HOW TO: Eat Well During Your Summer Vacation
One downside of working for a food company like Sprouts is that when you leave town for vacation, you also leave behind a lot of good food. And suddenly you are out in the Wild West again, foraging through unfamiliar markets and restaurants, hoping for a good food adventure but praying that you don't have a bad one.
Some natural food brands have become truly national. So, for example, it wasn't hard to find Honest Tea or Fage Greek Yogurt during our sojourns in California, Northern Arizona, the Oregon coast, Cape Cod, and even New York's JFK Airport. Heck, we couldn't seem to avoid them. But in Pasadena, CA, there was a desperate and ultimately disappointing late-night run to a supermarket after a long day without meals (good thing we have a store there). In Sandwich, MA, the pastries at a local bakery looked great, but who knows how natural the ingredients were? In Manhattan, the food in a generic-looking Thai restaurant on West 51st was great, and while there were familiar brands in every little corner market, wow, were they expensive. Yet in tiny Springdale, Utah, just the opposite was true: the restaurants looked cool but served blah food, while the only supermarket in town, Sol Foods, was jam-packed with surprisingly good deals on natural and organic groceries. And if you are ever passing through Black Canyon City, north of Phoenix, definitely stop at the Rock Springs Café and pick up a Jack Daniels pie — who cares what's in it or how much it costs?
The point is, once you commit to eating natural foods and find the brands you really like, it can be difficult to hit the road. Years ago, songwriter and natural foods addict Dar Williams wrote a book called The Tofu Tollbooth, documenting where to find good natural foods and meals around the U.S. Great idea, though that book is long since out of date and probably out of print. However, there are some good modern digital resources for you gallivanting gastronomes out there. Most notably, a website called GreenPeople.org that documents more than 4,000 natural foods stores in the U.S. (We like the fact that they picked up on one of our taglines next to their listings for Sprouts.) There are also sites where you can find a lengthy list of organic food stores. And at the Happy Cow site you'll find listings of both natural foods stores and restaurants. Of course, you can always use this website to find locations throughout the region. We'll always have fresh produce, great prices, and a growing selection of the natural foods you've come to know and love.
Now we just need to get in those Jack Daniels pies....From the August, 2010 edition of Fresh Off the Press