Monday, July 21, 2008

Farmer's Markets I Love

Those of you familiar with my blog, know that I am a dedicated Farmer's Market aficionado. Recently noted in the satirical and humorous book "Stuff White People Like" if you release a white person on a Saturday morning, he will return to you with organic produce. It's true. It's all true.

Dupont FreshFarm Market

Simply the best. I can think of no better way to spend a Sunday morning than to peruse the stands at the FreshFarm Market at Dupont Circle. Specializing in fresh produce, regionally cultivated, often organic, the selection here can't be beat. We love the Mushroom Stand! Firefly Farms a MD cheese monger makes exquisite fresh goat cheese. Don't miss Keswick Creamery either. You will also find hormone free meat, eggs and even fresh made pasta here. Try to make it for one of the Chef's presentations. Local chef's of outstanding DC Restaurants preparing food that they have just culled from the very stands you are presently shopping. It doesn't get any better than this.

1500 block of 20th St., between Massachusetts Ave. and Q St., in the adjacent parking lot of PNC Bank

Takoma Park Farmers Market

One of the finest Farmer's Markets in the Washington DC metro area, the Takoma Park Market is true to its "hippie-esque" environs with vendors selling primarily regional, organic and sustainable produce, meats, baked goods and more. Don't miss Smith Meadow Farm for its cage free, chemical free beef, and pork products. Get there early if you want some of their eggs! They sell out quick. Keswick creamery from Pennsylvania makes a variety of cows milk cheeses, including a habanero cheese called Dragon's breath, that lives up to its name.Always great to do breakfast at Mark's Kitchen before the market opens then hit the floorboards. It's a great way to spend a Sunday morning.

Sundays, 10AM - 1PM

Cross Street Market

Cross Street has had it's ups and downs over the years, but a couple of it's mainstays, make this a perennial favorite. A myriad of produce stands populate the city market and most are just wholesalers of the same produce you would find in the supermarket, but there are exceptions. There are a couple of decent food stands in the market selling everything from deli sandwiches to fried chicken, but nothing holds a candle to the scrummy delights to be had at Nick's Seafood Counter and raw bar. Belly up to the bar and suck down a few raw oysters, or crack a few crabs if you would like. Nick's is a Baltimore institution. The sushi bar rocks! As for vendors: Nunnally Brothers Butchers have been in operation since 1872 and they deliver quality cuts of beef, pork and veal. Service at their counter is tremendous, too. Very helpful. Piedigrotta Italian Bakery & Pastry Shop makes a Ricotta Cheesecake that will make you slap your Italian grandmother. This is a great alternative to the Inner Harbor and the virtual bevy of local restaurants, pubs and shops which surround the market and the adjoining Federal Hill neighborhood, make this a true foodie destination.

Federal Hill Established 1846 1065 S. Charles St. Baltimore, MD 21230Mon. – Sat., 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

The Market at Belvedere Square

Across from the Baltimore's iconic Senator theatre sits one of the regions greatest culinary secrets, the Market at Belvedere Square.While Balto tourists throng to the inner harbor and hit the markets at Fell's Point, uptown locals are going to the market at Belvedere square. Roughly 5400 square feet of space and sitting at the heart of a transformed shopping enclave sits the Market. Home to Atwater's bakery, a true boulangerie which carries a bevy of excellent baked breads, cakes and pastries. Don't miss their cheese selection, either, which focuses on regional or artisanal American cheeses. Cierello Fine foods will quench any Italian desires you may have from pastas, to oils, to olives and more, including one of the finest butchers I've seen anywhere. This place SCREAMS quality from every corner. Neopol Savory Smokery is a true delight and creates some of the best and most unusual smoked goods you've ever seen. Their savory smoked cheesecakes are are true standout. Don't forget to visit Steve at Planet Produce. He carries some of the finest selection of produce you can imagine. Also, the freshly squeezed citrus juices can't be beat. Literally squeezed and bottled in front of you, his blood orange juice is a favorite. Getting hungry? Atwaters has a homemade soup and sandwich counter that can't be beat or you can sample a little sushi at Ikan Sushi bar in the back of the market.

540 E. Belvedere Avenue Baltimore, MD 21212
Monday through Friday 10am - 7pm Saturday 9am - 7pm Sunday 9am - 4pm
NOTE: Market Bakery opens at 8am Monday – Saturday

32nd Street Market/ Waverly

One of my favorite outings is to hit the 32nd street Farmer's Market. This is Baltimores biggest and best Farmer's Market, open year round, but of course much enhanced in the summer. Parking can be a little difficult so it's best to get there early. Not all of the produce here is local, but a good deal of it is, so you will have no problem finding a great selection of regional and organic food here. Also, there is representation from some of Balto's finest food vendors, including Atwaters bakery and Neopol Smokehouse, which is a must stop. Neopol smokes everything they can think of. Try the smoked garlic, or their insanely thick cut bacon. The savory smoked cheesecakes are to die for, and they make some of the best smoked salmon you've ever tasted. There are a couple of noteworthy prepared food vendors as well. The Curry Shack makes a mean curry and Ethiopian delights is also a treat. If Mrs. Williams is there, take home one of her sweet potato pies!

32nd and Greenmount Ave, Baltimore
7AM -12PM Saturdays, year round

The Farmers Market at Westfield's Mall Annapolis

For those of us too lazy to get out of bed on Sunday morning to run down to the FreshFarm Market Annapolis, the fine folks at the Annapolis Mall have provided us with an alternative. The market will run Sundays, from 12PM - 3PM between now and September 28. If you've been to the market on Saturday mornings at Riva Road and Harry S. Truman Blvd, some of the vendors will be familiar to you, however, there are a number of new folks and an impressive variety of produce, meats, cheese, eggs, seafood and sundries to sample. Of particular interest was The Secret Garden, who, oddly sells no produce but rather high end olive oils, vinegars and a collection of salts, ranging from Pink Himylanyan, to black hawaiin sea salt to a cherry smoked salt. (about 17 different varieties) Also, the Pickle Guy has a huge selection of hand-crafted pickles. McCormack and Schmick's was on hand yesterday for the festivities, handing out free samples of grilled salmon and asparagus. What a way to open! Sure beats free sno-cones. I still prefer the FreshFarm market earlier in the day, but on those days when I'm not motivated to get my butt moving early, this is a great alternative.

2002 Annapolis MallAnnapolis MD 21401
Sundays 12PM - 3PM

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