In the spirit of all the other Farmers Market posts, I figure, what the heck.
The Streeterville Farmers Market began just today, and while it lacks the down-home, family-friendly, coffee-and-donuts character of VIs 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. Its also a bit odd in that its open from 10 to 6, which means you can go over lunch and still be there pretty early in the market. I dont know what its like between 5 and 6, but I think that makes it the latest Chicago market.
I dont 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 tastedI 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 cant recall. It makes me wish Id 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 chalkboardwild 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? Ill 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 fruitsthey 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.
Lanes EndThis is an organic farm that was selling mostly plants, and some pretty cool and good-looking stuff. ReneG, if youre 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 dont know, lots of stuffwinter savory (dont know why not summer). I wish I hadnt 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 dont 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.
Lehmans 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 its hard to make cheese look good when its 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. Fortunatos subs, Pizza Capri, the Pasta Bowl, some Italian Beef I think were the others. Im 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.