Yesterday I found out that Virginia Beach is finally going to get a Whole Foods Market. In fact, it will be built so close to my house, I will be able to walk to it. I was so excited, I could hardly breathe. Granted, it won’t open until 2013, but still, it’s great news.
Many of you must be shaking your heads because you either 1.) have no idea what Whole Foods is, or 2) know why it is sometimes called Whole Paycheck and could care less about it. As for me, having been a Texan for 29 years and frequenting the flagship store in Austin, I am mighty pleased. I have greatly missed it since we moved to Virginia three years ago.
When we first moved to San Antonio in 1980, I was dismayed to find out they didn’t sell Thomas’s English muffins. I grew up with them. I thought the whole world had them. How was I supposed to make my English muffin pizzas? A tortilla didn’t do the trick. I wrote to Thomas’s and begged them to sell their product in Texas. They sent me $10 worth of coupons. Hello? I CAN’T GET THEM HERE, I wanted to scream. Several years later Thomas’s muffins appeared on store shelves and my world was on a more even keel.
Since we moved to Virginia, we haven’t been able to get Mexican food or Tex-Mex food like we could in Texas. We’ve tried a ton of “authentic” Mexican restaurants, but none can hold a candle to the ones we were used to. Oh, to taste the Camarones Diablos at Polvo’s in Austin again or the arroz con calabacitas at La Fonda on Main. My taste buds are crying as I write this.
I’m shallow. I admit it. Whenever I think of the wonderful places we’ve lived, besides friends and scenery (yada, yada, yada), my mind focuses on the food there. I miss the hot lobster rolls at Lenny and Joe’s in Madison Connecticut and the cold ones at Barnacle Billy’s at Perkin’s Cove in Ogunquit, Maine. And how is it that no one seems to be able to make a Philly Cheesesteak like they do in Philadelphia? Don’t get me started on barbecue. This east coast Southern barbecue they call pulled pork just doesn’t cut it with me. Unless you take a whole BEEF brisket and smoke it all day until it falls apart, it ain’t barbecue. If you’re ever in a little town called St. Hedwig and eat at Texas Pride Barbecue, you’ll be an instant convert. Oh, and bring your cowboy boots ’cause you’ll want to kick up your heels on the dance floor.
Grocery stores are also subject to my food fantasies. No where have I lived or probably will ever live has there been a grocery store as fabulous as HEB’s Central Market. It started in Austin and is now in many locations in Texas. My brother-in-law was so impressed with the produce that he tried to take pictures of it until one of the store managers came running and told him no pictures were allowed. Guess he thought he was a spy for…what…Krogers? I’ll bet they’re in the midst of their Hatch Chile Festival now, and I’m missing it.
Anyway, I just felt I needed to explain why I was so excited about Whole Foods coming to town. I’m getting a little bit of Texas back. Now, if we could only get a Taco Cabana here, I think I would faint dead away!