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Eastern Market (1971) - Built in 1871, on 7th and C Street SE, Capitol Hill

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Plenty of asparagus and strawberries floating around Eastern Market, not sure how local they are...otherwise nothing has really taken off yet.

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Anyone pick up the sorrel from the greens chick at Eastern Market saturday? Absolutely the bomb -- wonderfully lemony, and when served in a mixed green salad with some nice peppery arugala, rockin'. Also some nice spicy edible flowers. I love that lady.

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Okay so I have to say that I can't stop eating the cucumber and yellow tomato salad I made with produce from the Eastern Market Farmers Market. The cukes are the pickling kind from Marshall Farms. They have an amazing variety of cucumbers for sell but I love pickling ones. The tomatoes are from another vendor. A little bit of salt and pepper and summer explodes in the mouth.

Next week Marshall Farms will have tomatoes too... oh how I wish summer could last all year if only for the produce.

Nancy

BTW, I hope I have the name of the cucumber vendor right, if I don't I'm sorry...

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Updated version of my tast of summer salad 2005:

Cucumbers from Marshall Farms

Yellow Tomatoes from another vendor

Basil from the amazing greens vendor at Eastern Market

Fresh Mozzarella from the pasta vendor in Eastern Market

salt and pepper

YUM. Too bad we can't can this salad. Would be delicious in January.

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I've never been to Eastern Market, but am planning on going on Saturday morning, what shouldn't be missed? Please advise on what are the best counters/stands and what if anything should be avoided. Thanks.

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The cheese stand is terrific, and so is its staff. Even on a bustling weekend, they were happy to share multiple tastes with us and great advice.

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I've never been to Eastern Market, but am planning on going on Saturday morning, what shouldn't be missed? Please advise on what are the best counters/stands and what if anything should be avoided.  Thanks.

Both meat vendors are good-- I prefer Canale's as their beef usually looks better. Often they have some tasty looking (and tasty tasting) ribeyes. Do not buy any produce INSIDE the market (unless you want to buy a $2 onion), only outside with the weekend vendors. Next to Canale's you can pick up some damn good raviolis and other fresh pastas. The cheese vendor is okay, most of the selection is a step above pedestrian, but that's about it. Both poultry vendors sell very good organic birds at fairly reasonable prices.

Outside can be hit or miss this time of year. I'm not sure if the woman with all the beautiful greens is around yet. Definitely make a trip back later in the spring if she isn't there. There is also a dude who sells buffalo steaks, etc. He may be there, so keep an eye out for the telltale big white igloo coolers.

You can grab a bite of breakfast at the Market Lunch. Frankly, I don't see what the big deal is about the food, but the experience of standing in line in anticipation of your fill of grease can be semi-worthwhile.

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I've never been to Eastern Market, but am planning on going on Saturday morning, what shouldn't be missed? Please advise on what are the best counters/stands and what if anything should be avoided.  Thanks.

I like Calomiris in the middle off the market for produce, but that's a sentimental preference. The other veg stand inside is good as well. If you browse around outside, you may find particular produce you like more. Dan Donahue's stand outside has some really nice produce from PA, including a lot of Amish produce and some Amish baked goods. He's right by the nut guy who gives free samples <_< . That's at 7th and C on the northwest side.

I don't have a preference among the butcher stalls, but I like Canales generally. I think one of their stands has fresh pasta (brain is not fully turned on). Whichever place has the fresh pasta, it's good.

I like Market Poultry for poultry. I've been trying not to get freaky about bird flu but have been noticing, despite myself, that supermarket poultry (everywhere, including Whole Foods) has not been looking good in recent months. The stuff at Market Poultry still looks fine, and that's where I'm buying most of my poultry lately.

The cheese stand is pretty good but I sometimes get a little annoyed there. He's good at giving cheese samples, though.

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What's the pork scene like?

A wide selection of sausage, thick cut bacon, various hams, smoked hocks, slabs of backfat, trotters, ribs, chops, etc. and I noticed this weekend that they were selling little buckets of sausage casings.

The large butcher counter has all sorts of meat (pig, sheep, baby cow, adult cow, assorted little furry animals), a lot of lamb going on right now including kidneys, and sells cooked hot dogs, half smokes, kielbasa (starting at a $1).

The lady with the buckets of greens hasn't made an appearance yet.

And KeithA if you want to make a day of it, you should also think about stopping in at Montemartre for brunch/lunch.

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I second, third, whatever the Canales and Market poultry stand. Once the bird flu hits Mel (the owner of Market Poultry) is going to be the only person I trust.

The pastas from the place next to Canales are great. Last weekend I had spinach and artichoke ravioli that were as good as you would get at any of the nicer Italian places in the area. Make sure to ask for cooking directions if you aren't sure.

I buy my butter from the cheese guy and now can taste a difference between it and most other store brands. The milk from Lewes dairy is also better than anything you'll find at the super market.

If you need a quick bite the half smokes from the meat counter across from Market (aka Mel's) are great and there is no line. Cheap too.

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I second, third, whatever the Canales and Market poultry stand. Once the bird flu hits Mel (the owner of Market Poultry) is going to be the only person I trust.

The pastas from the place next to Canales are great. Last weekend I had spinach and artichoke ravioli that were as good as you would get at any of the nicer Italian places in the area. Make sure to ask for cooking directions if you aren't sure.

I buy my butter from the cheese guy and now can taste a difference between it and most other store brands. The milk from Lewes dairy is also better than anything you'll find at the super market.

If you need a quick bite the half smokes from the meat counter across from Market (aka Mel's) are great and there is no line. Cheap too.

