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Markets & Stores 2

Streeterville Farmer's Market--6/17/03

Aaron D | Jun 18, 200312:31 AM

In the spirit of all the other Farmer’s Market posts, I figure, what the heck.

The Streeterville Farmer’s Market began just today, and while it lacks the down-home, family-friendly, coffee-and-donuts character of VI’s Oak Park market, it does have the advantage (or disadvantage, depending on your point of view) of being intertwined with a contemporary art
installation outside the MCA. It’s also a bit odd in that it’s open from 10 to 6, which means you can go over lunch and still be there pretty early in the market. I don’t know what it’s like between 5 and 6, but I think that makes it the latest Chicago market.

I don’t know much about the other area markets but the vendors here seem pretty good.

Nichols (Marengo, IL) is a regular at Evanston and Oak Park, and they are here as well with the same wonderful spread. They had the nine varieties of strawberries, all of which I tasted–I got some sweet Earligrow and some wonderful Northeaster that taste like SweetTarts. Six different varieties of lettuce along with lots of other interesting greens, mizuna, some Thai thing I can’t recall. It makes me wish I’d had the recipe I just googled up and linked to below. Got lots of good sugar snap peas. And they said on the “New @ Nichols” chalkboard–wild mushrooms. In addition to the cremini, button, and portabella, there were several large chunks of tree fungus under a sign reading “Shelf Shroom, Tastes like chicken.” How could I resist? I’ll throw it on the grill tomorrow night, along with some fine looking asparagus from

Ellis Farms (Benton Harbor, MI), who also had strawberries and asparagus (just about everybody had strawberries and asparagus). They also sold their own jams.

Garwood Orchards (La Porte, IN), same, but they also regularly sell dried fruits–they had blueberries and cherries.

A place I think called Noffke (Nuffke?) (Coloma, MI) – weird in that there is no signage proclaiming who they are and the guy was kind of difficult to understand. Nice flowers that accounted for about two-thirds of his space.

Lane’s End–This is an organic farm that was selling mostly plants, and some pretty cool and good-looking stuff. ReneG, if you’re still looking for interesting herbs, go here. I counted 13 different kinds of basil, they had epazote plants, clary sage (do you eat that?), I don’t know, lots of stuff–winter savory (don’t know why not summer). I wish I hadn’t already planted. I might get some next week anyway. They also had about nine different heirloom tomato varieties for $1/stem. Also seemed to have a decent chili pepper selection, though I don’t know much about chili pepper selection. I bought some spring garlic here, am eager to see what kind of produce they bring later in the summer.

Lehman’s Orchard (Niles, MI)–The usual produce, plus a large selection of nuts and seeds and things. Curious to try some of this. This may be the same vendor who offered dried wasabi peas at the pre-season North Center market a few weeks back.

Among the non-farm vendors are:

Provo Bakery – Breads and pastries
Heartland Meats – Have always been favorably reviewed here, though I have yet to try them
I Got Cheese – A hodgepodge of Wisconsin cheeses, none of which looked super appealing, but it’s hard to make cheese look good when it’s sitting out in the sun at 85 degrees.

A final advantage (potentially) to the Streeterville market is its proximity to the Northwestern Hospital lunch trucks. Some less interesting trucks were there today, though I did see Burrito Buggy for the first time and am eager to give it a shot. Fortunato’s subs, Pizza Capri, the Pasta Bowl, some Italian Beef I think were the others. I’m hoping Toham or some such shows up but will see. In any case it provides a nice one-two punch of a lunch on Tuesdays this summer.




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