Monday, July 18, 2011

Old Casa Linda Theater Finds New Life as Natural Grocers

On our way to Richardson Bike Mart this weekend, we noticed interesting new signs of life at the old Casa Linda movie theater location. We were a little surprised to find a Natural Grocers in the space. They've done a great job of maintaining the integrity of the movie theater facade, honoring Casa Linda Plazahistory.

We don't generally do our shopping at "natural" grocery stores unless we are looking for a specialty item but we decided to go in and tour the store's selections for future reference. The atmosphere is reminiscent of a very scaled down version of Whole Foods Market. We checked pricing on Shot Bloks since they were in the energy bar section just inside the front door and found the price to be comparable to what we would expect to pay at a cycling shop.

They had some beautiful organic produce, but the section is small compared to many stores. We found the same to be true of their organic and specialty meat sections (some is frozen and some is refrigerated). If you've got a hankering for grass-fed beef or a nice lean ostrich or buffalo cut then this is the place to go.

Mom Next Door doesn't eat a lot in the way of wheat products lately so we were interested to check out the gluten/wheat-free bread and pasta selections. Their freezer section had a great selection of these breads and also cool items like sprouted breads. If you have not purchased these specialty breads before, expect them to carry a higher price tag than your run of the mill sandwich bread at any store. We noted a great selection of gluten-free products throughout the store.

This is also the place to go if you love great cultured foods and organic dairy. From yogurts to kefir to kombucha, they seem to have it all. Another very cool section in this store is the spices and seasonings aisle. We couldn't recall ever seeing coconut sugar before.

It appeared that the largest area of the store was devoted to nutritional supplements and natural body care products. That's not really something we get into on a daily basis so we did not peruse those shelves but, judging from the massive real estate it encompassed, we'd venture a guess that this store is likely to have most things you might want as far as that's concerned.

We like to become familiar with neighborhood stores like this so that we don't have to trek across the metroplex to pick up a specialty cut of meat or a unique spice.

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