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What's this? One Whole Foods Market has a family restaurant where four can eat two or three courses of Italian food, plus bread, for only $25. There's a full menu, plus wine and beer, and counter service. Yes. It's in New Jersey, but not at the Paramus store.
Here is Whole Foods' own description:
"The Whole Foods Market Osteria is a great destination for the entire family. Our Italian eatery has affordable prices and the quality is all natural, free from preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, and hydrogenated oils. Most of the ingredients are local, fresh and some of the herbs are even grown in our hydroponic greenhouse."
This osteria (eatery) is in the Whole Foods Market in the Vauxhall section of Union Township, near Elizabeth. The store celebrates its two-year anniversary Oct. 30.
(I drove down to the shopping center on Friday to see a prototype of the 2012 Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid, but members of the public weren't allowed to drive it. The car only has a range of 14-15 miles in electric mode, and it was driven over from a hotel farther away than that, so would operate only on the small gasoline engine.)
Signs in the osteria boast of serving bread from Balthazar Bakery in Englewood, canned Jersey tomatoes and herbs "from our garden." The menu lists pizzas and a number of vegan dishes. Unfortunately, I ate a big breakfast and couldn't try any of the food. But it's a great value, considering the quality.
This store also serves prepared and buffet food that you can eat at tables near the register, just like in the Paramus store.