Just a quick note from the Cheese Shop, Bowers Fancy Dairy Products, inside Eastern Market... if you have any particular types of Cheese for a special event or even on a regular basis, please let me know!

Kind Regards, Mike Bowers

bowers.cheese@gmail.com or

mike.bowers@gmail.com

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Union Meat has these extra thin pork chops that are great for pan-frying or doing your own "shake n bake". The thin cut allows for quick cooking avoiding the dreaded dried out chop.

Just a random tip...

Al

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Union Meat has these extra thin pork chops that are great for pan-frying or doing your own "shake n bake". The thin cut allows for quick cooking avoiding the dreaded dried out chop.

Just a random tip...

Al

Along those lines, if Union is sold out of the skinnies, Mario cuts the chops off the bones, pounds them flat and then does a little egg-breadcrumb dip thing. Same good results, plus the fun of beating your meat.

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I've always been a fan of the bakery/pastry shop at the end of the market because they sell chalah and whitefish...jewish staples that are usually hard to find (IMHO).

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Arriving in the afternoon on a Saturday, I missed a few of the better venders outside at the market, though my main goal was simply to scout out the place since I haven't been to Eastern Market for a number of years. Around me were lot of tourists, young people who don't get up early on weekends, and locals lining up for fish sandwiches. The soft-shell crabs looked good.

What I discovered much to my delight was cured pork jowl at Union Meats. No sign of a juniper berry on it, but I picked some up to try out on spaghetti carbonara as a surrogate for guanciale. I also bought a little bacon, the real, cured thing which I haven't bought for years, both produced in Pennsylvania. The poultry looked really good across the aisle.

Pam the Butcher, formerly an icon of Cleveland Park, was there selling cheese and doing well.

As far as the produce sold inside goes, I was surprised by the high prices and mediocre quality. Same with most of the stuff outside, shipped from Florida, etc. I am sure this has been said before.

However, it strikes me how Eastern Market's web site boasts of the age of the civic institution and the fact that it has been continuous. Yet it does not really offer the neighborhood what residents of Philadelphia or St. Louis (this the one contrasting example most familiar to me) can expect from their city's counterparts, especially in terms of economy.

I spoke to someone from Maryland who sold me a quart of his farm's small, ripe strawberries for $5, or $2 less than at Dupont Circle ($1.75 less than Heinz's organic ones). He's been coming to Eastern Market for only three weeks and so far it's been worth the trip. He usually sells in Baltimore.

"See this?" he said picking up a bunch of scallions with enormous bulbs. "$2.00! In Baltimore, I get 50 cents."

"These here," pointing to the strawberries," $3.50."

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I hit Eastern Market with a friend on Sunday around 1 p.m. The NC peaches were not yet ready for purchase and the honeydws that were left at that point were either too hard or turning, but I bought some wonderful tomatoes and vidalia onions. The stall along the short side of the market had fresh figs, but it strikes me as a bit early for figs and for $1.25 each, I wasn't taking my chances. The sorbet stand was a great treat at 91 degrees. :)

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What was not good was the produce vendor at Eastern Market trying to sell me about 1/3 lb of the rabe for $12. Jeebus, she's a sweet ol' lady and all, but WTF?
I usually go to that greengrocer stand and have for years, but I've noticed lately that some of the prices seem oddly skewed. Several weeks ago, I went through a phase where I kept running out of onions. Since it's nearby and quick, a couple of times I stopped there to get onions. Good god, they were expensive! The second time, my husband was with me. He was amazed at the price for a couple of onions too.

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I heard on the radio this morning the bad news of a fire at Eastern Market. Sounds like it hit the part of the building where the food vendors are, and it's bad. Anyone had eyes on?

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I heard on the radio this morning the bad news of a fire at Eastern Market. Sounds like it hit the part of the building where the food vendors are, and it's bad. Anyone had eyes on?

This morning they had the pictures on local news and they interviewed the owner of Capitol Hill Poultry. He discussed the possibility of his family simply moving on. I hope that this would not be the case and if anyone knows of ways to help out the vendors at Eastern Market please let everyone know about it.

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I was awake for hours last night hearing the sirens. They sounded off and on from 1 until after 3. Then I heard a helicopter and another siren at 4 (don't know if that was related). I almost got up in the middle of the night to check the news because it sounded like it must be a really bad fire. Damn it.

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I'm sitting here at Murky Coffee looking up the street at the couple of hundred people standing around Eastern Market. They're taking photos, checking out the news crews and the mayor, and a few have tears in their eyes. The place is gutted.

The fire is still smoldering a bit, all the windows are shattered and you can see the sunlight shining through the roof down on the blackened market stalls inside. I saw Mr. Canales and his son and told them how sorry I was to see this. His son just said "it's gone". He said that the fire started on the southern end of the west side of the building where the merchants dispose of all their cardboard cases and wooden pallets. Looks like someone started this intentionally.

Eastern Market is such an integral part of living on the hill. Until it's rebuilt, it just won't be quite the same.

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I am in complete and utter shock. Eastern Market was my childhood. I literally learned how to count change from Mel and Mrs. Posen. Our chicken for Friday night dinner always came from Mel (Market Poultry) as did our Thanksgiving turkey. I have not had a Thanksgiving turkey from anywhere other than Mel in the last 20 years, at least. I still get a free banana from the produce lady or Mr. P when I buy from them. I could go on about the connection I have with many of the vendors, and I know I am not the only one.

As I type I think of all the people who watched me grow up; it's impossible to think of the Hill without them. Few neighborhoods in the city had a community gathering place like Eastern Market. A piece of my childhood, my memories, went up in smoke this morning.

It's all I can do to not leave work and join Al down there.

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