The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.

It's entirely possible to be a vegetarian in Porkopolis. Pop culture reporter Lauren Bishop blogs about products, recipes and restaurants she's tried for others who eat meat-free. E-mail her at lbishop@enquirer.com.

Nicci King is an unabashed foodie and the Lifestyle/Food editor in The Enquirer's features department. She loves to discover new food faves, and she's on a daily quest to answer one burning question: What's for dinner? E-mail her at nking@enquirer.com.

Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.

Food/dining writer Polly Campbell loves every quirk and secret of Cincinnati's food personality, and is on a constant lookout for something good to eat. Keep an eye out for her restaurant picks, or see how she's progressing toward becoming famous for her apple pie. E-mail her at pcampbell@enquirer.com.

Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wild Oats-Whole Foods merger

Looks like we'll have to wait till April to find out how our Mason and Norwood Wild Oats fare with the Whole Foods merger announced last week. Personally, I don't shop at Wild Oats all that much now, even though I drive by the Deerfield Town Center one at least once a week. But if it were rebranded Whole Foods, I might make it a point to visit more often. Loved the Whole Foods in Old Town, Alexandria, Va. when I was out there for a wedding in October. Great spot to have lunch - seats out front and everything. (AND it's right in the middle of a downtown area, versus suburbia). And Whole Foods strikes me as less "crunchy" than Wild Oats. If that's possible.


at 11:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julie, I am familiar with both Wild Oats and Whole Foods. I'm not sure what you mean when you say that Wild Oats is more "crunchy."
Could you explain?

at 12:03 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a Whole Foods just up the road in Columbus that is the best and biggest Whole Foods I've ever been to. At 74,435 square feet, it is larger than any other Whole Foods Market I am aware of including those in Chicago and Manhattan. It is certainly one of WFM's largest stores. It is very foodie friendly and definitely worth a trip. My husband drops me off there every time we go to Columbus to visit relatives...a couple of hours with the relatives, a couple of hours at Whole Foods, and then home.

The Columbus WFM has a huge deli area with several different stations offering many different kinds of prepared foods...fish, meat, poultry, whole grains, Fresh fruits and vegetables, vegetarian, vegan. There are several eating/tasting areas with small exhibition kitchens scattered about. Some of these areas are like small in-store cafes or bistros, and you can get the appropriate wine for the dish you've ordered too.

There is also a huge salad buffet area with a varied array of freshly prepared foods. There is always something new to try there.

At the nearby pizza station with pizza oven, you can try truly top notch thin crust pizza. There is always something new to try here too.

Around the corner from the pizza is another hot food station where you can try some old standards as well as more exotic preparations. As usual, there is always something new to try each time I go.

And wait, there's more! The bakery. Ah, the bakery! The bakery produces very beautiful pastries influenced by the french baking tradition, not only in looks but in flavor. The pastries are not overly sweet allowing you to taste the freshness and quality of the ingredients. They are well-proportioned and beautiful to look at. And most important of all, they are very tasty! The pastries are made, not just assembled, in house. The lemon tart and the pear frangipane tart are so good that I usually tuck some into my cart to bring back home. Mmm! Fresh pears and frangipane paste! I'm lucky if the tarts survive the journey home.

In short, there is enough at the Whole Foods Market in Columbus to satisfy even the pickiest gourmand. I hope we are fortunate enough to get a similar store here in Cincinnati. It would make me and other WFM foodies very happy, I am sure. There is currently nothing even remotely like it in Cincinnati, I assure you. If you haven't been, it's worth the trip!

at 12:33 PM Blogger Julie Gaw said...

I mean crunchy as in "granola crunchy" - a little too 60s, earthy, hippie, perhaps New Age for me.
I see the rows of health-food supplements, etc., at Wild Oats, and I think that just freaks me out a bit. It's a little extreme. I'm all for eating local, eating healthy, eating well. I like the idea of organic but am I willing to pay for it? Not really. Wild Oats just strikes me as a bit more extreme in that department than Whole Foods. But then, I was only in Whole Foods twice while I was in DC. (However, my brother lives in DC and LOVES Whole Foods, and he's about as non-crunchy as they come!)

at 7:15 AM Anonymous brando315 said...

I love Wild Oats. I enjoy the size of their stores also (not too big).

Turns out we have another market that will compete in this space as well~Fresh Market, that has just opened its second location near Kenwood Town Centre.

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