Wow … took the 4-year-old yesterday to check out that huge Whole Foods in Fair Lakes — it’s now her new favorite dine-in grocery store. About half the size of the Dulles Wegmans at 65,000 square feet, the store opened in January 2007. My husband couldn’t believe all the retail development that’s gone up there; when we first arrived three years ago, it was just the Kohl’s department store sitting there by its lonesome.
Anway, the Fair Lakes location not only has a full-size grocery store, it includes a large food court. That’s my mall rat description, but the reality is so much more stylish than that.
If you enter through the grocery store past the cash registers, the first thing you’ll see is a display case with elegant handmade chocolates. Then the dessert bar. Then a hot bar with international foods (there was Chinese and Indian dishes the day I went) and two salad bars.
The highlight of the store, though, are the five sit-down eateries: seafood, featuring fresh oysters, fish & chips, po-boys, ceviche, ethnic and seasonal seafood dishes and fish soups; Smokehouse fare such as pulled pork sandwiches and all the sides; the Asian grill with steamed dumplings, dim sum, noodle bowls, sushi and more; a specialty eatery offering artisan grilled cheeses and sandwiches, French onion soup and cheese plates; and an Italian café that has flat breads, seasonal pastas, salads, anti-pasta and much more. All of the eateries offer beer and wine as well as children’s menus.
And wait, there’s more: a separate wine-tasting room with 80 wines on tap, gelato bar and brick oven pizza. According to the Washington Post City Guide online, the restaurants seat about 150; booths and tables at the front of the store bring the total to 275. A separate wine bar has even more seating; if you enter through here, it seems like a separate restaurant connected to the grocery store by a hall filled with booths on both sides. Already snazzy, the seating area with the booths was even more colorful with artwork of animals being sold to raise funds.
They also offer wine and beer tastings on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons; times vary and you should call the wine department at 703.222.2058 for more info.
For more photos of the interior, click on the photos in the Flckr widget to the right…
Here are some reviews about the food and wine: