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Baltimore Farmer's Market


Beto
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We went to the Baltimore Farmer's Market and got some some of those heavenly mushroom sandwiches but the real deal was a ten pound basket of tomatoes for $5.00! Since I already have a pitcher of gazpacho in the fridge, these beauties will be destined for salsa romesco.

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I didn't see any threads on the Baltimore Farmer's Market under JFX so I thought I'd start one up. If there is one, and I missed it flipping through the threads then I apologize.

The market is on Sundays, officially from 8-noon (although once vendors are set up they'll start selling). It's right beneath the end portion of I-83 in a parking lot. Fairly hard to miss, but if you go on Gay from Fayette then you'll pretty much hit it (watch out for pedestrians!).

I love the market, usually there every other sunday or more (will definitely be there this sunday). Admittedly not the cheapest of markets around: their prices are decent and their quality of products is usually top notch. Lots of vegetables and herbs to be found, and as the summer rolls on there will be plenty of fresh fruit coming out. Lots of flowers too if you're looking for that.

There are plenty of vendors selling food as well. I love the mushroom stand personally (really fantastic mushroom fritters), but there is a whole slew of others. Popular ones include: Pit Beef guys, falafel stand, crepe stand, donut guys, and the coffee stand. Several (3-4 if I recall) bakeries as well for your breads/pastries needs. So there's really nothing that's not to like.

What do you guys gravitate towards under the JFX? See you guys there.

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You can find me easily at the market. I'll be the only white person standing in line for the lake trout. Yum!
"Lake trout." What is that anyway. I think it's the official fast food of The Wire -- don't they try to set up Marlo in front of a lake tout place? Is it just fried fish? Found it. Warnings...contains usual HBO-type dirty parts, bad language and violence.

Couple of my farmer buddies here in DC say the Baltimore market has significantly lower prices than DC, because Charm City yuppies will only pay and arm and not a leg, too, for their organic goods.

Wonder how much they got for ramps up there.

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"Lake trout." What is that anyway. I think it's the official fast food of The Wire -- don't they try to set up Marlo in front of a lake tout place? Is it just fried fish?

Couple of my farmer buddies here in DC say the Baltimore market has significantly lower prices than DC, because Charm City yuppies will only pay and arm and not a leg, too, for their organic goods.

Wonder how much they got for ramps up there.

I think most markets north and south of DC have lower prices-money definitely goes farther. I found ramps for $2 a bunch in Alexandria. :lol:

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"Lake trout." What is that anyway. I think it's the official fast food of The Wire -- don't they try to set up Marlo in front of a lake tout place? Is it just fried fish? Found it. Warnings...contains usual HBO-type dirty parts, bad language and violence.

Couple of my farmer buddies here in DC say the Baltimore market has significantly lower prices than DC, because Charm City yuppies will only pay and arm and not a leg, too, for their organic goods.

Wonder how much they got for ramps up there.

Allow me to educate the masses on the deliciousness that is lake trout. Lake Trout is not found in a lake nor is it a trout. It can be any type of mystery fish usually it is whiting and sometimes I am not sure what it is, it depends on who is making it. Now, there are various ways of lake trout marination, I've seen it marinated in hot spices and/or lemon. I've seen it lightly battered and breaded, it all depends on the secret recipe of the preparer. The lake trout guy at the BFM under the JFX is Jamaican, he uses a lemon marinade with a light breading, the fish is deep fried to order. Now last year the price was $5 for a 3 piece and $7 for a 4 piece. Once you place your order you must wait 5 minutes for the chef to prepare your fish. Once the fish is fried it is then place on two piece of a brown colored tasteless white bread. I never eat the bread, nobody does, but the bread plays a key role in what happens next.

The 3 piece and the bread is placed in a small plastic bag and given to you. You then move on to the condiment table and grab the hot sauce. Most people opt to pour a liberal amount of hot sauce straight from the bottle over the fish and the bread while it is still in the bag. The bread mops up all the extra sauce so it doesn't become a hot sauce mess. You can then proceed to sit at a table or on the curb and dip into the bag tearing off pieces of the fish from inside the bag. Very tasty.

You don't have to wait for the FM to enjoy LT. There are several LT emporiums that run up and down Park Heights Avenue, some on Reisterstown Road, one of my favorite LT places in in Waverly (light batter, lemon marinade, big pieces, $5.99 for a large 2 piece, fries, soda) and a special place I like called Chick'n Trout on Greenmount right outside the prisons (light breading no marinade, very crispy $3.99 for a 3 piece with fries). In fact, most LT places are called Chick'N Trout, but I digress. The Greenmount Chick'N Trout is a good place to relax after a night in the lock-up. Not only will you get delicious LT, but when I go I often find myself helping people review their release paperwork and determine when their court date next will be. I must forewarn you, you will be ordering your food through 3-inch plexiglass and the eating area is covered with grease. But it is good lake trout.

So that is what LT is, a ramp to me is what I sleep under.

EastBaltimoreJuly2007hike080.jpg

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Faidley's does a very good version of it as well if I recall correctly. Unfortunately I rarely am 'sick of crabcakes' so it's a rare choice for me there. Didn't manage to get in line for them this FM, maybe two weeks from now. Although I DID see a white guy in line, and was *this* close to going up to him in line.

