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Whole Foods, Medford has opened

yumyum May 19, 2008 07:41 AM

I stopped in yesterday with dreams of bargain-priced La Tur dancing in my head. It was true, and thanks to Dea for hipping me to the sale. $6.99 -- yeah baby.

The new store itself is nice -- sadly no butcher but a nice selection of packaged meat. The seafood counter looked especially fresh and all the prepared foods will make this a convenient place to pick up lunch close to home.

They had lots of "Medford opening sale prices" on things and they were having some kind of grand opening event under a tent but I didn't have the time to stop in ... anyone check it out?

Parking lot is, predictably, a zoo. Not as bad as TJs or Market Basket, but waaay worse than Wild Harvest before it.

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  1. heathermb RE: yumyum May 19, 2008 07:48 AM

    Oh no! My hopes are dashed - I *hated* parking in the Wild Oats lot and was really hoping that WFM would do something to make it make more sense. Dang.

    Really surprised that they have no butcher - I've never seen a WFM without one.

    1. hiddenboston RE: yumyum May 19, 2008 08:11 AM

      I was there, too. Yes, the parking lot is a nightmare--much worse than the one in Woburn--and the store is smaller and less attractive than the Woburn store, but it's good to have it there, especially since I can't deal with going to the one in Fresh Pond anymore (awful parking, rude customers, inconsistent selection of products).

      4 Replies
      1. re: hiddenboston
        Ralphie_in_Boston RE: hiddenboston May 19, 2008 08:13 AM

        I also loathe the Fresh Pond location, mainly for the parking....the question is, who has worse parking, the WF at Medford or Fresh Pond?

        1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
          hiddenboston RE: Ralphie_in_Boston May 19, 2008 08:29 AM

          Hmmm, it remains to be seen, I guess. I'd probably say that Fresh Pond is worse, since there are several other shops there, making it that much crazier to park at times.

          Of course nothing beats the lot at the Porter Square shopping center. Humvees parking in "compact cars only" spaces, people walking slowly down the middle of the exit and entrance lanes, guys aggressively asking for money outside of stores, etc. It makes the Whole Foods lot in Medford look like a piece of cake for parking!

          1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
            BJK RE: Ralphie_in_Boston May 19, 2008 08:54 AM

            The parking at WF Medford hasn't been bad so far. It's a small lot but there's nothing else there and it's not the busiest neighborhood.

            I am disappointed, though, that the meat and poultry section is not a full service butcher counter. Everything's prepackaged in styrofoam trays and shrink wrapped plastic. I suspect they'll still cut something to order if you ask, but browsing through prepackaged meats, even if the products and prices are the same, just isn't the same experience.


            1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
              Small Plates RE: Ralphie_in_Boston May 19, 2008 02:22 PM

              OMG - the lot at Prospect Street is a perfect parking kerfuffle. I don't know which is more challenging - getting in - or getting out..... oy!

          2. k
            kate used to be 50 RE: yumyum May 19, 2008 09:08 AM

            We were there around 6:30 last night and the parking lot was not crowded, so I am assuming it was the "Grand Opening" hoopla that made it a nightmare.

            We were just picking up take out, so I didn't get the full WF experience, but I did love the Indian take out buffet. Though the food wasn't as spicy as I would have liked, it was satisfying. The samosa (I got the last one) was large and filling.

            I also noticed that the layout is very similar to the Wild Oats layout.

            I'm just glad I can run into Medford vs. going to Woburn, but Woburn is a better store by far.

            14 Replies
            1. re: kate used to be 50
              BJK RE: kate used to be 50 May 19, 2008 09:17 AM

              Agreed. I live a mile from the Medford store and 3 miles from the Woburn store, and fully expect that I'll do my weekend shopping in Woburn and my weekday convenience stops in Medford.


              1. re: BJK
                hiddenboston RE: BJK May 19, 2008 09:19 AM

                I did notice that there were at least a couple of familiar faces working at the new Whole Foods. Nice to see that they hired some of the old Wild Harvest workers back...

                1. re: hiddenboston
                  grant.cook RE: hiddenboston May 19, 2008 10:14 AM

                  Its a good step, but also likely a required one.. Whole Foods did buy Wild Oats, making them one firm, and government frowns upon a company firing a set of workers only to hire back a whole new set doing the same thing at the same site... gets you into discrimination lawsuits, etc. But I did like the market, and it is a good step for locals to see people they know, so its a wise move as well.

                  I was hoping they'd have a commemorative reuseable bag... I hate those apple ones they are selling now, I liked the retro ones you see occasionally..

                  1. re: grant.cook
                    drbangha RE: grant.cook May 19, 2008 10:48 AM

                    Any thoughts on why they don't have a meat counter? We couldn't believe it.

                    1. re: drbangha
                      mizzduke RE: drbangha May 19, 2008 11:06 AM

                      When I visited the new store there was a staff member right in front of the prepackaged meats, and explained that they didn't have room for the full counter. They also offered to cut to order (I didn't ask specifically about this, the staff member offered it up).

                      I live within walking distance, and the convenience of it all trumps any problems with size/selection for me.

