We just got a Central Market right down the street from us. It's rather fun living in a very affluent town even though we don't, according to hoyle, live in the affluent section. Our little half-underground hobbit-hole doesn't hold a candle to the 10,000 square foot McMansion going up a block away from us.
Anyway, Central Market is a truly pretentious place. First off, it has that rather annoying labyrinthine layout pioneered by IKEA. If you want a bottle of milk, plan to hike through lots of other places first.
Next is their selection, which is a mite inaccessible. Since it was opening day and we figured on scoring some freebies, Shelly and I headed over with the aims of getting. . .
1. A gallon of skim milk
2. A 12-pack of Diet Rite
While we did find the milk, the Diet Rite was nowhere to be found. Their soda section was populated entirely with stuff like "Perfesser Wingleberry's Carson City Microbrew Organic Willowbark Larchbeer" selling for eight bucks a four-pack.
Clearly Central Market is gonna have to reserve itself for the times we need some specific foodstuff that's unavailable anywhere else.
Other observations. . .
1. They have a salt bar. Yes, a salt bar. That would be a place where you could choose from about ten different pretentious shades of contaminants in sodium chloride. . .at about ten bucks a pound, which is about 40-50 times the price of the proletarian sodium chloride that I am now ashamed to use.
2. Their freebie selection is top-notch. Besides the pounds of free sample food handed to us on every corner, we ended up with a wooden spoon, a hardcover cookbook, a bag of potato chips, and two coffee travel-mugs. We could've also gotten a nice kitchen knife if we spent $50, but our purchase (milk, tortillas, apples, brussel sprouts) was well short of that.
(note to Terri, get yer ass over here. It's currently got the Costco Buffet beat by a mile.)
3. We were amused that their selection (namely the lack of mass-market soda-pop) would require that we would have to stop at the grocery store ON THE WAY HOME FROM THE FREAKIN' GROCERY STORE! This ain't gonna supplant Kroger as our corner store of choice.
4. Did I mention that they have a salt bar?
5. Our neighbor was there, excited because she could finally get some sort of amazing organic tomato sauce that she saw used by somesuch chef on Oprah. I was too ashamed to mention that I usually pay about a nickel a can for tomato sauce because our local grocery store triples coupons. And I've never watched Oprah.
6. Their meat department appeared to have flesh from every animal on the planet. I was going to ask for a pound of ground weasel and a nice fillet of human, but Shelly told me I'd probably get arrested if I did.
7. I never thought I'd live to see the day when having a sushi section or an olive bar in a grocery store would not distinguish it from the other grocery stores in town.
Conclusion: Between this place and the Apple Store, Southlake now has two stores that clearly state that I'm just not trendy enough to shop there.