Let’s get the unpleasantness straight out of the way, so that we can concentrate on all of the wonderful things that were at the Midtown Farmers Market this weekend.
They are now charging you to park.
Listen, farmers market folks. I know that parking is at a premium in Midtown. I know that you’re competing with the thronging horde lined up outside the breakfast klub and people hungry for eggs and chorizo from Tacos-A-Go-Go. Hell, you’re even competing with your own restaurant, t’afia. But charging people $3.00 to park in a muddy pit a whopping ten feet away from the market itself is utterly pretentious and directly contrary to the entire down-to-earth, communal spirit of a farmers market in the first place. Ya feel me? It really sucks. It sucks more than places like Dolce Vita and Molina’s all-but-forcing you to valet your car. Stop it.
UPDATE: According to Andrea from t’afia (please read Andrea’s comment below; very interesting stuff), it’s the Continental Club who owns — and is charging for — the parking lot, despite t’afia‘s attempts to contribute their own money towards the cost so that their customers won’t have to pay the fee. Boo, Continental Club. I thought you were a lot cooler than that. How very disappointing.
Okay, onto the good stuff.
We bought some greens and carrots (seen below), which were all very reasonably priced as you can see from the quaint pricing list above.
I was totally in love with these oddly-shaped little carrots. They reminded me of one of my favorite books as a kid. Trust me on this one.
The Houston Dairymaids were there as usual, plying their delicious, creamy wares. They had other treats besides cheese this time, though.
Honey! It’s Native Nectar, which is guajillo honey made in South Texas. Flowery and light; good stuff.
I wanted to abscond with every basket of fresh greens I ran across. I could have been quite the little felon that day.
This delightful man sharpens and fixes dull or broken knives. He sharpened eight of my mother’s knives for only $41.00, after which they were sharp enough to split a hair. Seriously impressive, not to mention a hoot to talk to. He’s also got a glut of knives for sale out of his van (what?) if you’re in the market.
Other vendors included a new group of utterly charming kids in highly-creased Wranglers with enormous, shiny belt buckles selling fresh pullet eggs and — next week — fresh beef. The grass-fed cows will be slaughtered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, then brought to the market on Saturday mornings. They take orders in advance and their price list was on par with what you’d pay at your local grocery store or butcher. I’m eagerly awaiting next Saturday morning so that I can get some oxtails and a porterhouse.
We also grabbed some lettuce from the folks at Last Organic Outpost and some ready-to-eat dishes (chickpeas with olives and parmesan…NOM) from inside t’afia before picking up my mother’s knives and heading out into the day. Next time, we’re definitely getting there early to sign up for Monica Pope’s new Green Plum Cooking School. Maybe we’ll see you there…