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Burrito Bar at Whole Foods

n
newhound Feb 10, 2009 03:55 PM

I should have known better.

Decided to get dinner in-house at WF Fresh Pond while grocery shopping tonight. Many posters to this board have noted how Whole Food's prepared food looks so good and then tastes so...blah. Guessing that this might have been the case, I had the very friendly guy assemble me a pulled pork, salsa verde, guac, black beans, etc. burrito. I figured that at least one of those ingredients would carry some seasoning or flavor. The meat had no seasoning and the salsa verde was tasteless. Truly bland.

None of our better local burrito joints need quake in their tortillas from this relatively new competitor...

  1. digga Feb 11, 2009 06:38 PM

    Personally, I depend, rather junkie-like, on WF River Street for lunch. I like the golden tofu, various grain dishes (rice et al), soups, etc. I had a pretty tasty tempeh (I think) chicken cold dish from the salad bar this past week. For a semi-healthy lunch, it's tough otherwise in Central Sq. unless you brown bag it. Which I don't. Hell, if you don't like the prepped foods, don't eat it. It's pretty simple.

    1. c
      cpingenot Feb 11, 2009 02:53 PM

      I hit WF a lot on my way home from work, hungry and needing to pick up one or two quick things for my dinner prep. They have all these food bars placed near the registers, but strangely I'm never tempted, and I realized one day that the reason is that it doesn't smell like real food. Even the hot tables don't have much of an aroma. Looks great, yes, but smell is a pretty good indicator of flavor I think.

      1. C. Hamster Feb 11, 2009 11:47 AM

        It's like they completely omitted salt and all other seasonings in everything they prepare. like they were cooking for toddlers or something

        2 Replies
        1. re: C. Hamster
          Prav Feb 11, 2009 12:37 PM

          "Cooking for toddlers" = Thanks for giving me my first laugh of the day, C.

          1. re: Prav
            n
            newhound Feb 11, 2009 01:33 PM

            As the original poster on this thread, I can add this: I ate my pulled pork burrito alongside my two-year old toddler, whose favorite food word is "Tasty!"

            She wouldn't eat the burrito.

        2. l
          lulatula Feb 11, 2009 09:53 AM

          I too agree about the bland food at Whole Foods, yet I see crowds there at lunchtime at the food bars. When I see something that looks good now I always ask for a sample first and then I decide.
          Glad I decided not to try the fish taco's at the burrito bar!

          1. cannedmilkandfruitypebbles Feb 11, 2009 06:22 AM

            I, too, have been a victim or their prepared foods. They lure you in with great lighting, glossy looking melted cheese, and the idea that there are chefs behind closed doors whipping this up. But in reality, everything falls short in flavor. I find their burritos to be one of the blandest offerings. Had a tibetan veggie burrito and it tasted like corregated cardboard with rubberized cheese on top.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles
              justbeingpolite Feb 11, 2009 06:38 AM

              I agree the prepared foods look way better than they taste. At woburn and bedford I've had good luck with seafood, have been getting fine Maine shrimp (even some heads) and really nice Nantucket scallops (though I did ask the fish guy if he could put one in a ring setting for me :)). I've also found the sushi seviceable for a quick snack.

            2. Prav Feb 10, 2009 03:58 PM

              I'm one of the posters that's always found WF prepared foods to be sooo bland. I don't understand how WF is consistently bland, in EVERY dish I've tried. Even both WF locations in my hometown of Ann Arbor, MI!

              7 Replies
              1. re: Prav
                jgg13 Feb 10, 2009 04:42 PM

                Seconded. I work near the Cambridge St WFM, and every single time I find myself saying, "Ya know, maybe I'll get something from whole foods", I (almost) always end up disappointed.

                *: Their pizza can be decent at times. Also, there's one particular guy there that seems to drive up the quality of the pizza by his very presence.

                1. re: jgg13
                  galleygirl Feb 10, 2009 04:54 PM

                  The RiverSt WF has an excellent pizza guy; all the people who work in the store buy it. Young, thin, white guy with long, light brown hair...Very creative,and artistic about it.

                  1. re: jgg13
                    d
                    DoubleMan Feb 10, 2009 05:27 PM

                    I completely agree. Everything - from the wings to the soups - stinks. They should hire one of the cooks from Russo's, whose prepared foods are vastly superior (and cheaper).

                    1. re: jgg13
                      BobB Feb 11, 2009 06:03 AM

                      I had the wood-burning oven-baked pizza once at the Woburn Whole Foods and it was really outstanding. Can't say the same for the rest of their prepared foods, though.

                      1. re: BobB
                        gansu girl Feb 11, 2009 11:40 AM

                        I was just thinking - "the only thing I've liked is the pizza in Woburn." And a broccoli salad thing we had in San Fran 2 years ago. Seriously. Otherwise it's consistently a let down. And I'll assure you, we're one of WFM's No. 1 customers . . . just not for pre-prep'd food.

                        1. re: gansu girl
                          almansa Feb 11, 2009 01:50 PM

                          I'll do the pizza, the blackened chicken salad, the portobello "pizza," the grilled shrimp and the garlicky green beans. Oh, and the chicken or turkey soups, but that's about it. And why do they insist on putting insipid honey mustard on every sandwich?

                    2. re: Prav
                      almansa Feb 10, 2009 05:25 PM

                      I've always found their prepared foods bland as well. I assumed that they try to keep things as low sodium as possible. However I'm finding their prepared foods better and more interesting since Dave Blessing joined them.

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