What‘s good at Whole Foods?
April 2, 2015 3:12 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for prepared meals or food they sell in their cafes, specifically. I like to grab a meal when I do my shopping that I can eat as soon as I get home. Less than 10 minute prep time required. Thanks!
posted by backwards compatible to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
I love their chicken curry salad and their vegetarian version of the same.
posted by shortyJBot at 3:57 AM on April 2, 2015


Did you see this recent question? Some good ideas there.
posted by ellieBOA at 4:00 AM on April 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I always get their garlic green beans, which are usually both in the hot food bar and chilled in the prepared food section. Yum!
posted by schroedingersgirl at 4:33 AM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I love their rotisserie chickens. I also like their to-go sushi (especially rolls made with brown rice). The one near me sometimes has fried sweet plantains in the steam tray bar and some pretty great cold grain salads in the cold salad bar.
posted by Yellow Silver Maple at 5:04 AM on April 2, 2015


I enjoy their meatballs and the broccoli rabe.
posted by Jahaza at 5:30 AM on April 2, 2015


The kale salad with tahini dressing, at the salad bar. I've never been a fan of raw kale, but this is really, really good. They also sell the tahini dressing by itself, which is good on anything and everything.

I love their prepared cornbread in the bakery area - they have regular, vegan, as well as "specialty" ones like cranberry, blueberry, and jalapeno.

Maybe more for a snack, but I'm a fan of the freshly ground peanut butter machines. Love the regular (just straight peanuts, nothing else), and honey roasted.

Lots of Whole Foods often partner with local area businesses and vendors to bring some of their prepared food goods into their stores. They're usually in a refrigerated section near the salad or hot bar. Worth checking out to support some smaller and local businesses.
posted by raztaj at 6:11 AM on April 2, 2015


If your whole foods has it, their vegan general Tso chicken is crazy delicious. We're not vegan (or even vegetarian) and it is one the staples that we get from whole foods on our trips. We get it by the quartful and it is usually gone by the next day.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 6:17 AM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I like their Moroccan turkey salad.
posted by brujita at 6:37 AM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


My two favorite things from WF's prepared food section are the Lemon Cranberry Quinoa (often on the salad bar or in the cold salad case) and the Ginger Steamed Beets (cold salad case).
posted by Pizzarina Sbarro at 7:43 AM on April 2, 2015


I'm no vegetarian, but I love their mock chicken salad. Down near Raleigh (I haven't seen this in my area yet) they have a "barbecue" version that's spicy and orange. It's really good.

Once, when the deli case was out of it, a WF employee showed me to the mock chicken nuggets they use in the salad--they're made in Morrisville, NC and dear god they are delicious. If they sell them up in your area, throw 'em in a skillet with some vegetables and a grain and it's a fantastic meal.
posted by witchen at 8:03 AM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I always get the dishes made with cubes of cooked tofu. The tofu has a certain texture that I've never been able to duplicate at home. The best dishes are the ones with vegetables and some kind of sesame dressing.

The massaged kale avocado salad is also pretty good, although I have switched to making it myself with Trader Joe's lower fat guacamole.
posted by BibiRose at 8:07 AM on April 2, 2015


I am currently eating a BLT made from bacon purchased cooked at the breakfast bar, a tomato I bought and sliced, a $1.29 baguette from the bakery, and romaine from the salad bar. It's amazing and cheap.
posted by Stewriffic at 9:01 AM on April 2, 2015


I'd avoid anything that's mostly rice, noodles, potatoes, macaroni, corn, etc. because you can get delicious carbohydrate equivalents, less expensively, from a box of crackers or a fresh slice of bread. And the bread there is usually delicious and organic (while the hot bar is not organic, in case you are paying attention to that).

I am a big fan of the herb crusted tofu, but I like tofu. Honestly, though, the crust is the best part. Though the tofu inside is exceptionally delicious.

The soup is good, too, but it's proportionally expensive.
posted by amtho at 10:36 AM on April 2, 2015


The quiches are excellent. No crispy crust if you microwave them, and ready in your allotted time. If there's someone at home to preheat the oven it's more like 20 minutes, but that's only if you like the crispy crust. With a salad from the salad bar it's a filling meal.
posted by Locative at 10:58 AM on April 2, 2015


Can you tell us more about your favorite foods, favorite flavors, things you like or don't like to eat, any health goals, allergies/sensitivities you might have, etc.?

I mean, I could tell you what my favorite WF hot-bar things are (Indian-restaurant food, chicken and dumplings, chicken Marsala, coq au vin, probably some other stuff I'm forgetting), but if you don't like chicken, this probably won't be that helpful.
posted by box at 11:23 AM on April 2, 2015


Response by poster: Thank you all for the great answers! I didn't list my favorite foods because I wanted to get a wide variety of choices, and also because I'm not a terribly brave eater, but I've been wanting to expand my culinary horizons. So please feel free to suggest anything! When I said "shopping" I should have specified that I meant stores nearby Whole Foods, and I've never actually been inside. So I don't really know what types of things they have on offer.
posted by backwards compatible at 12:05 PM on April 2, 2015


There's a Whole Foods just down the block from my house, and the wife and I do a fair bit of "quick just get something we can eat and something else to cram in the kid's mouth" there, more than we should.

The pizza they bake on site is surprisingly good, as I learned when we got some for the kid and I stole a piece. Its crust is delicious. For grownups, the curry chicken salad -- as well as the "fake" chicken variety, surprisingly -- is to die for, and I don't use that phrase lightly. Their cranberry couscous is very good too. The to-go sushi isn't the best, especially for the price, but it fills that need every now and then.

Really, though, my two favorite quick grab and go dinners from Whole Foods would be a) just hitting the (expansive) salad bar, getting some greens, beets, artichoke hearts, pickled mushrooms, etc, and topping it with balsamic, or b) getting a couple cheeses from the cheese counter, a pile of olives from the olive bar, and a fresh loaf of sourdough and going to town on that. Hard to beat for easy and tasty, if not cheap.
posted by jammer at 12:50 PM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Bakery:
Seeduction bread

Salad bar:
Cabbage crunch salad
Cucumber noodles (I usually get a little bag of peanuts from the bulk nut section to add to this)

Hot bar:
Mashed potatoes
Honey barbecue wings
Chicken medallions swimming in sauce (can't remember what it's called though)
Roasted brussels sprouts with pecans

Deli:
Twice baked potatoes (reheat in microwave)
Curried chicken salad
Sonoma chicken salad croissant
Yellowfin tuna salad sandwich
Market Salad (with cranberries, walnuts, feta cheese, balsamic dressing... YUM)
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 9:03 PM on April 2, 2015


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