Category Archives: Grocery Store

Kira’s Number 11: Bloomingfoods Market and Deli

Kira, enjoying her Arty Chick wrap at Bloomingfoods.The Place: Bloomingfoods Market and Deli

Bloomingfoods is primarily a Cooperative grocery, but they also have a deli in the back where you can get freshly made sandwiches or pick up something from the salad bar or buffet. They also have a smoothies and a dessert table. I had eaten here once before, but this was Erik‘s first time.

The Time:
Thursday, June 15, 2006, around 8pm

The Atmosphere:
Throughout this project, we have discussed what counts as a restaurant. Do they have to be open for dinner? Have places to sit? What about take out only? We have concluded that for our purposes, a restaurant needs to have places to sit, so that a take-out only pizza place would not count, and also that they must serve meals. Cold Stone Creamery and Jiffy Treat are not restaurants. With this in mind, Bloomingfoods Deli just barely counts as a restaurant. Although they do serve meals, and they technically have places to eat, you have to go through the grocery store checkout line to pay for the food, and then go past the registers to go outside to find the tables and chairs. An awning covers some of the picnic tables and chairs outside.

The outdoor seating area at Bloomingfoods.Many other grocery stores have this kind of deli with prepared food and/or a buffet; Bloomingfoods was just smart enough to put themselves in the restaurant section of the phonebook.

The Food:
Bloomingfoods is great for specialized diets: vegetarian, vegan, no gluten, no wheat, etc. Erik or I are neither of these, but I can still appreciate it being available. They have a salad bar and buffet, you variety of pre-made desserts, an olive bar, and you can order sandwiches, smoothies or a variety of juices.

The Arty Chick wrap from Bloomingfoods, with pickle spear.We ordered and shared the Arty Chick and the Meaty Moment sandwiches. The Arty Chick had roasted chicken, spinach-artichoke dip, red onions, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella heated and rolled up in a spinach wrap. I ordered it without onions, and took the tomatoes out of my half. I would never have thought to put mozzarella on a sandwich, but it was quite good. The wrap was nice, although it seemed like it was way to big for how much stuff they put in it. The Meaty Moment (turkey, ham, cheddar, pepper jack, spinach, mustard, bbq sauce, served warm on a french baguette) was pretty good, too. I don’t really like mustard, but still enjoyed the sandwich.

We finished off with a cream cheese brownie and a peanut butter/chocolate chip bar. Both were quite excellent.

In the excitement of the food, we forgot to get drinks. After finishing our sandwiches, we went back in to the grocery part of the store and looked through their eclectic soda selection. They do have smoothies and juices at the deli, but we wanted soda or water.I opted against soda, but Erik got a 4-pack of Natural Brew handcrafted Draft Root Beer. They list the flavors that they use, and you can taste almost all of them, which sometimes isn’t so good. We still have the 3 unopened bottles on our countertop.

Kira, enjoying some sort of chocolate chip cookie bar / brownie thingy from Bloomingfoods.The Service:
The 2 people behind the counter were nice. It took a few minutes to get our sandwiches, but nothing ridiculous. Eating outside, you have to clear your own table and make sure not to throw away the dishes, but this is all part of going to a coop.

The Price:
Sandwiches were $5-7, and you get a decent amount. Still could have used a little more food, but I know that we were paying for some good quality.

The Rest:
This barely-a-restaurant is a-ok in my book. I would eat there just to support a local coop, but the food was pretty good, too.

How Often Would I Go Back?
Once a month.


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Erik Eats Bloomingfood

Erik, stuffing his face with a sandwich at BloomingfoodsBloomingfoods Market barely counts as a restaurant, but it does count. They serve meals, they have tables at which you can eat those meals, and our phone book lists them in the restaurant section. But in every other respect, I consider Bloomingfoods a grocery store. Every college town that I visit seems to have at least one co-op run community market like this. They vary in quality and particulars, but they have essentially the same kind of things for sale. I could go on about the store itself, but I don’t particularly want to, and I only need to review the deli anyway. You can find the deli at Bloomingfoods off to the south end of the store, quite some distance from the tables outside where you can eat the food, and you have to pay at the regular cash registers. This means that you should prepare yourself for wandering through a grocery store carrying a plate with your food on it, which feels a little strange.

The olive bar at Bloomingfoods.The food that you can order at the counter consists mostly of sandwiches, but they do have a food bar with a wide selection of other items including salad, meatballs, some kind of veggie patty thing, and a bewildering variety of olives. I wish I liked olives. Their scent reminds me of pickles (as in pickled cucumbers), which I love, and this scent often lulls me into thinking that maybe my taste buds have finally changed, and if I try one now, it might taste good. Experience has taught me to ignore this temptation, and so I stuck to sandwiches and desserts. We grabbed a couple dessert items: a very tasty cream-cheese brownie and a vegan-flavored cookie bar. I don’t know which aspect of vegan baking lends that distinctive flavor, but something (probably a milk or egg substitute) just doesn’t seem to work for me.

