The World Cup's last few days have taken fans on an emotional roller coaster, which induces anxiety and then hunger. With the USA barely advancing in stoppage time in their game against Algeria and now former world champion Italy falling to Slovakia in a painful upset, soccer fanatics have been veritably starving themselves through the stress.
Thankfully, Whole Foods Market is serving up gourmet golazos of food and, in a progressive promotional scheme, is showing every world cup game live on their new 50" plasma screen in the dining area. In addition, the Santa Fe store will be raffling off team USA jerseys and commemorative South Africa World Cup mini-balls.
On Wednesday morning, shoppers drank specialty coffee and ate hot bar burritos while the USA took on Algeria as the shopping day was just beginning. The atmosphere was tense, and customers and employees were livid at the prospect of the American side being eliminated because of a scoreless draw.
However, in stoppage time, American captain Landon Donovan orchestrated the single most promising play of America's World Cup thus far and won the game and the group for the Yanks. Kombuchas and organic soy lattés were nearly spilled as the crowd of old men, families and kitchen employees rejoiced at the victory.
In the post-game interviews it became evident how many emotions the tournament has stirred up, when our boy Donovan couldn't hold back the waterworks. This drew coos and awes from the mama crowd at Whole Foods and showed cynical American soccer critics that the game is more than mere sport.
Next up for the USA is Ghana in the round of 16 on June 26, a game that would mean sweet revenge for the Americans because they lost to Ghana in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. If you are looking to score two goals with one ball, come shop the gourmet selection and watch the best in the world at Whole Foods.
Whole Foods Market Overall Score: 6/10 Golden Boots
This will be an ongoing blog series with a new entry or two every week about a different restaurant or bar to watch the action. If you have any suggestions for Santa Fe world cup venues by all means e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and put "world cup" as the subject.