Okay so no one that lives outside of Edmonton is actually going to give a shit about this, but a new grocery store opened downtown in Edmonton, to much fanfare; atleast around the newsroom (as I’m sure was the case in every office downtown today.) It’s something the Sobeys chain is trying: “Urban Fresh” concept. Other places have tried this in Edmonton and failed, miserably. Edmontonians are just more into Moxies than they are delicious ingredients for home cooked meals, I fear.
I was concerned it was all hype, but then some photos from a secret ‘behind the scenes’ tour trickled in, then some columns were written about it by some journalists and then finally tonight I couldn’t stand it anymore, I HAD TO GO. (I had promised myself I would wait until atleast this weekend when things settled down a bit, but I could not do it.)
The place is amazing. There are cheeses the Italian Centre does not have. FOURTEEN kinds of dried mushrooms. Preprepared and uncooked meats and veggies of every kind, including some purple carrots I bought. Delicious bakery with breads by the slice (!). A gorgeous floral area. A salsa bar!!! A sushi bar!!!!! A cozy coffee bar curling around a fireplace, with roll up doors to Jasper Avenue and an licensed oyster bar next to that.
They really are catering to the downtown execs there for lunch or who don’t want to cook at night, with lots of preprepared meals, though. Normally I’d turn my nose up at these, but they actually looked edible and will be great in a pinch on a ‘I forgot lunch today’ day.
Add to that the downtown farmer’s market on Saturdays, and I nearly cried a tear of joy tonight. It is almost like we have our own little mini Whole Foods. *sigh*