Shop Drop + Review: Whole Foods + Old Town Tortilla Factory

by Jenn (eating bender) on August 24, 2008

Hello and happy Sunday, everyone. I apologize for the delay, but yesterday was jam-packed because I had to clean my place, pack up my things and, most importantly, FLY HOME! I’m thrilled to be here with my family and have so much I want to discuss with you! As a result, I’ve decided to cancel Saturday’s edition of 5 New Things… and instead focus on the Whole Foods shopping trip and food reviews I’ve been promising you!

Shop Drop: Whole Foods (x2!!)

My first trip to Whole Foods came last weekend when I was able to use the gift card that I received from my cousin, Lisa :) I was pleased by the amount of fun food I was able to bring home for $20! A lot of the specialty items I love happened to be on sale, and combined with the coupons I was able to snag some great loot!

There were five bottles of Honest Tea, but I drank one on the way home :) Plus organic green grapes, organic sliced turkey breast, two Oikos Greek yogurts, two Chobani Greek yogurts, two flavors of Annie’s BBQ sauce and two Clif ZBaRs! It may not seem like a lot in volume, but the quality of the products combined with the fact that many of them were new foods that I had yet to try made this shopping trip very worthwhile (and even better – it was free)!!

The next trip to Whole Foods – that I KID YOU NOT WAS FATED TO OCCUR – came Saturday early evening with the family after our dinner. I don’t have a picture of the groceries because basically all I picked up was some yogurt and coffee creamer, but I do have a picture of the incredible coconutstrawberry sorbet I had for dessert!

I am officially in love with coconut. I really didn’t think I liked it, but ever since I had that coconut LARABAR, I’ve been hooked! This sorbet had pieces of coconut in it, too, which made it extra delicious.

Ok, and now for the picture that proves the Whole Foods trip was fate. Are you ready for this?

What do you see in the clouds? Why, a rainbow, of course! My family spotted this the moment we were leaving the store. I just thought it had to be fate that I was able to take a picture of nature’s beauty with the Whole Foods sign 😉 And you can only imagine how much my family laughed at me for that comment!!

How about another view with the mountains in the distance? Ah, I just love being home again!! Granted, it’s not my real home since my family moved here after I graduated from high school…but I feel like I’ve spent enough time here now that I can appreciate how much I miss it when I’m gone!!

Last but not least, the beautiful sunset


Review: Old Town Tortilla Factory

Isn’t this restaurant cute?! My family and I have been here before so I knew what I was getting myself into, and it is definitely worth reviewing. It’s hands down the best Mexican restaurant I have ever been to – not only because the food is wonderful in taste, but also because the portion sizes are right and you never leave feeling stuffed and overloaded with sodium – a rarity in restaurant land these days!

My family started off by sharing an order of the chorizo fundido – a cheesy dip served with tortilla chips. The dip itself is made with cheese (obviously), grilled onions, spicy peppers and chorizo. The reason I think it’s so delicious is because it’s NOT the gooey cheese you get in some restaurants that feels like you’re literally eating a glob of ooze. Instead, it’s nice and thin – almost milky in texture – so you are able to enjoy more of it without feeling like it’s going to curdle in your stomach (one of my cheesy vices that I try to avoid as much as possible). This plate was licked clean by the four of us – minus the part where we actually licked the plate (although I think if we were at home, I would have)!

For my entree, I went with the Pollo Margarita. It’s served with four small pieces of chicken that are hollowed out and stuffed with green and red peppers, onions and cheese. The chicken is served on a bed of mixed vegetablessquash, carrots, onions and peppers – mixed with a cream sauce. The brown cake in the middle is actually fried potato – and I wasn’t really a fan. Not just because it was fried – it also had a funky taste going on and I figured I had plenty of other things on my plate to enjoy! Overall, I give this dish an A+ for taste, quality and portion size. It was the perfect amount of food!

But of course, it wouldn’t be called the TORTILLA Factory if there weren’t tortillas, right? There is a woman who stands near the front of the restaurant and makes various kinds of tortillas from scratch that you can smell as you’re walking in the door – heavenly. The version we were given during this visit were potato tortillas – and they were awesome.

These tortillas were incredibly doughy and warm. You could taste the potato flavor in each bite and the soft texture is unmatched. I had 1.5 of these delicious goodies because if you know me, you know how much I love my bread and carbohydrates :) It always has a way of making me weak in the knees – in a good way, of course!