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With all do respect for the philosophical purity of the local farmer's markets, can't we fold a little bit of the Baltimore spirit into one or the other of our locals? Baltimore is a freakin' street party under the freeway, at 10AM on a Sunday morning! I was in town with some time to kill and I stopped in to see Brian from Truck Patch and stumbled into a great scene -- music, church bells, a dozen kinds of street frood from hippie shit (I mean that fondly) to Jamaican to good old Baltimore beef, pastries galore and, yes, a godd bit of local/organic produce as well. Sure, the guys selling greens clearly picked them up at a warehouse somewhere, but there was plenty of "good" stuff, too, and a fishmongerand those collards were a boatload cheaper than what you find at Dupont (when you can find them). The energy and vibe were a brilliant offset to a grim Sabbath and the diversity of the crowd was stunning in light of the 99% affluent, 90% white patrons of our local markets.

Brian says it's his favorite market and I can see why.

In a world full of litmus tests and ideological demands, I say, let's compromise a little on the side of fun.

Ain't nothin' but a party....

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With all do respect for the philosophical purity of the local farmer's markets, can't we fold a little bit of the Baltimore spirit into one or the other of our locals?
How?

One of the things desperately needed in Washington, D.C. is an administration that gives a shoot about bringing fresh, local food into the city--with fanfare and shredded red tape--and to the people who, if given the chance, would gladly supply the party.

Another thing we need is a Mayor's Commission of Deliciousness vs. Nutrition (Snore. Nothing like puritanical, patronizing Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)-style preachification to put a crimp in your krump). Who's gonna make the People's Food Party worthwhile for the suppliers? We need a hearty demand!

We also gotta have highly visible local, municipal heros able and willing to dine outside of food courts.

And don't go blaming the affluent or anyone other than the savvy gas, toll, mechanic, assistant, etc.-paying farmers for the prices they set in Washington, D.C. vs. Baltimore. They know what eight is for and will raise you five.

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How?

One of the things desperately needed in Washington, D.C. is an administration that gives a shoot about bringing fresh, local food into the city--with fanfare and shredded red tape--and to the people who, if given the chance, would gladly supply the party.

Are there regulations prohibiting that? Is it a space issue? If not, then why do the people need the administration's approval to supply the party?

I think what makes Baltimore's market rock is the beyond enormous variety of vendors. Every one from the donut guy to the pit beef guys to the Jamaican jerk guys are there. And if we could get some of the more interesting already permitted street vendors in on some of the action here and make it a real party.

I was talking to someone today about how Borough Market in London is 109387x cooler because it's not just buying ingredients, but that there are a ton of foods that you can purchase prepared already so that you can eat and shop. As much as I love the seafood empanadas, crab cakes and pastries I've had - there's nothing like that plus awesome chorizo sandwiches, ostrich burgers, chicken rendang in roti, kebabs, and everything there and in between to make the market experience that much more interesting/exciting/fun. It's kind of an implied "have fun and stay awhile" not "buy your crap and get outta here. you're stopping me from getting my ramps."

Some of it's also the people. Sorry kids, but most Baltimore people are way more fun and even when they're mean it's a hell of a lot more amusing.

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Are there food vendors at Eastern Market? I seem to recall something about crepes.

I like the idea of making it a party, I really do. Festivities and food options beyond samples and pastry/bread would be nice. Seems a bit difficult at Dupont, space-wise.

What markets would be contenders to "liven-up"?

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With all do respect for the philosophical purity of the local farmer's markets, can't we fold a little bit of the Baltimore spirit into one or the other of our locals? Baltimore is a freakin' street party under the freeway, at 10AM on a Sunday morning! I was in town with some time to kill and I stopped in to see Brian from Truck Patch and stumbled into a great scene -- music, church bells, a dozen kinds of street frood from hippie shit (I mean that fondly) to Jamaican to good old Baltimore beef, pastries galore and, yes, a godd bit of local/organic produce as well. Sure, the guys selling greens clearly picked them up at a warehouse somewhere, but there was plenty of "good" stuff, too, and a fishmongerand those collards were a boatload cheaper than what you find at Dupont (when you can find them). The energy and vibe were a brilliant offset to a grim Sabbath and the diversity of the crowd was stunning in light of the 99% affluent, 90% white patrons of our local markets.

Brian says it's his favorite market and I can see why.

In a world full of litmus tests and ideological demands, I say, let's compromise a little on the side of fun.

Ain't nothin' but a party....

The Baltimore market sounds a lot like the Sunday markets in Hollywood and in Ocean Park, in L.A. Both have equal numbers of farmers selling produce and prepared food vendors, and which both have ways to encourage people to hang out for a while to enjoy the scene. The Hollywood Market provides tables and chairs, plus there are vendors of ethnic crafts for browsing, like at Eastern Market. The Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ocean Park Market sets up in a parking lot next to a postage stamp-sized park, where you can sit on the grass, eat your tamales, bbq, kebabs, noodles, enjoy the sunshine, and various musicians and street performers who have been invited to perform. I have been asking the same question about the Dupont Market ever since it got started. The answer has always been: "It's the health department regulations and lack of space." There are the two bakery stands and Chris' empanadas, but no hot food or coffee for sale, and somehow few people ever sit on the strip of grass. It's great when an old-timey string band sets up and starts to play, but I wish someone would tell the guy with the dreads and the electric guitar with a lead foot on his wah-wah pedal to give it a rest.
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