I needed inspiration for the kitchen, so I hopped in the truck and headed up to Durham this morning. My plan was to wander through Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, then stop in for lunch at Watts Grocery. After watching Food, Inc., I’ve been suspiciously eyeing my food, wondering where and how it was grown and how it got to my plate. I bought The Omnivore’s Dilemma; Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and Vegan with a Vengeance — which I haven’t read yet, because they’ve just arrived from Amazon. Seeing that I’m not going to grow a garden in my backyard and start raising chickens (at least not this summer, Z!), I figured the health/organic food stores were my next best bet.
I was relatively disappointed in Trader Joe’s, though I do regret not buying the absolutely gorgeous cut flowers. What I did buy was the cheap wine! I got a red and a white and a six pack of Bohemian Lager. I rarely drink, but I love collecting alcohol.
My disappointment with Trader Joe’s turned into sheer, unadulterated joy when I arrived at Watts Grocery. First of all, I had to hide my surprise that it wasn’t an actual grocery store, it’s a restaurant. I found Watts Grocery on Facebook and added it to my Go Here list. I expected something like Whole Foods’ cafeteria, but instead got this cool little restaurant right past Duke’s East Campus. Super nice staff, good tea and a slap-your-momma awesome [!!!] chicken, brie and applewood bacon sandwich. Seriously the best sandwich I’ve had… ever. I got greedy and paired it with a side of hush puppies, in addition to the mixed green salad that came with it. I love hush puppies and these were no exception — they had cheese in ’em! Overall, I give Watts Grocery a 10+ rating. The plus is for not screwing up my half sweetened, half unsweetened tea with a lemon order.
I waddled over to Whole Foods before hitting 40 for the drive home. Let’s face it, people: the only reason I was there was for the Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. I’m a fan of cookies. I’m an excellent cookie maker. And I will leap tall buildings in a single bound for VOCCC at Whole Foods. But I’m not crass. I at least made a good show of looking around. [Including staring at a clearly emaciated woman as she stalked a Whole Foods worker because she was desperate for cellulite cream. True story. The Whole Foods lady looked a little frightened.] Certainly not one who is emaciated or worried about cellulite, I bought whole grain pancake mix and pure maple syrup… and two VOCCCs.
I arrived home to find my new food processor was delivered. Tomorrow we find out if I can use it without losing a finger.