Whole Foods Del Mar Opens!

Over a year ago, the Flower Hill Mall began going through a huge deconstruction process. There were lots of moans and groans when a movie theater closed, but once folks in the area found out that a new Whole Foods was going in, the moaning and groaning was quieted by the sounds of cheering. And now...

Whole Foods Del Mar is finally open!

Whole Foods Del Mar preview night

As with every Whole Foods market, the Del Mar location has infused elements from the surrounding area into the store design. Throughout the store are details of the San Diego coastline, as well as the famous Del Mar Racetrack. Some walls were textured to resemble the sandstone cliffs. Along one wall, bright yellow ropes represent the ropes jockeys hold during race season at Del Mar.

Healthy Eating Made Easy

Endcaps feature Health Starts Here, and throughout the store you'll find Whole Foods' Healthy Eating Principles, helping you make better food buying decisions for you and your family. Included in the wide variety of nutritive and organic foods that Whole Foods Del Mar offers are unique food items to delight any gourmand.

You will find all kinds of funky fungi!

Whole Foods Mushrooms

What would a crunchy store be without plenty of granola to choose from?

Whole Foods Granola Bins

And did you know you could crunch your own nuts??

Whole Foods Nut Butter and Honey

Trifecta Tavern

One thing Whole Foods Del Mar has that I had yet to see at any Whole Foods until now is an in-store bar.

*cue the heavenly trumpets blaring*

The name of the bar is called the Trifecta Tavern. The name is a cheeky hat tip to horse racing just up the street. Craft beer has grown into a thriving industry in San Diego over the last decade, and Trifecta Tavern serves up many local favorites here. The casual bar/restaurant that serves many lovely wines will be serving a rotating selection of over 30 craft beers on tap, along with an extensive food menu.

Whole Foods Trifecta Tavern Craft Beer

According to the Trifecta Tavern manager, they are planning to do regular beer pairings and wine pairings. In between the special events, you can order food at the bar to go with whatever you're tasting.

Prepared food options include:Whole Foods Sushi

  • A sandwich bar that uses nearly all locally-sourced San Diego ingredients
  • An in-store bakery
  • An in-store kitchen serving up handcrafted pizza, chips and dips, and meals-on-the-go
  • An Asian menu, featuring sushi, plus Chinese and Korean foods
  • A 100% organic salad bar, as well as prepared salads

The store even has free wi-fi and indoor/outdoor seating. I may never leave.

 Whole Foods Gives Back

Part of Whole Foods company-wide commitment is to support local farms. On preview night, we watched as Archi's Acres received a $100,000 loan so that they may continue provide organic, sustainable food to the community. Archi’s Acres has a program that provides training programs for transitioning veterans so that they may have careers in sustainable agriculture. One story we heard of was of a veteran that had, until recently, been sleeping out on the streets in Pt. Loma. After Archi's Acres training, he is bottling his own organic sauces.

Whole Foods Del Mar Local Loan Producer Archis Acres

Whole Foods in Del Mar is located in the Flower Hill Shopping Center at 2600 Via de la Valle. FYI: Part of the deconstruction and reconstruction was the building of a multi-level parking lot, so it'll be a breeze getting into and out of the previous crowded parking lot.

Happy shopping!


Cut the Crappy Kid Menus

Dining out is something that the Joneses like to do. Maybe a little too much. Some nights, it's just Mr. Jones and me, but we don't always opt to leave the kids home. They deserve a nice night out, too, right? Barring the occasional refereeing that comes from eating in or out with kids, enjoying a nice meal as a family is usually a pleasant experience for us. Except for one thing...

Crappy Kid Menus

While my husband and I usually get to choose from a fine selection of menu items, our kids are given the limited meal options of grilled cheese, pizza, peanut butter & jelly, or a bowl of pasta with butter. These meals (save the pasta) are usually served with french fries. It doesn't really seem to matter whether it's a nice restaurant or a casual hangout, most places don't stray from the high carb, high fat meal options for kids. I've asked chefs why they do this and they all seem to have the same reason. They put menu items that are "safe" for keeping kids happy so that mom and dad can enjoy a night out.