Overall, my experience at Old Town Tortilla Factory was just about perfect. The food and atmosphere are out of this world, and it helped that the company wasn’t too bad, either 😉 I’m sure my family will definitely be back before I return to Chicago!

I’ll be back later with Sunday Brunch + 5 New Things…

I hope everyone is having a wonderful and relaxing weekend!

1 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) August 24, 2008 at 1:00 am

Sounds like a fun day!

Love the pictures of the rainbow!

Foodie ~ Thanks!

2 Erin August 24, 2008 at 1:45 am

Those are beautiful pictures! I’m so glad you’re back with the fam. It sounds rejuvenating. That dinner looks amazing, and I don’t even like Mexican food!
I love coconut, too. It’s so yum yum. Have a great day Jenn!

Erin ~ It is definitely rejuvenating! I hope you have a great day, too!

3 glidingcalm August 24, 2008 at 4:38 am

AW! How fun for you to be home!! I’m so happy for you…especially after you had a strenuous last couple of weeks at your internship! It must feel great to relax (and eat GREAT food) with your fam. Those potato tortillas sound heavenly!! Love the WF’s loot as well…excited to hear how you like the Annies BBQ sauces….have you tried both before?

Lovely post as always, Miss Jenn!

Happy Sunday!

glidingcalm ~ Thanks, lady! I tried the Annie’s BBQ sauce with the chicken I made earlier this week. It was very yum!

4 Christie August 24, 2008 at 5:30 am

Looks like you had a great day… they are building a whole foods 2 miles from my house… this is good and bad! I am sure it is great to be home!

Christie ~
Oooh lucky girl! The new Whole Foods stores are always such high quality!

5 VeggieGirl August 24, 2008 at 6:25 am

Welcome home!!! So fun :-)

Whole Foods bounty + sorbet + rainbows (any pots of gold or leprechauns?!?!?! haha 😉 ) + picturesque sunset + Mexican feast = AMAZING DAY!!!!!!

VeggieGirl ~ Haha, no pots of gold, unfortunately. I really hope to find one of those someday…

6 HangryPants August 24, 2008 at 6:46 am

Enjoy your time at home. Those tortillas look amazing!


HangryPants ~ Thanks!

7 Natalie August 24, 2008 at 6:57 am

The sorbet sounds delicious! I to am coconut obsessed. :)

Natalie ~ It WAS! I want some more…

8 Christie I August 24, 2008 at 7:27 am

Enjoy your time with your family!

That rainbow looks so pretty!

Christie I ~ Thank you!

9 Melissa August 24, 2008 at 7:52 am

Everything looks totally drool! Let us know how the apple clif z bars are! Enjoy brunch, best part of Sundays in my opinion :)

Melissa ~
I will definitely let you know how the apple one is – I’m nervous 😉

10 eatingbirdfood August 24, 2008 at 8:22 am

It’s awesome that you got all the stuff at whole foods for FREE… what a great way to shop. The Tortilla Factory looks amazing and I totally agree with liking restaurants that don’t over do the portion sizes. It’s always hard for me to not get the stuffed feeling after Mexican because of the free chips and salsa.

Have fun with you family!

eatingbirdfood ~ I totally agree on the chips & salsa – although for me the bread baskets at restaurants are definitely what give me the ultimate stuffed feeling!

11 Sarah August 24, 2008 at 8:45 am

i’m glad you made it home safe and sound—now you finally have time to relax a bit this summer! Those photos are absolutely gorgeous. I’m so jealous of the mountains and that sunset!

That Mexican place looks great-all the Mexican restaurants around here leave you feeling bloated and greasy so you are really lucky to find somewhere where it’s possible to eat more reasonably.

And I wish my Whole Foods had a sorbet bar…no fair!

Sarah ~ Haha, I wish my Whole Foods at school had one too! My family is lucky – I will probably be frequenting it often :)

12 jenngirl August 24, 2008 at 10:01 am

Ooh Whole Foods, I wish I wish upon a star…we don’t have one anywhere near me! I guess I’ll live vicariously through you…I can’t wait to hear a review on that Apple Cinnamon Z bar, I just don’t know how anything could beat chocolate chip, I’m intrigued. That Mexican dinner looks great, I’ve definitely noticed the variety of things on Mexican menus expecially, since changing my lifestyle. It’s amazing what other options there are rather than a cheese-loaded quesadilla! Have a great Sunday! :)

jenngirl ~ I hope you get a Whole Foods! They seem to be expanding, so fingers crossed! I don’t think anything could beat chocolate chip or brownie…but we’ll see! And yes, Mexican restaurants definitely offer more than I realized!

