Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Tucson: Coming Jan. 16 – Whole Foods Market, River Road

Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Coming Jan. 16 – Whole Foods Market, River Road

This past week Circle of Food was invited to a farm to table dinner announcing the soon-to-open new Whole Foods Market on River & Craycroft.

The new store will have many local vendors including Allegro Gelato, Arizona Date Garden, Blue Sky Farms, Dragoon Brewing, Sunizona Family Farms, Willcox Greenhouse, Briggs & Eggers, San Xavier Coop, Kief-Joshua Vineyards and 43 Arizona wines in stock…

The new store will have handcrafted pizzas by the slice or pie, in-house chips & dips, meals-on-the-go, hot food bar, in-store taqueria, salad bar featuring local & organic produce, gelato bar, and sandwich bar using only organic ingredients. There will also be a bar serving beer & wine and grass fed burgers so hangout and enjoy.

Here’s something you don’t see every day — 100% in house made whole grain cakes. I have never tasted a whole grain cake; I look forward to that pleasure.

At the dinner many of the team leaders who were young or young-at-heart and enthusiastic talked about their role in the new store. I sat next to a woman who is a cheese specialist. Now there’s a job title I would relish.

The family-style dinner was fabulously prepared by a young-ish Nathan Hirsch who oversees the food. A roasted date salad was divine; roasting the dates added another dimension to them. According to Chef Hirsch, the dates were roasted in a smidgeon of brown butter. Dragoon beer braised short ribs melted in my mouth as did the winter squash soft polenta. I don’t even like polenta but I liked this dish.

I am quite excited about this new Whole Foods Market. At the opening on Wednesday – January 16, the first 100 customers will receive a free demi baguette. The store which is located at 5555 River Road opens at 9 a.m.

You can like the River Road WFM on Facebook and follow its progress.

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