I had a feeling this would happen. You'd think some of these people hadn't eaten anything in a month. We fought parking, we fought lines, we fought busy counters - all for the sake of a bite to eat from the foodie carnival!
Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! Step right up! We've got a salad bar bigger than Grenada! We have fish so fresh, the monger was slicing in a wet suit! More cheese than an old "Shazam" rerun! We have beer, wine, juice, tea, water, protein, muffins, fruit cups and Savannah's own PERC coffee! We have "Authentic African Black Soap," homeopathy, soy candles, children's remedies, plum pomegranate green tea! House-made gelato, pizza, sushi, T-shirts, Lowcountry boil, organic this, that and the other.
It's sensory overload. Stop the madness! I can't see straight!
Of course, I kid. But they do have all of that.
I am equally as guilty of tossing some fuel on the Whole Foods hype machine ahead of its arrival. I shared my visit to one in Atlanta over spring break. I compared a few prices and picked up a couple of pints of High Road Ice Cream.
Let's not confuse ourselves here - for foodies and people who enjoy eating and cooking with quality, this is awesome.
The date has been set for a while, and Aug. 13 was it. It has been on a good many food lover's radar screens since back in the spring, when Whole Foods announced it.
Yes, at the end of the day, it is just Savannah's newest grocery store.
However, look a little closer, and it's a lot more than that. Just stand in the middle and look around. It's an amusement park with something for everyone.
It's a gathering point for a lot of the great food we have in this area. Beef from Bluffton. Beer from Bay Street. Chocolate, cheesecake and anything in between can be found here.
"I was making chocolate until midnight for a whole week," Adam Turoni tells me.
His handmade truffles can be found right back over there, just to the other side of salad bar. Can't make it to his shop on Broughton? Victory Drive will cure that sweet tooth.
Parking is not an issue for the guys at FORM on Habersham. Now you have another one-stop shop when you grab a slice of their almost-world-famous cheesecake (my words, not theirs).
Sitting here in the cafÃ© up front (free Wi-Fi and plenty of spots for power), the plumbers are standing to my left.
Proud papas, they are. Watching all these people waiting in line to buy some salmon bratwurst or a protein shake.
"I'm from Hardeeville" one of them tells me. "There were a good many of us who were local on this job." Which is always good.
"Why ain't you doin' the news anymore?" one asks. "Didn't you open a restaurant?"
No, no. I did not. Another points to the Whole Foods Mobile Kitchen sitting outside and says, "You gotta try the taco out there."
"They put egg on it and other stuff. It's really good."
Fair enough. I will get there. Eventually.
Over there, people are actually taking group photos. Seriously? Yes. It's like they are standing in front of Cinderella's Castle at the Mouse House. Wooohoooo!
Hey, I will not question anyone's excitement for a grocery store the same way I would expect them not to question mine when my Miami Hurricanes play for another national championship.
Yes, in football.
But I digress. (The preceding smack talk was brought to you by the fact that we are less than two weeks away from kickoff. We are all excited.)
As is Savannah about this store.
As we said, it's just another grocery store. Of course it is. But if you are a loyal follower of my television show or this column, then you know that when you are going to make a special meal, holidays or otherwise, fresh is better. Higher quality is better.
Yes, the price tag is higher, but if the events are truly special and deserving of extra TLC, then you should shop at a place like this.
It does make a difference. I overhead a lady ask the baker, "If you were about to have the BEST tuna sandwich ever ... which of these breads would you put it on?"
Not an unfair question, if you consider yourself something of a gastro-geek like I do. Guess what? That's what those guys and gals are here for, and they are more than happy to help.
Eventually, the crowds will fall back. Obviously, peak times like Saturday mornings might be a little busier than others. But, hey, there are so many ready-made foods to enjoy at this store that you can really come by any time and make a morning, an afternoon or an evening of it.
As I write this, I am sitting here during Whole Foods' first morning.
I dragged my daughter along with me to see what this place was all about. I promised her a fresh-baked muffin, of course. We walked into a madhouse. The lines were crazy. Two hours later, the crowds have dissipated a bit.
"You can actually see the floor now," she says.
So true. Such a relief.
Now, where is the asparagus?