Thursday, November 15, 2007

Brie and gouda and provolone, oh my!

Yesterday was one of my most exciting days of 2007.

About a year ago we began hearing rumors. Subtle murmurings, unconfirmed, that something Very Exciting might be happening in our neck of the woods. No would could confirm or deny. As time went on, the rumorists became more authoritative: "Yes, I heard it is for certain." "I know one of the developers and it's true." I was not the only one in my neighborhood to furrow my brow and dare to dream that all the whispers might bear credence.

Then, last month, while driving down the street near my home, I got a sign. Not from God, a real sign. The sign made me whoop so loud I startled my children. It said:

OVER FOUR HUNDRED DIFFERENT KINDS OF CHEESE.

The dream, my friends, has become reality.

We have a brand spanking new HEB Market, and it is 3.8 miles from my doorstep.

And I, Missy, was there on Opening Day.

Unless you are a mom, you can't really appreciate the excitement that comes from being first to do something. Moms of little ones rarely get to anything first, like new shops, or restaurants. A sneak preview for a movie? Good luck. Being hip like that went the way of sleeping in late and clean kitchen floors.

But because Mimi was here to hold down the fort, I actually got to be the first person in playgroup or bunko to visit the new HEB.

It was cool. Way cool. I was way cool, heh heh.

If you don't have a clue what I am so revved up about, HEB, which used to just be a boring no frills grocery store, started very high end, very healthy Central Market about 10 years ago. Think Neiman's meets Whole Foods. The closest thing I have seen in America to Harrod's Food Halls (and still a long way off). There is only one in Houston and it is a super fun and $uper dangerou$ place to visit. It is great for getting five different kinds of organic peanut butter or to choose from 18 different varieties of Italian soda, but not very convenient if you also need to pick up some Cheerios and Top Ramen. Now they are expanding with a different kind of market, which from what I can tell combines the beauty and extravagance of Central Market and the utilitarianism of a regular supermarket.

When I walked into the store I was so elated. It was very exciting. I kid you not, my pulse rate went up. Fresh and new and stocked with that beautiful word ORGANIC flashing everywhere.

All of the employees were such shiny happy people. Samples galore, fancy schmacy ones, chipotle sausage stuffing and crabmeat slaw and sundried tomato veggie chips. And cheese! and wine! Not to mention the vitamins and supplements. Probably 15 brands of CoQ10 from which to choose!

Now you could barely get down the aisles, they were so jammed with shopping carts. But that's just the price us cool people pay.

I would be a little worried that I have completely mommed out, to be so excited about a grocery store. But this is Central Market. If you don't get it...you just don't get it.

And just in time for 2008 New Year's Resolution: 400 different kinds of cheeses that need sampling. Here I come.

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