              2. re: kate used to be 50
                pemma RE: kate used to be 50 May 19, 2008 10:50 AM

                There is no contest between the parking at Medford WF and Fresh Pond. Medford is much better. Also, Medford has a huge side lot. If you don't mind walking a bit more it's easy to park there. Just getting out of the Fresh Pond lot is a pain in the neck.

                1. re: pemma
                  yumyum RE: pemma May 19, 2008 11:56 AM

                  Agreed. I use the side-lot too and at least you can get in/out without hitting a smug shopper.

                  I wasn't THAT bummed out about the butcher, just surprised.

                  BTW, the cheese counter guy was sweet as pie. In general have a thing for cheesemongers, but he was genuinely helpful and obviously amused by my La Tur dance of joy.

                  1. re: yumyum
                    Dea RE: yumyum May 20, 2008 09:03 AM

                    Heh - I went to the River St WF to pick up my La Tur, and the cheesemonger came out from behind the counter to join in my La Tur dance of joy. Then he regaled me with the story of when the Robiola was on sale for $7.50 a couple of weeks ago. That was a bittersweet tale for me, as I missed that sale.

                    Topic - glad to hear the Medford location is open. I used to live by Teele Square and it would have been lovely to have that option.

                    1. re: Dea
                      Niblet RE: Dea May 20, 2008 12:19 PM

                      Bummer about the Robiola, as not only did I miss that sale, but picked up a hefty quantity of it this weekend. But agree about the La Tur!

                      1. re: Niblet
                        BJK RE: Niblet May 20, 2008 06:48 PM

                        I must say I've been pretty underwhelmed with my La Tur this week after having indulged in that Robiola! The La Tur's a bit on the boring side for me.


                        1. re: BJK
                          Niblet RE: BJK May 21, 2008 12:36 PM

                          Indeed! Another one I LOVED that was recommended by the wonderful cheese man is the Winnemere from Jasper Hill Farms in Greensboro, VT. Pungent, stings the nostrils! And of course I can never resist Humbolt Fog.

                          1. re: Niblet
                            BJK RE: Niblet May 21, 2008 05:27 PM

                            I must say I liked the La Tur more tonight, probably because it was room temperature and not overshadowed by the Robiola this time around. The wife said it tasted the way goats smell. To my surprise she meant that as a bad thing.


                            1. re: BJK
                              yumyum RE: BJK May 22, 2008 07:52 AM

                              Oh yes -- La Tur must be room temp so it runs all over the plate. I enjoyed mine a lot more last night too.

                  2. re: pemma
                    Ralphie_in_Boston RE: pemma May 19, 2008 01:14 PM

                    That's good to know. I certainly don't mind walking a little ways around the corner. Medford WH here I come. Fresh Pond WF: stick it.!

                2. e
                  EllenMM RE: yumyum May 20, 2008 11:29 AM

                  When I was there on Sat., and mentioned the lack of a butcher to the demo guy handing out steak samples, he said that the mgmt. wanted to see how things go, and that he wouldn't be surprised to see a full-service meat section within the next year. Hooray.

                  1. m
                    maryv RE: yumyum May 20, 2008 07:28 PM

                    I thought it was generally okay. I forget what day I was there - Friday? - but it was around 3 pm and the lot was amazingly full. They were still having the tent event thing - demos and so forth.

                    Even though the lot was full, the store was not crowded. (Wonder what was up with that?) Lots of room in empty aisles to play silly shopping cart games with my one-year-old.

                    I was peeved to find that the bakery bread is not anywhere near the prepared foods. Bread is at the very "beginning" of the store, while the salad bar etc. is at the "end." Inconvenient if you want to swoop in and get something to eat on the spot and a roll to go with it (or, in this case, to mollify the one-year-old).

                    The "Trail Mix" bar was something I have not seen before. For some price per-pound, they offered eight or so trays of things you might want to put in trail mix: granola, chocolate-covered raisins, sesame sticks. No peanuts though; so much for gorp.

                    I'm not sure whether WF Medford will have a regular place in my WF rotation. It's probably faster for me to go there than to Fresh Pond - slightly farther away but quicker in-and-out. But Fresh Pond feels like my home base. I suppose it will come down to some very specific issue. Like, does either of them carry Matin des Pyrenees Apple Plum Walnut jam? Or Legere's Nutritional Yeast Salad Dressing? (hm, it seems Legere's Nutritional Yeast Website is belly-up, so I guess the answer to that would be 'neither'.)

                    I'll miss the wheatberry salad from Wild Harvest's prepared foods case.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: maryv
                      galleygirl RE: maryv May 21, 2008 07:30 AM

                      Hmm, I DID see Matin des Pyrenees on their shelves, but not sure I saw the Plum Walnut.....

                      1. re: galleygirl
                        maryv RE: galleygirl May 21, 2008 02:04 PM

                        Oops, I meant "Apple Pear Walnut." Anyway, no, neither WF had it this past week, although they had Clementine Marmalade and Fig.

                        1. re: maryv
                          galleygirl RE: maryv May 21, 2008 03:15 PM

                          That fig is the best fig condiment/jam I've ever tasted...

                          1. re: galleygirl
                            maryv RE: galleygirl May 21, 2008 06:47 PM

                            I'll give it a try!

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