[Insert picture of little terrorists holding parents evenings hostage if they don't get their PB&J, dammit!]

What we usually end up doing is ordering a substantial appetizer that can serve as a meal for each of the kids, have them split an adult entree, or share a sushi roll with a cup of miso soup each. It's not that my kids are food snobs and don't like eating the crappy kids menu items. They'd pick pizza and a bowl of pasta every time if I let them. But personally, I think it's a waste of calories and money to order those items.

Kids Deserve Better

Recently, I started noticing a trend of restaurants that are serving a broader menu for kids. I wonder if it's because more and more parents are doing what we do or if the chefs have decided to treat the kids that they serve like real people with real appetites for good food. Either way, it's nice to see better menu options at places like the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay.

The Hyatt Regency Mission Bay (located just minutes from Sea World) has launched a healthy kids menu created by 11 year old cooking phenom, Haile Thomas and renowned chef and health food pioneer, Alice Waters.

Waters, known for her culinary philosophy that maintains cooking should be based on fresh, organic, and seasonal ingredients that are produced sustainably and locally (all things that are important to me when I'm cooking for my own family), worked with Hyatt to develop a full organic meal offering including a salad, chicken entrée and a dessert.

“All children deserve to eat real food,” said Alice Waters. “I wanted to do a small, three course meal, within the context of Hyatt’s initiative, that could be sourced exclusively from organic farms across the country. Of course it’s about taste and ripeness and seasonality—but it’s bigger than that, too: it’s about supporting the people who are taking care of the land for our future generations.”

Menu items include:

  • Romaine Lettuce Hearts, Carrot Curls with Lemon Vinaigrette for Dipping
  • Grilled Chicken with Pesto Sauce, Roasted Potatoes and Cherry Tomatoes
  • Strawberry and Orange Slices served with a Sweet Juice in a Real Orange Cup

I hope more and more restaurants add better menu items for kids to enjoy. If enough parents ask for the items, maybe the chefs will start to think beyond "safe" foods. To echo what Ms. Waters said, kids deserve better in a dining experience and meal choices when eating out with their parents.

If you can't get out to San Diego and want to make a yummy meal that the kids will love at home, try this recipe from the above menu:

Grilled Chicken w/ Pesto Sauce, Roasted Potatoes and Cherry Tomatoes

grilled chicken hyatt waters organic kids menu

grilled chicken hyatt waters organic kids menu

Ingredients: 4 oz. Grilled Chicken Breast 4 tbsp Olive Oil 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard 1 tbsp Thyme leaves, fresh 1 ea Medium Garlic Clove, grated 1 pinch Kosher Salt 5 ea Roasted Potatoes 1 ea Grilled Cherry Tomato Skewer

1 1/2 ea Yukon Gold Potatoes 3 tbsp Olive Oil 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt

4 ea Cherry Tomatoes 1 tsp Olive Oil 1 pinch Kosher Salt 1 ea Skewer

For the Pesto Sauce: 1 ea Egg Yolk 1/2 tsp Water 1 pinch Kosher Salt 1 1/4 cup Olive Oil 1 ea Garlic Clove 2 cups Basil Leaves 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice 1 tbsp Pesto Sauce


To assemble marinade: Whisk together olive oil, mustard, thyme, and garlic. Place each chicken breast between oiled parchment and pound to 1/3 inch thick. Cover chicken with marinade and season with salt. Grill chicken over a hot fire with the smooth side facing down. Place a grill plate on top of chicken and sear until well marked. Flip chicken and complete cooking.

For the pesto: Place egg yolk in mixing bowl. Add water and salt, whisk together. Slowly drizzle one cup of olive oil into yolk mixture. Place garlic, basil leaves and remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil in food processor. Whisk together with yolk mixture. Add salt and lemon juice to taste. Refrigerate overnight. For the tomatoes: Skewer tomatoes at stem, brush lightly with olive oil and salt. Grill to order on hot fire until tender and slightly blistered.

For the potatoes: Wash potatoes. Cut in half lengthwise. Toss potatoes in olive oil and salt and place in pan. Roast in a convention oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, until tender and golden. Plate chicken, tomato skewer, potatoes and add a dollop of pesto sauce.