While living in California, we rarely went to Whole Foods–given the other cheaper and more convenient options available. But in New York, where other grocery stores tend to be cramped, and overpriced, Whole Foods shines like a beacon. Compared to Trader Joes, where the lines often wrap around the entire perimeter of the store, Whole Foods is a quick stop–and its high prices fall right in line with those at the majority of stores here. Ashley and I don’t see eye to eye as to which Whole Foods offers the best shopping experience, but for my buck, the Whole Foods on Houston takes the cake. Three things make this one stand out: a walk in Fromagerie of unfinished spruce, where one can sample highly-aged cheese varieties; an excellent pickle collection as an homage to its LES location (helps me pretend like I am shopping locally); and most germain to this post, an attached Beer Room which has not only an extensive collection of bottled beer, but has growlers which you can fill and refill with various premium beers. I bought a 64-ounce growler a year ago; but while I love it in theory, there is another Whole Foods (without a beer room) right next to my gym . It is so much more convenient that I usually just spontaneously shop there. But today, we planned a visit and I brought my growler along for a refill. We chose the the Hunter’s Point Porter from Speakeasy Brewery (San Francisco). It’s delicious! And perfect for such a chilly day.

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