Whole Foods Overrated? [moved from Manhattan board]
- DoctortedNYC Jul 11, 2007 03:10 PM
I realize I may catch alot of heat, but I just find many of their items subpar: I find Garden of Eden, Gourmet Garage much better.
Deli: Limited selections. $ 24.00lb sopressata hard ,little taste. Most prepared foods I tried either bland, greasy etc.
Bakery: Bought a Banana Cream pie that was 95% sickenly sweet cream, rock hard crust, fossilized bananas. Threw it in the trash.
Mussel Salad: oily
WF Grated Parm: Tasteless
Quiche, Soups etc: Bland
I don't know about over rated. I'd certainly say over priced. As you said above, $24/lb for sopressata. That's ridiculous.
I toured the one here in TO and was appalled by the prices. I do have to say, they don't seem to have a hard time fetching $11/lb for organic ground beef though.
Somewhere PT Barnum is smiling.
I don't generally shop at Whole Foods for prepared items or meat (except for things like chicken or turkey sausage). Mainly because it is way overpriced for what it is.
What I do buy there are cheeses (although I've not tried the grated parm), some produce and some 365 Brand products like their low sodium chicken broth, jarred marinara (for easy on the go meals), frozen veggies and some local items like Justin's Nut Butters.
Only stopped in once, at the Union Square location in Manhattan. We immediately went to the fish department, and to our huge disappointment many of the fish files looked anything but fresh, especially some of the salmon. (How many times had it been frozen? ...I just wonder...)
I know fish, so all I have to do is to take a look at it, or a sniff. But some people test the freshness by poking the fish filé with their finger, and if the flesh bounces back immediately, you know the filé is fresh. Well, if I had been allowed to do that, the flesh would not only not have bounced back, but my finger would have pierced trough it. Yikes.
It was on a Saturday, but still, after all the hoopla about "quality" this and "quality" that and talk about really "fresh" fish, etc., we were disappointed.
And yes, while most of the vegetables and fruits looked fresh and the selection was good, they were expensive compared to our own local fresh food market.
So, there is a lot of room for improvement there. Right now it sounds like the critique by the old Whole Food fans is well grounded.
I like some of their products and make a monthly trip to pick them up, but I agree that doing all one's grocery shopping there is very expensive. I like:
365 Brand Italian Sparkling Mineral Water (89 cents a bottle)
365 Brand Canola Mayonnaise
365 Brand Olive Oil
I find that prices on dairy items are surprisingly reasonable and often stock up on butter there.
I like their natural peanut butter as well, and their meat - one of the few places I can buy boneless chicken thighs.
I have only been in Whole Foods mabe 5 or 6 times, mostly just to look around, although I purchased a couple of avocados, and some garlic on one of my visits.
The produce looks nice, but is overpriced compared to where I buy mine, and the meat counter is ridiculously overpriced, even compared to the expensive local butcher I go to for my prime beef(at least at my butcher I get top notch service, and know who my money is going to).
People are free to buy where they like, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and places like that are not for me. But then again I probably do not fit into the demographic they market towards.
as I mentioned I am probably not the type of person WF markets to, I am not interested in organic meat, etc. But I know if I asked my butcher to get me organic meat he could get it. I am just not interested in that lifestyle.
My butcher is top notch, locally owned, and has the best prime beef around. Also they are professional butchers whose family have been cutting meat since the 1860's. WF cant make the same claim.
for those who like WF, enjoy, its just not a place I shop.
I love the 365 brand, though not the sauces. mac+cheese, other pasta, canned tomatoes, cereal, frozen veggies, frozen kids waffles, and my favorite cookies Used to be the B+W oreo things but they changed the recipe and the new version is not as good :(
I wrote them an email about it but never got a response.
I'm a big fan of its 365 brand too. I buy a lot of items under that brand from olive oil to olives to chicken broth to cerdal to beans, canned salmon, pasta, etc.. I find that some of the prices are actually less expensive than my local supermarket. I also like purchasing cliantro and parsley from there. For some reason, they last longer than other places I buy from. I stay away from the seafood b/c of what I've seen, read and heard and, in general, I don't buy their prepared food b/c I don't find them particularly tasty. IMO, depending on what you buy, WF is not that expensive.
Tried their seafood once, ugh. The meat & poultry, though, has some choices I like. Organic produce, yes, but watch what they charge you at checkout. I like artisanal whole wheat bread, but theirs...no. Some whole wheat pastas, yes. Agree many 365 products are reliable, and dairy products.
I have learned to pick & choose (& watch the tape register to see what I'm being charged--beware).
I've only bought mineral water and some bulk foods there. For some reason, WF has the best price for Gerolsteiner water, and their bulk popcorn is reasonably priced and better than most. A few unusual grains and beans in the bulk area also seem reasonable. However, a few times I needed something specific (ie. chocolate syrup) and the only choices available were OUTRAGEOUSLY overpriced (about 5x the generic brand at a regular supermarket).