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Whole Foods recommendations

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Dommy's recommendation for chocolate covered corn chips has me wanting to make a trip to the Pasadena Whole Foods. I remember in the past people have mentioned their favorite take out items and bakery goods from WF. Even hamburgers were mentioned. I'm wondering which items should I not miss while I'm there. Thanx for any input.

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  1. I love their falafel.

    I've also heard they have great soups, but I haven't personally tried them.

    2 Replies
    1. re: LisaStitch

      Wow, I wish our Whole Foods had falafel!!! Second the soups recommendation...Think they have wonderful artisian breads, am addicted to their jalapeno pimento cheese, and speaking of cheese, they have some wonderful selections...Their pizzas are quite good as well..Even like their chinese dumplings....

      1. re: jinet12

        In case you're curious - the West Hollywood location is where I was referring to for the falafel - corner of Santa Monica & Fairfax. I didn't realize that not all locations made it...

    2. If you're in the market for cake, I just picked up an old fashioned chocolate cake from their bakery that was incredible. Nice, light frosting, really chocolatey, wonderful!!!

        1. I really like their chili and soups. I generally get the chili, chicken noodle, or vegetable soup. It's pretty healthy and not super salty.

          I also like their roasted chicken with no salt. Because there are a ton of herbs, the chicken is quite tasty, even with no salt. I just hate roasted chicken that is too salty.

          1 Reply
          1. re: WHills

            Wow! That is what keeps from buying Rotisserie Chicken, the salt... but good to know! :D


          2. Just got back from there about ten minutes ago! They have some nice-looking Italian wines on sale for well under $10, and I scored the next-to-last pound box of Canadian salt cod for $10.99. I actually went in only for my monthly 3 lbs. of steel-cut oats - at $1.99/lb. they're cheaper than anything you'll find in a box. Downside is they're in an open bin next to the white jasmine rice and the orange lentils, both of which tend to get spilled in by sloppy customers, but I've kinda gotten used to lentils in my oatmeal...

            They're also pushing Spanish stuff in the deli, with two different cheeses and some dried chorizo on the sample platters. Didn't get any of those, since I hadn't gotten a basket (just going for oats, remember) and the oats, cod and bottle of Sangiovese ($4.99) had me just about at capacity, but I sure did taste. Yum.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Will Owen

              The pizza can be really good -- a little greasy and rich, but that's not a bad thing! I've tried both the white pizza and another one -- sausage, I think -- at both Glendale and Third St. locations and they're really tasty. (that's the fresh pizza you order by the cut from behind the counter, not frozen).

            2. I don't go to Whole Food except to get ONE thing... Their Cranberry Tuna Salad... which I think should be an illegal substance on how ADDICTIVE and good it is... It's my Kryptonite...


              2 Replies
              1. re: Dommy

                I love to buy Paletas de Mango (frozen treats section) they are really good and all natural. There are so many good things at Whole Foods, hard to pick just a few. From the made to order sandwiches section I like their Carved Turkey on French Bread, spread with dijon mustard and light mayo, add lettuce, fresh avocado, and cucumber slices, it is very good. From the foods to go deli case I like to buy Border Grill Sweet Corn Tamales, they are, a nice little dessert, they can be heated in the microwave and they taste falmost reshly made.
                That reminds me....I have to go to WF tomorrow!

                1. re: Dommy

                  What's in their cranberry tuna salad?

                  I love the Cranberry chicken salad at TJ's... just curious how the ingredients compare. I know chicken and tuna, apples and oranges, but...

                2. The Miso Eggplant. Zen Bakery Apple Bran and Peach Bran Muffins, no cranberries like the ones at TJ's. I also buy tons of grains here, and get my Bob's Red Mill Soy Grits and other gluten-free items. I once purchased an outstanding can of tuna here, but won't do it again at 6 bucks a pop... forget the brand right now. Oh and how could I forget my favorite Fat-Free Balsamic Vinegarette under the 360 label... so good for 10 calories a tablespoon. I also buy the Miso soup in the little yellow boxes for convenience, as well as the fancy mushrooms that I love (oysters, cremini, shiitake, portabellos)--I know some are available other places, but not a huge price differential... pricey mushrooms are pricey mushrooms.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Emme

                    Hi Emme, which Whole Foods in L.A. had the Bob's Red Mill Soy Grits? I turned the Glendale one upside-down to no avail.

                    1. re: Eric92262

                      I know for certain Beverly Hills. I believe Fairfax/3rd. Likely Wilshire and 23rd. I'd call the North Hollywood/Studio City location and Sherman Oaks as well since you're on that side of the city...

