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Pasadena Whole Foods - wow!

I was driving around Pasadena all day today so I decided to stop in at the new Whole Foods on Arroyo Parkway. The three-level parking garage seems to have sufficient space, but is a bit tight to navigate and the elevators are frankly annoying. On the first floor is produce, a nut roasting bar, meat and fish, some sort of meat and vegetable roasting station, as well as a massage room, beauty products, etc. Escalators which accommodate carts a la Target rise up to the second floor, which houses a coffee bar, huge bakery, chocolate shop and gelato bar, several restaurant-type areas with Asian food and fresh-carved meats, charcuterie and cheese and grocery and dairy items. Plus, there's a wine bar, with couches and beer on tap. And a custom butter blending station. It's like an amusement park for foodies. And there's going to be a singles night. What will they think of next?
Photos on blog:
http://eatingla.blogspot.com/2007/11/...

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    1. I got trapped behind a Hummer in the garage today while it tried, stubbornly but unsuccessfully, to maneuver into a spot between an Escalade and Cayenne. Reminded me of a person trying to squeeze into that old pair of jeans from high school after one too many decadent holiday meals.

      In the future, I think I might just park at the Paseo and walk to Whole Foods.

      It's going to take me a while to get used to a multi-level grocery store.

      At least I got a free grocery bag ... and you gotta love those tortillas.

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        1. I was there today as well, Got an email at about 2:30pm that they opened today, as I'm subscribed to their e-newletter "fl@vors".

          I concur with the commentary on the narrow manouvering when driving around the parking lot.

          Some other items of note that I'd like to add:

          Free valet parking - though limited spaces on first floor of parking
          FIRST FLOOR:
          Short Cut Chef - Offers prepped produce, salsas and grilled veggies
          Seafood Bar - a variety of ceviche style salads priced by the pound
          Smoked Seafood Station - Simply delicious variety of in-house smoked seafood
          Seafood Bistro- Made to order fish & chips, and a variety of made/cooked at the seafood counter selections as well as beer on tap
          SECOND FLOOR:
          Hot Smoked Meats Counter - "This Chow's" favorite section; small but nicely done beef brisket and pork with choices of a few sides. Manager informed me they will smoke any meat item for you with advance notice. They offer sandwiches and meat plates at a decent value.
          Cheese/Charcuterie/Specialty station not as comprehensive (esp cheese section) as other WF locations, but mostly cut to order items.
          Meat Department -Features Beef (Mostly all Choice grade and a couple of Prime grade, as well as natural and organic beef) Poultry, Lamb, Pork, and interestingly several choices/cuts of Buffalo.
          Hot/Cold Food bar about the same as Glendale
          Prepared Foods decent... notable small section of VEGAN foods
          Grocery section somewhat expanded, nice selection of GLUTEN FREE and VEGAN foods available.
          Wine and Tapas Bar - didn't get to have a look around, was completely packed during my 2 hour visit to the store.

          OTHER
          If any of you have been to Austin, TX Grand Central Market....This is close to a small version of that, though not as impressive. Lots of sampling going on, and lots of helpful staff at every corner. Check out is mostly set up for 1st Floor, check out lines are a bit confusing (ala Target Check out Counters) Roadwork on Arroyo Parkway adds to the added traffic caused by the store; stop and go for 1 mile each way near entrance. Very convenient to those riding the Gold Line. They are passing out event calendars and for a limited time you get one Cloth Whole Foods shopping bag for a min $40 purchase.

          5 Replies
          1. Funny, all of my friends who did grad school at UCLA miss Pasadena.

            Is the new Whole Foods close to a Metro Gold Line stop?

            1. re: SauceSupreme

              The new store is on Arroyo Parkway between California and Del Mar, which is a block east of the Gold Line.

              I'm curious about your friends, though, because UCLA is nowhere near Pasadena.

              1. re: DanaB

                I forgot to include the fact that they did their undergrad in Pasadena, and that the variety of cheap student-budget eats in an easy to traverse area was one of their favorite aspects of Pasadena. Westwood, they tell me, just doesn't offer it.

                1. re: SauceSupreme

                  That's my feeling, too! Went to Caltech then UCLA and I often miss Pasadena. I go back plenty, though. with friends in the area.

                  The new WF, wow! Is it really smaller than the TX one? I thought this was the biggest?

                2. re: DanaB

                  More like half a block east...and getting off at Del Mar station would put you quite close. It'd almost be worth it to me to do the Gold Line this afternoon and hit both WF and the SoPas Farmer's market! Especially now that I get a Senior pass...almost cheaper than driving.

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