13 Anna August 24, 2008 at 10:11 am

I live in Tempe and ate dinner right next door to Tortilla Factory last night at Grazie Pizzeria and Wine Bar! How funny. :) Phoenix is having it’s first Restaurant Week in September and Tortilla Factory is on the list. It was nice to see something from the menu. Enjoy the heat!

Anna ~ That’s awesome!! We actually walked by there and noticed the name and thought it seemed like a cool place! Small world :) I’m going to have to do some more research on that Restaurant Week – thanks for the tip!!

14 Kristie August 24, 2008 at 10:15 am

Ahh Whole Foods. I think I need to make it one of my ‘Must Visit’ places in life. And that rainbow. Hahah. Gorgeous.

You are definitely making me crave tortillas right now too. And Mexican in general. All of that food looks INCREDIBLE.

Kristie ~
Ooh, if I had never been to Whole Foods it would definitely be on my “Must Visit” list!!

15 erica August 24, 2008 at 11:10 am

Mmmm, that sorbet looks amazing!

erica ~
It was! And your Tasti D-Lite always looks yummy :)

16 Melissa August 24, 2008 at 11:30 am

ah, what a weekend you’ve had so far!!! and what a coincidence with the rainbow! so very pretty!!!

and your dinner sounds amazing…we have a mexican place in a place called Old Town here in San Diego called Cafe Coyote that does the tortillas out fresh in the open!! and they’re so good!

have a great visit home while you’re there!!!!

Melissa ~ Yum – nothing like fresh tortillas! I love watching them make them, too – it just seems so authentic!

17 Rose August 24, 2008 at 1:38 pm

It definitely was fate – otherwise you may not have snagged such great photos! This batch is lovely.

Rose ~ Aw, thanks :) P.S. My oatmeal post today was totally inspired by your always-gorgeous pictures!!

18 wholefoodswholeme August 24, 2008 at 4:57 pm

strawberry sorbet!!! wowow. and i just love rainbows :) they always cheer me up. looks like you did some good shopping! and the tortilla factory looks mmmm. really really good. fresh tortillas must be amazing.

i was talking to my sister who just got back from salzburg yesterday, and she told me about all these different big pretzels they sold there (ohhh it’s just hit me! do you call the big pretzels “bretzels”?? i thought it was just the name of the brand! haha) and she said she had an apple strudel one, since apple strudel is the thing to eat in austria (apparently not just because it appears in the “my favourite things” song of “the sound of music” movie, because she told me they were really delicious!) and told me it was great – i told you she loves pbretzels! so i’m even more determined to try and make homemade ones now. sorry for the rambly comment :p

wholefoodswholeme ~ Yes! They are bretzels!! Haha wow, that apple strudel sounds amazing – I really hope you do make them because I would love to see what yours look like!

19 annaalstondonnelly August 24, 2008 at 7:36 pm

That meal looks absolutely delicious, and the tortilla especially looks excellent. so glad you enjoyed it!

annaalstondonnelly ~ Thanks so much! :)

20 fitnessista August 24, 2008 at 10:04 pm

i can’t believe you’re in my homeland!! i miss it so much! i’m actually from tucson but scottsdale is amazing (especially the SHOPPING!!!! fashion square! kierland commons! oh i’m getting so excited right now)

glad you liked old town tortilla factory- you’re totally right in saying that it doesn’t overload you with huge portions and sodium. their food is wonderful and that pollo margarita looks scrumptious!

i also love all the goodies you got at whole foods!!!

enjoy the rest of your trip!

fitnessista ~ Haha, LOVE the shopping here!! There is so much to do and the mountains always relax me. So great that you’ve been to the Old Town Tortilla Factory!!

21 Fitzalan August 25, 2008 at 10:55 am

That’s funny your parents moved on you too!! Mine also did, from Connecticut to Virginia. I spent most summers living at their new house in VA and it was definitely awkward at first but I ended up deciding to go to grad school in the same town (Blacksburg) and I definitely think of Blacksburg as my home now. I does make me sad that I don’t get to go back to CT much and I never really get to see my friends from middle school/high school because my parents don’t live there anymore.


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