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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Friday, February 22, 2008

Wild Oats vs. Whole Foods

Earlier this week, Polly wrote about the changes afoot with the Whole Foods / Wild Oats merger. I know there are some who insist Whole Foods isn't as wholesome as it appears, but I'm impressed by the lowered prices and increased and diverse offerings it's brought.

I've never been able to make a vegetarian meatloaf that tastes quite like mom's meat-based loaf, but the Whole Foods vegetarian meatloaf (available at the deli counter, $6.99/lb) comes deliciously close to the real thing. The husband and I both loved the red bean and rice salad, also available at the deli counter. And the chocolate chewies? Absolutely divine. Even better, all ingredients are clearly labeled and contain no no artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, or synthetic preservatives.

Polly, too, was impressed with the sheer bounty of prepared foods. As she noted:

There was such abundance of prepared foods, it made me wonder if anyone cooks anymore. There are bars with curries, chili bars, a huge salad bar, a barbecue bar, a tofu bar and a great olive bar. There’s a gelateria, a pizza station, an Italian foods deli, a bakery with fancy French pastries.

I'm also liking the Whole Foods website, which lists oodles of recipes and health and wellness topics.

How about you? Have any fabulous Whole Foods finds to share? Or do you prefer Wild Oats?


at 2:00 PM Anonymous Jennifer said...

I am excited about getting to shop at Whole Foods (and not having to drive 2 hours to Columbus or Louisville to do it). I really like their gourmet burgers. We get the blue cheese and bacon burgers in the summer, they are awesome on the grill. The prepared crab cakes that you can pick up at the seafood counter and cook at home are wonderful. I also like their fresh fruit and veggie selections. Where else you gonna find Meyer lemons? I like their grab and go soups too (tomato basil is awesome) as well as their bakery goods. I am looking forward to shopping there often.

at 2:52 PM Anonymous bscribe said...

Having shopped frequently at Whole Foods in D.C., San Francisco, Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, Charleston S.C., Charlottesville, Louisville, Columbus, and most recently Ann Arbor, AND having shopped Wild Oats in quite a few places, mainly throughout Colorado where it was based, I just want to urge caution about getting excited about our local possibilities here. Hate to be the wet blanket and all, but the Wild Oats stores were very nice elsewhere, far outshone the Wild Oats here (both Hyde Park and Mason locations). I don't think we ought to imagine that the Whole Foods here are going to become anything like the other *great* Whole Foods stores elsewhere. But would I ever love to be proved wrong!

at 4:45 PM Anonymous Harold said...

First, you gonna find Meyer lemons at Madison's in Findlay market, along with a lot of things (ramps and fiddle heads are just around the corner, not to mention exotic mushrooms). I was seduced away from Wild Oats by Fresh Market and it will take some doing for Whole Foods to win me back. Fresh market is no slacker in the prepared foods department and their bagels are best in town.

at 8:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pipkin's in Blue Ash had meyer lemons the last time I was there, about a week ago. And it's a locally owned business to boot.

at 9:58 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bigg's in Mason also has Meyer Lemons.

at 11:45 AM Blogger Mary said...

Whole Feeds in Kenwood has Meyer lemons as well.

at 10:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI.....Meyer Lemons are not some exotic rare find......

at 9:05 AM Blogger Mary said...

No, they're not, but they aren't always easy to find and and are only available during certain months. Thanks for being such a smart a** though.

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