BEST GOURMET GROCERY Minneapolis 2002 - Kowalski's
Let us say first off that we still believe that Woodbury is a soulless nowhere. But. Oh. My. God. The Woodbury Kowalski's. You know something's up as soon as you step across the threshold and are confronted by two desks of customer-service help. There isn't that much greeting and grinning in the entire Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. After that, where even to begin? The floors are terrazzo, the lights are high up in the sky, and between the two you will find everything. Well, maybe not everything. But maybe. Maybe everything. Cut flowers and potted plants. A produce section hosting fourteen--yes, we counted--fourteen varieties of potatoes at the last visit, including four sorts of fingerlings (at $3.99 for a pound and a half): organic French, Russian banana, ruby crescent, and Austrian garnet. For bakers, they've got every sort of flour we know of: semolina, potato starch, King Arthur, spelt. Soy candles. Picture frames. Kitchen wares, from fancy cake molds to cutesy butter spreaders to state-of-the-art can openers. In the bakery, house-made croutons, cream-puff swans, pistachio tarts, big chocolate cakes dripping with caramel and pecans that would make any Café Latté regular do a double take. An Aveda Juut Salon--yes, we said an Aveda Juut Salon--so you can get a massage, a cut and color, or, you know, a bikini wax. Put some fresh, local Kadejan chicken, a Zyliss salad spinner, and some Burt's Bees cosmetics in your cart, and park it at the door while you get a bikini wax. Roll on out and over to Starbucks for whatever the hell they have at Starbucks. Equally amazing, the place is open 24 hours a day. Bottom line: Even if Woodbury is a soulless nowhere, we're moving there.