Supermarket dining is something that’s easy to associate with steam trays full of mac & cheese, mashed potatoes and soggy fried chicken. It’s a step up from the school cafeteria, but still involves a lot of items served with an ice cream scoop.
The opening of Whole Foods in West Des Moines last month expanded the culinary playing field a bit. You can get made-to- order sandwiches, hot pizza, hot and cold bars, prepared salads and sushi and other items.
My wife and I headed to Whole Foods for a mid-week lunch to find the dining area bustling. I placed an order for the Jordan Creek sandwich, made with prosciutto, brie, olive oil and greens and served hot or cold (I went with hot) for $6.99. My wife picked up a package of the shrimp tempura sushi ($8.39) and we found a seat.
We were both very pleased with our orders. I got my sandwich on a whole-grain ciabatta bread, one of several available options. The cheese was warm and gooey and the sandwich left me not too full, but not craving something else. The sushi seemed very fresh (the avocado in the rolls showed no sign of having aged). The only odd part was that we couldn’t find chopsticks anywhere. It made eating the sushi just a little bit awkward.
With the extensive beer selection, a wide variety of meats and cheeses and a great assortment of prepared foods, it’s easy to walk into Whole Foods for one thing and get drawn into a meal and a shopping cart full of dinner for the next week. The cafe doesn’t seem to offer as much as Gateway Market, but if you’re shopping in the West Des Moines area it’s not a bad place to stop.
Plus, if they ever decide to film a “Top Chef” season in Des Moines we have a place for the contestants to get their ingredients.
Whole Foods Market
Where: 4100 University Ave., West Des Moines
Hours: 8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
Info: 343-2600, wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/westdesmoines
Jordan Creek sandwich ... $6.99
Shrimp tempura roll ... $8.39
Two lemonades ... $1.49 each
Total with tax: $19.27