                  2. I just recently had their veal manicotti, which was surprisingly very good.

                    1. We love the miso glazed salmon, quiches, kale salad, curry tofu, cranberry tuna salad, mediterranean chicken salad, strawberry and spinach salad, broccoli/bacon mix, salad bar, clear to-go boxes of salmon salad, jumbo grilled shrimp salad, chinese chicken salad, shrimp spring rolls, salmon or tuna american rolls, teriyaki dinners...you get the idea. :)

                      I also love their breads, olives, sea salts, and caviar (worthy selection when not close to a wine or cheese specialty store). We frequently get their baked goods (pies); there's also a gelato bar at the Pasadena store (I like to get the dark chocolate and vanilla together...tastes like s'mores); and finally, love the chocolates --- chocolate covered nuts, truffles, and sea salt caramels. Enjoy!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: chica

                        Wow! Can't believe how many people (including myself) love the cranberry tuna - would looooovve to get the recipe - seems like it would be easy enough to make. I love their bakery products - breads, the evil chocolate truffle cake (by the slice!) and the pistachio gelato. Most of the prepared stuff I have tried has been pretty good taste-wise. I like how they will cook fish for you so that you can leave the store with a freshly prepared meal. Salad bar is pretty awesome too.

                        1. re: jazzlover

                          Here is the one WF gives out... but of course us Cranberry Tuna fiends notice that the Onion is RED in their deli version, not yellow as in this version..



                          1. re: Dommy

                            Thank you Dommy! You are the greatest!

                        1. re: gachimai

                          I like the sesame garlic noodles.

                          1. re: maudies5

                            Dinner on Weds night was courtesy of Whole Paycheck. I had the good fortune to be in the westwood village store, which had a great selection. We tried their crab cakes and loved them! I also bougth sushi grade ahi, which was delicious and sampled an yummy orzo salad and some cheeses. Compudad loved the pumpkin muffin I bought for dessert too! It cost a fortune, but mmmmmm!

                            1. re: compucook

                              my favorites are the serrano ham, luques olives, and the humboldt fog cheese. =)

                        2. I like the pizza too, and sometimes you can find (last time I checked at the 3rd and Fairfax location, it was in a different refrigerator case than most of the deli foods) this pasta salad with cheese and garlic that they used to make at Mrs. Gooch's years ago and is really delicious. It's multicolored rotelli and whitish sauce from the cheese -- nothng else.

                          1. For veggies (like me), the sesame tofu sticks are divine. I eat them as a snack, but they can be cut up into salads, stir fries...whatever. Also, the fresh tofu rice wraps with deelish peanut sauce make a good light lunch (sometimes the bottoms are a little icey - let them sit out for a few minutes). I usually shop at the WLA or BH WF & both have these items.

                            1. Whole Foods is a godsend for me given the combination of not having a lot of free time and living in the dining wasteland of Porter Ranch. We find the food to be variable – sometimes more or less spiced, etc. Our standards are the chili, the chile colorado when they have it, the sandwhich bar is good (we use them and sushi for parties too), the brisket burritos are very good for the heat and serve variety, the salad bar (quick veggies for cooking, interesting salads to have later for lunch, etc). The cut prepared fruit with berries isn’t a bargin, but it’s good and convenient. I like the soups because they are not salty, but sometimes they can be on the bland side. I’ve also been picking up the ready-made turkey shepherd’s pie or sushi for quick meals and find the enchiladas in the prepared section good at times but quite variable from batch to batch. I’m using their higher end products for baking, especially with crème, butter and chocolate. Some of the other items we consider better than a normal grocery store are salad dressings, juice, deli items (including cheeses), and a lot of bakery items. I never buy store branded/generic items in regular stores due to quality issues, but am perfectly fine with their 365 branded items.

                              1. Two of my favorite things to buy are the "Men's bread" in the frozen section and the olives in chili oil...yum...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jinet12

                                  I LOVE Whole Foods' cooked-food section. I had an AFRICAN STEW with chicken, bitter greens and various spices that really impressed me. Who would have thought that I could find African Comfort Food in Whole Foods?? (This was the Fairfax location.)

                                2. I havent been to the WF in Pasadena, but in others I have found the Chick Pea Chapate Choley - -I don't know if that is spelled correctly - is really good. It comes in the prepackaged clear deli container and is usually near the salsas, etc. I am pretty sure it is made by a local company (the logo has a little elephant i think) and they make some nice indian take out foods. I buy it to make with dinner, and then end up eating the whole thing with a spoon right from the container!

                                  1. I dig the salad/hot food bar in Santa Monica. Is Pasadena more extensive? Isn't Pasadena the one we see most often on "take Home Chef"?