Erik, drinking a bottle of "Natural Brew Hand Crafted Draft Root Beer" outside of BloomingfoodsOther than juices and smoothies, which we didn’t try, the deli didn’t have anything in the way of beverages. Thankfully, the soda aisle lay only a few steps away. **Begin soda-geek rambling** I wanted to try something new, since the selection of drinks at a co-op differs quite a bit from what you’ll find at a regular grocery store. Unfortunately, everything seemed to be sold in four- or six-packs, so I knew that experimentation could leave me with at least three bottles of something I don’t want to drink. I bought a four-pack of Natural Brew Hand Crafted Draft Root Beer because it actually listed its flavors; most sodas just have “natural and artificial flavors” on their label. This root beer was flavored with some unsurprising ingredients (sarsaparilla and birch), some less common flavors (cinnamon, cloves, and anise), and a couple surprises (licorice and wintergreen). Now I don’t really know what anise tastes like, but I’m familiar with the other flavors, and I was able to pick out each and every single flavor in the bottle, a very strange sensation, somewhat like listening to a fugue where you can either hear the overall sound or listen to individual lines. Some kind of brownie-like thing with chocolate chips at Bloomingfoods.Unlike listening to a fugue, I did not enjoy the experience. I’ve tasted much worse soft drinks (in increasing order of disgustingness: bitter aperitif soda, Jones turkey and gravy soda, Dr Pepper with cigarette ash, and Jones Brussels sprout soda). Natural Brew doesn’t even make the bottom twenty-five list. I drank maybe half the bottle before determining that the taste would not grow on me. If anyone wants one of the three remaining bottles, please let me know. (Actually, don’t let me know. That was 8 years ago, and those bottles are long gone. -Erik, May 2014) **End soda-geek rambling**

The Meaty Moment sandwich at Bloomingfoods.Okay, enough digression; let me get back to the part you actually care about. The sandwich I ordered was called “The Meaty Moment.” It did have meat (turkey and ham), but while I might use the word “meaty” to describe some sandwiches (a steak sandwich, for example), I wouldn’t have used it to describe this sandwich. They have clearly labelled everything as vegan, vegetarian, or otherwise, but I suppose they just wanted to make sure nobody got a surprise. By the way, all the food they serve casts a shadow, so level-five vegans beware. My sandwich also had cheddar cheese, mustard, and barbecue sauce, an odd-ball sounding combination that I know I’ve eaten elsewhere, though I can’t quite remember where. Kira ordered a wrap with chicken and artichoke, punnily named “the Arty Chick.” She forgot to ask them to leave off the tomatoes, so she had to fish them out with a toothpick. I can’t believe I fell in love with a girl who doesn’t like tomatoes, pickles, and mustard. (She’s come around a bit on the tomatoes and pickles, but not on her sandwiches. -Erik, May 2014) Her sandwiches always taste dry. On the upside, I got extra tomatoes on the parts of her sandwich that I ate.

I liked the taste of both sandwiches, and their size did not leave me hungry. I think that my sandwich should have cost less than seven bucks, but then again, I did order the most expensive sandwich on the menu. None of the rest of the sandwiches cost more than six, and most less than five.

Erik’s Ratings: Yum – 3.5, Ooh – 3.5, Ah – 3, Wow – 2.5 (Huh?)


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Bloomingfoods Market and Deli

Sign for bloomingfoods. "Since 1976 / Blomingfoods / Market and Deli / Your community owned co-op grocery"A grocery store and deli

3220 E 3rd St (map)

Bloomington, IN 47401
(812) 336-5400

Monday – Sunday: 8:00am – 10:00pm

Bloomingfoods also has several other locations in the area (hours may vary).

614 E 2nd St
Bloomington, IN 47401
(812) 822-0235

200 Daniels Way, Room C133
Bloomington, IN 47404
(812) 822-0143

419 E Kirkwood Ave
Bloomington, IN 47408-4023
(812) 336-5300

316 W. Sixth St.
Bloomington, IN 47404-3912
(812) 333-7312


(Info updated May 2014. -Erik)

Erik’s Ratings: Yum – 3.5, Ooh – 3.5, Ah – 3, Wow – 2.5 (Huh?)
How often would Kira eat there? Once a month (what’s this?)
Reviews: Erik, Kira


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