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3 Whole Foods Hits & Misses for Your Summer BBQ

June 19 2012 - 4:07 PM

EppasangriaNow that temperatures are well into the 90’s, instead of sitting in our sticky apartments or venturing into air conditioned restaurants, it sounds so much more appealing to invite some friends over for a rooftop barbecue. Whole Foods has some tempting options to impress your guests, but it can be pricey. Here’s my take on the highlights and misses to pay attention to on your next trip to this organic market.

Buy It:

  1. Wine, Beer and Sangria
    Compared to regular grocery stores or liquor stores, Whole Foods has a much more managable selection of alcohol. You’ll find a range of prices and options to fit your taste. In the summer, my personal favorite for guests is sangria. It’s refreshing, fruity and can be a pretty universal favorite if you can find a good one. I highly recommend Eppa Sangria, a red sangria with flavors of pomegranate, blueberry, acai and blood orange. The fruit flavorings provide tons of antioxidants and a unique flavor. It’s definitely affordable, and I’ll be keeping this one in my fridge this summer.
  2. Guacamole
    You can definitely make guacamole on your own, but it doesn’t get better than Whole Foods guac if you’re looking for a simple party snack. It has just the right chunky consistency, and a perfect amount of spice, lime and cilantro. It is on the expensive side. I’ve never been disappointed with my purchase, though. Be sure to serve to a group or you may eat the whole container in one sitting.
  3. Marinades
    Barbecue sauce is always a great option to have on hand, and you can get that anywhere. For your shrimp skewers or tuna steaks, consider changing up the flavoring. I’m a huge fan of the Whole Foods brand coconut and lime marinade for seafood. It has a light creaminess, and the roasted red pepper packs a punch. It isn’t an expensive investment, and it’ll change your meal.

Skip It:

  1. Pre-cut Fruit
    When I see people buy the pre-cut fruit here, I judge them a little bit. The organic fruit is expensive enough, and they charge about twice that to cut it. If you’re really in need of pre-cut fruit, check out Stanley’s Fruit & Vegetables for more than reasonable prices. You can cut your fruit spending in half, or even more, by buying whole fruits or getting a fruit tray elsewhere. The quality isn’t much different.
  2. Seafood
    While you should buy the marinade at Whole Foods, you may want to steer clear of the seafood aisle. It’s a high quality, great looking product. Yet if you think the meat is expensive there, just wait until you try to buy a pound of shrimp or fillet of salmon. Save this section of the store for a special occassion. If you’re having friends over and really want to impress them, opting for some really fresh seafood from New England Seafod Company Fish Market will do the trick.
  3. Salad Bar
    It’s so tempting because everything on both the hot and cold salad bars look so delicious and enticing. They are already made for you and you know it’s probably going to taste amazing. No matter what amount you get off the salad bar at Whole Foods, it’s always shockingly expensive. Once you take one little thing, you’ll probably end up filling your container and spending $20 on some couscous. Walk quickly past this section of the store.


–Marly Schuman