Sunday, December 04, 2005

Market Madness

When we lived on Capitol Hill, we could do almost all of our grocery shopping at Eastern Market--a long, high-ceiled building with a cheesemonger, fishmonger, butcher, baker, homemade pasta maker--it was all there. Weekend mornings we'd stroll the few blocks from our place, grab a cup of coffee, sometimes wait in line for the fabulous Market Lunch, othertimes we'd buy our produce at the outside farmer's market first, then finish our shopping inside. When we moved to LA, I thought it was one of the DC-institutions I'd miss the most.

Now, of course, I can't imagine what I'd do without the bounty of a California farmer's market. And I've found a replacement cheese store and bakery--of course they're not under the same roof and I still haven't found a convenient and decent butcher. I've tried to become a 3rd and Fairfax indoor farmer's market regular, but it's too far, too overrun with tourists, and too close to the Grove and its faux city square. I'm sure there are long-time Angelenos who will disagree with me, but Grand Central Market, on the other hand, feels much more authentic. It's always packed with primarily locals and the stalls are vibrant and many are bursting with exotic (to me) spices. It's not nearly as chi-chi-la-la as my beloved Eastern Market, and it's too far to walk, yet I thoroughly enjoy every trip there.

This Saturday we visited after a study trip to the Downtown Central Library. Went for the pupusas at Sarita's--chiccharon (ground pork), squash, and carne asada. Delicious in that gut bomb sort of way. Once we were home, naps were in order.

As a side note, markets like this seem to be popular revitalization efforts these days--I'll take it as a good sign that more and more people are interested in a closer relationship to their food and who sells it. Sarah at the Delicious Life recently posted about the Milwaukee Public Market in my home state of Wisconsin, and even though I travel there all the time for work, I've yet to truly try the vaunted Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco (a quick zoom around on a way to a meeting doesn't count).


LisaSD said...

Hi Erin--This market sounds like a great place. (I've been to the one by the grove and it was definitely a touristy place)...I wonder if we have anything like this in San Diego?

Anonymous said...

Carp are a lot less scary when dead. Roiling in the mud on a hot July afternoon, they call up visions of 'Anaconda'. These at the market actually look quite small compared with the wild ones we have in WI.

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