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Eats and Drinks

Best Free Food

Whole Foods Market

1340 Smith Ave., (410) 532-6700; 1001 Fleet St., Suite A, (410) 528-1640; Web site

Posted 9/22/2004

Whoever said there’s no free lunch never shopped at an organic supermarket. Milling around the white-smocked Whole Foods workers and the wispy blond women trundling fat babies in Bugaboo strollers one recent Sunday afternoon, we sampled “heirloom” apple sauce (far too viscous to sip from the sample cup; use the little spoon), shots of a new kind of $6-per-four-pack Wild Fruitz sodas (in lemonade and raspberry—with no white grape juice and no corn syrup, according to its maker), two different (unlabeled) dips with chips (one oniony, the other salsa-y), cubes of friesago cheese with sesame crackers (tart and mildly smoky), and a wicker basket brimming with lemon poppy seed, apple pecan, and chocolate marble pound cakes (mmmmm, jackpot!). On any given day there are soups, salads, and sweets offered for the taking. And unlike eating the loose grapes at Eddie’s or Safeway, sampling the copious freebies at Whole Foods is neither tacky nor illegal. The other shoppers do it, too, with abandon. Bon appétit.

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Other Awards for Best Free Food:

Viva House, 9/20/2006

Fresh Fields, 9/18/1996

All Awards for Whole Foods Market:

Best Supermarket, 9/17/2003

Best Place to Buy Baby Food That's Actually Good, 9/17/2003

Best Grocery Store, 9/18/2002

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