Berkeley Bowl, aka Foodie Mecca

This past weekend I headed to New York City to visit my other sister, Pippa, who recently got engaged as well and will also be getting married this summer.  She began the search for a wedding dress a few weeks ago, but asked if I could visit for a few other bridal salon appointments.  This is all very new to me, but surprisingly fun!

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But before I talk about this past weekend, let’s first go back to my trip to San Francisco, shall we?

One of my absolute favorite places we visited during my time there was a local Berkeley grocery store called Berkeley Bowl, which I mentioned briefly in my last post.  However, the term ‘grocery store’ does not do this place justice.  I could have spent hours there!  Heck, I want to move to San Francisco solely so I can shop there on a regular basis.  My meals would be so much more exciting!

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First of all…the store had two, incredibly large and distinct fruit and produce sections.  One completely reserved just for organic products.  The size of that section alone was larger than my entire Whole Foods produce section put together

The variety and freshness of the produce available was astounding.  I kept walking around with my mouth wide-open, completely floored by everything.  I also exclaimed “Oh my god! Look at this!” about a million times during the duration of the trip.  This place put Whole Foods to shame, shame people!

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Not to mention, the prices were mind-blowing.  I realize that since almost everything is grown in California that I should expect their prices to be lower, but seriously?!  Organic pears for $.69 cents a pound?!  One lb bags of gorgeous basil for under $5 dollars?!  That is downright unfair.

That two-pound box of organic Earthbound spring mix seen above was only $4.99.  First of all, I have never even see a container of lettuce that large, even at Costco.  Second of all, I pay $5.99 for a one pound box of it at home.  This annoys me profoundly.

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Just check out the photo below!  The top shelf holds huge Aloe Vera leaves, massive stalks of lemongrass, and something called “Galanga”, as seen on the top left hand side.  Every single sign clearly stated the country or state where it was grown, as well. 

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Need some fresh chickpeas (garbanzo beans)?  Don’t mind if I do…

Don’t you worry, I opened up one of those pods just to prove to myself that that was indeed a chickpea—as I only know them in dried or canned form.  Not anymore.  Who knew?! 

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Though I could have spent a few more hours (or days, for that matter) in Berkeley Bowl, eventually my sister forced my mom and I to get to the task at hand:  figuring out what to make for dinner that night.  Meanwhile, I kept getting distracted by more and more foodie finds.  Don’t even get me started on the bulk bin section…

Seriously though, if you are in the area, this place is worth a visit.  I realize it’s technically just a grocery store, but it is an experience that you won’t forget!

If you don’t get a chance to visit Berkeley anytime soon, hopefully you can live a little vicariously through this post!

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2 Responses to “Berkeley Bowl, aka Foodie Mecca”

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    Cindy Robinson — October 14, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

    Hi Laura! I just found your blog, and loving it. Whoa, I’m totally with you on this, foodie mecca! Though I’ve never even been to a Whole Foods (yet!) I would for certain have to wipe the drool from my mouth after seeing this place. Everything you described sounds astouding!

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    Laura — October 15, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

    Thanks so much Cindy! I know, right?! It was incredible. I wish I could live within a foot of that place everyday.

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