So, when did Harvest start sucking?

Peaches has been visiting from the city and we went to the river and then I swung by Harvest to grab a few things. I’ve been feeling a bit of a jonesing lately for bagels and lox, so I got the fixings and drifted over to the bakery…only to find that they stocked Thomases…and Sarah Lee. There must be eight really awesome bakeries within an hour or so, some of which used to deliver to Harvest, actually.

So…what happened? I don’t think that I am that picky about bagels, really, but I do have my limits, and Sarah Lee is definitely well past those limits. Especially when I know that Harvest used to stock good bagels, within memory. Granted, their stocking has always been erratic, but to sink to the level of offering two brands of shitty bagels and nothing else? And now I have $8 worth of lox and no bagels, so if anyone has any other suggestions (or bagels) they should feel free to submit them.

The best part of the bakery was looking at all of the “fresh baked” breads which are actually baked by different bakeries. They had them in rustic artisan baskets with a price list…and none of the breads on display were listed on the price list. None. Of. Them. So I could pick up a loaf of bread, and I knew what it was called, but I had no idea what was in it or how much it was. Allergies, anyone?

Indeed, as I drifted through Harvest, I had the unsettling feeling that something about the store had…shifted…with the remodel. I got that sense from some of the staff as well, who sighed and gave me knowing looks when I asked where x product had gone, and if they moved the y.

Oh, sure, the overpriced yuppie shit is there filling up the front part of the new expansion. But there are no decent bagels. No good artisan pasta. Freezing cold fruit which is hard as a rock and scentless. The brand of buckwheat soba I liked is gone. One brand of capers, the shitty one. I could go on, but I won’t, mainly because I went on, at length, under my breath while I wandered through Harvest.

What’s going on, guys?

The thing is that I used to idolize Harvest. I’ve been doing all my shopping at Harvest for longer than I care to think about. It has always been my grocery store of choice because of the varied selection and the good taste of the buyers, because I can find anything that I can imagine wanting there. The whole time I lived in the city, I missed Harvest, and I was so excited to be back again…but I have discovered that Harvest is no longer as awesome as it once was.

People flurried about looking uptight and miserable, pushing their carts violently through the aisles and glaring at me as I darted around the produce section looking for something edible. For Pete’s sake, it’s August! There should be so much good produce that my head explodes! The peaches should be sweetly scented and soft, there should be four kinds of berries spilling out of their baskets, fresh corn with crispy crackly outer layers. What in God’s name is going on?

I don’t know if they got rid of a buyer, or what. Perhaps this is what the people want. They like shitty, molding, rotting produce, and bad bagels, and no caper choices. And this leaves me pretty much fucked, since Safeway is even worse. I imagine that the damage must have been slowly wrought, a bit here and a bit there, or people would have rebelled. And now that it’s done…is it too late?