By VICTOR E. SASSON
I stopped at Whole Foods Market on Monday to buy more of the store's terrific organic whole-wheat shells and spaghetti from Italy, but found only shells.
I put two 1-pound boxes in my reusable shopping bag ($1.39 each), and wandered over to the fresh fish counter, where a display included bluefish and porgies landed in New Jersey for only $4.99 a pound.
With prices like that -- about what I would pay at a Korean supermarket -- I picked up a whole, wild-caught porgy for dinner.
At home, I squeezed lime juice over the fish and seasoned it while heating up leftover bottled marinara sauce, a can of organic diced tomatoes from Costco Wholesale and a few ounces of extra-virgin olive oil.
Meanwhile, I boiled water to cook 2 cups of the 365 Everyday Value whole wheat pasta shells, which were al dente in less time than listed on the box.
I placed the whole fish over the sauce, covered the pan and cooked it for about 15 minutes. I removed the fish, added the drained shells and mixed them well with the sauce.
The sweet porgy was terrific with the pasta and a glass of red wine. A salad of simply dressed Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix and Sunset-brand Gourmet Cucumbers finished the meal.
|The porgy cooked in a covered pan on top of the sauce. I sprinkled Organic No-Salt Seasoning from Costco over the fish, and black pepper and a few red-pepper flakes over the sauce.|
|At Whole Foods Market, "local" porgies, fluke and other wild-caught fish were landed in New Jersey.|
I returned to Whole Foods Market in Paramus around lunchtime on Tuesday, looking for 365 Everyday Value Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti, which was out of stock the day before.
I couldn't resist a 16-0unce cup of vegan Heirloom Bean Chili from the store's hot soup bar ($5.99 plus tax).
But when I saw long checkout lines and no customers at the Allegro coffee counter, I went there to pay for my chili.
The employee refused, saying it was "store policy."
I mentioned that I had paid for coffee and soup there before, but didn't want to have coffee until later. She still refused.
"That's some customer service," I told her.
I went to a checkout line, paid $6.41 for the chili and stopped at a small desk beyond the registers, telling a supervisor what happened at the coffee counter.
He apologized, said "store policy" is to allow customers to pay for one non-coffee item at the Allegro counter and told me to go to customer service for a refund of the $6.41.
That was a delicious cup of mildly spicy chili.
Before I left the store, I bought three 1-pound boxes of 365 Everyday Value Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti ($1.39 each).
|Two cups of Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value Organic Whole Wheat Shells were enough for three meals, including this morning's omelet breakfast.|