told (by the "Disneyland" lady) that these things are common in Chicago and other cities, but this was a piece of technology I have never seen.  Next to the escalator is a secondary escalator for shopping carts.  There's a track in it that grabs your shopping cart, holds it perfectly level, and rides it next to you (at the same speed as the regular escalator) so it meets you at your destination.  People were so amazed by this, they were running empty carts in it just to watch it go.

I went to the store because I needed something for dinner and didn't want to cook.  A friend (who had been to this store on Opening Day) suggested I check it out, because they have a lot of prepared foods.

A lot.  Of prepared foods.

Actually, the second floor is sort of like a food court.  They call it a restaurant as they have tables for eating.  In addition to (and this is just off the top of my head) -- a salad bar, they have a prepared salads bar, an antipasto bar, a mediterranean food bar, an olive bar, and a dessert bar.  That's the cold ones.  Also: multiple soup bars, a seafood bar, a rotisserie chicken bar (also smoked chicken), a carvery, a pizza bar, and an Asian food bar. 

Did I mention the Chocolate and Gelato station?

And that'sjust prepared foods.  Other unusual departments include a wine lounge, a roasting station (where they are roasting all different kinds of nuts), something to do with hot vegetables (I didn't really dwell), freshly made jams and spreads, freshly made salsa, dispensers of dried fruits and nuts, a whole gluten-free section, and a room marked "Massage."

It opened just this week, and I was so totally not the only one walking around slack-jawed, unable to comprehend this glorious bounty that had just moved in across the street from the place where I have my storage cage.

Gotta go.  Leftovers are calling.  (In this case:  some salad, pre-packaged pomegranate seeds, and some siu mai.)

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