Friday, May 4, 2007

The grocery store of the future. Your future.

The new downtown (nordeast) Lunds is open, has been for some time. It was intended to fill the need for some sort of grocery store for all the wealthy empty-nesters who are allegedly buying the lofts and condos springing up like weeds along the Mississippi corridor.

We don't normally get too excited about conventional grocery store chains around here -- organic produce, hello?!-- but this Lund's is exceptional in one respect: It's a cutting-edge hybrid of a restaurant and a grocer.

On the south side of the store, there are a half dozen deli cases and steam tables that stock everything a harried workerbee at lunch could ever want, from pineapple chunks, artisanal cheeses, and sandwiches to soups and salad bars. There are even take-and-bake lasagnas and TV dinners (handmade in Lunds/Byerly's kitchens, pretty yummy). But our favorite is the steam table dedicated entirely to "Comfort Food," featuring mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw, ribs, corn dogs, tortellini, and a dozen other American classics. This is all ingeniously offered under one, easy-to-remember, slightly horrifying pricing structure: $7 per pound.

Lunds and Byerly's,, 25 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis