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Whole Foods - Lunchtime Best Kept Secrets and Deals?

I work right by the downtown Flagship Whole Foods, so by default it is often the office cafeteria - so many choices across the board! The downside is that the bill can easily start adding up for daily lunches (The "Whole Paycheck" monker is easily warranted). In addition, despite the options I often finding myself getting some of the same things (hit the sushi bar, salad bar, tacos, etc) So, while I know I can go and get that $9.00 sushi package, or pay $11.99 for a piece of salmon with two sides at the prepared foods counter, what I really want to know are what are your best kept secrets at Whole Foods? Things to order not necessarily advertised? Great finds for a lunch meal you may not have noticed? What are some of the best deals to be had (I already overdose on the awesome and huge 2 for $5.00 taco bar deal).

Help me out Chowhounds!

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  1. I love the Broccoli Crunch salad. They have it all over. They have it in prepack, behind the counter, and occasionally on the salad bar. That stuff is like crack.
    I like the Salmon Candy. It's over in the fish area... think smoked fish jerky (but still soft). I'll get a piece and a roll and that's a meal for me.
    You can also go over to the cheese section and go through their remainders that are small pieces, packed, and priced usually under $5 a piece. You can find a couple good pieces, buy a piece of fruit and have a great lunch.

    The sandwich staff got creative one day and made up a sandwich which has become my favorite sandwich EVER. She made a roast beef sandwich with fig spread and chipotle mayo. It also had spinach, mushrooms, roasted tomatoes and cheese. Then it was all pressed to make the bread thin and crispy. Sweet, savory, spicy all at the same time. It is soooooo good.

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      1. I really love their New England clam chowder (and I've eaten a lot clam chowder on Cape Cod!) They also sometimes have a sweet potato and ancho chili soup which is incredible. Both soups are so filling that with some bread and a salad they make a great meal.

        For comfort food, their mac & cheese is so great (from the hot food counter, not the prepared foods aisle--not sure why both taste so different, but they do.) It's also pretty cheap!

        2 Replies
        1. re: mandmbklyn

          I had the mac & cheese yesterday and you're right, it was quite good. The mac & cheese, a roll, and yogurt made a great cheap lunch.

          1. re: danny_w

            I do like their mac and cheese...but only have had it as a side. Didn't think of making it the main meal, but sounds like a good idea paired with something like a yogurt, fruit, etc. Thanks!

        2. I like to get the hot dog. size wise it's more like a sausage sandwich.. they will griddle up some onions and kraut to go with it if you ask.... with fries it's 4.99. definitely a steal. I then go to the beer fridge and pick a beer. if I get one of the cheap singles it's <$8...
          Though I tend to pick up a 24 oz stone IPA....

          1. This is just a little thing: if you bring your own cup, you get 25 cents off your coffee.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Helind

              You also get 25 cents off if you bring your own cup for iced tea.