Got to the mart early, when it opened, downtown in the old Jam Handy building on Grand Blvd. Parking a little bit of a deal. Big surprise was the space -- unheated, raw - clearly a building that's been gutted and barely closed in. Struck me as a pretty creepy space, though it was spacious.
We made a beeline for our pal's Gang of Pour vinegar - got the maple vinegar, what a wake-up call for the taste buds! Tangy w added depth of maple and a little bit of rum. Stellar.
Cannoli was really good, and I'd think about ordering. There were some buying options but $8 for a BBQ plate, to eat on risers in this damp cold seemed masochistic.
Great Lakes Seafood smoked salmon rocked. While they don't have a retail spot yet, they do sell out of Sugar House. Porktown/Shnacke smoked ham was beyond delicious. Again, they don't have a retail or regular outlet but got on the mailing list.
A "kale crisp" was like eating fish food - you know, the dry stuff you sprinkle on top of the water? Ick.
In general, we were disappointed there weren't more vendors or more variety. Plus the "only buy/no sample" ethos defeated the purpose of learning about a whole lot of cottage made foods. Preserves/jellies were outstanding, but that's not an item I spend a whole lot of time on as it's not on my regular menu.
Could have easily skipped it this year with the fewer vendors and the Dickensian environment - with exception of gang of pour vinegar.
They need to step this up, or at least make it comfortable to hang around. We were out of there in maybe 40 minutes or less.
Anybody else go?