Ever since moving to Berkeley I've heard about the beloved Berkeley Bowl grocery store. It's been two months and a week since moving to Berkeley, and today was my first visit to the greatest market in all of grocery land.
I didn't think it was possible to get so giddy over a food market. I've tried Safeway, which blows. I like Trader Joe's, but their produce section is shitty, and the farmer's markets in Berkeley are so highfalutin that you (or at least, I) can't really afford to buy anything. (Can you say $6 for a dozen organic, free range, hand-petted, cuddled-at-night hen eggs?) I'd heard fantastic things about Berkeley Bowl, that they have the largest produce section in Northern California and that they have everything you could imagine, ever, but I'd also heard that it was crowded to the point of bursting. Today these proclamations were tested.
Somehow, like a little kiss from the parking gods, a spot beside the front door was open just after we pulled in the lot. I snagged a buggy, which was very long and hard to maneuver, then plowed inside and hung a right. The first thing I saw was bread: seeded baguettes and sourdough rounds and hard, rye rolls and cheese focaccia. I swooned a little at the bevy of fresh carbohydrate options in front of me, when I turned the corner and found three more rows just like it. I almost passed out. Spelt bread with no salt, oatmeal with currants, scones and croissants. And, people, that was just the bread. There is also an olive bar with dozens of different options, 12 rows of wines, every possible ethnic food under the sun, two rows of mixed salad lettuces and about 30 things in the produce section alone I'd never even heard of. I am not shitting you when I tell you there over 30 kinds of apples to choose from.
Here is the best part: Fuck Whole Foods prices, this stuff is actually affordable! Cheaper than crappy ol' Safeway by far. 89 cent pomegranates, do you hear what I am saying? This is not some break the bank Wild Oats-style supermarket. It's independently owned, and it's breathtaking in scope and size. I can't wait to eat up all this food, just so I can go back. No more lunches out, I'm back on the fresh food bento train thanks to my new boyfriend, Berkeley Bowl.
Some time I hope to run into this guy.