I had one of those moments on Saturday where everything was perfect. The sun was warm, the breeze was cool. I was walking to my car with my breakfast in one hand (Hangover Hash from The Chef Shack), my freshly made coffee in the other hand, and a bag hanging from my wrist that contained rhubarb for jam, mint for soup, and a little white paper bag of baked goods (for me). And I was feeling productive b/c it was only 9:15 am.
I went home with my good spirits in tow and sat on the porch and ate my breakfast on one of our bright yellow chairs. By myself. Without my phone. Without the TV on. I swear it set the tone for the whole day. I got things done yesterday that it would never occur to me to get done. Like mulch our flower beds. Half of them, anyway.
I love the new Fulton Farmers Market. I love that it’s exactly five blocks away, and that I can walk there. I also love that I can drive and find parking easily, which is what I actually do. I love that it’s not super crowded and that I can move around. I love that it seems to have a particularly happy vibe vs other markets. And perhaps best, I love the tasty things found there.
Nah, it’s not as big as Mill City Farmers Market. Certainly not as big as the Mpls Farmers Market. But it’s my neighborhood’s market. And I love my neighborhood.
The only thing I don’t like about it is the mean lady who yelled at me for taking photos of her produce (okay, maybe yell isn’t the right word, gave me attitude is probably a little more fair, but still). But that’s okay, there are other produce vendors to buy from there who are happy to have a photo of their beautiful stuff on the web.
I would like to say that I go to the market primarily for produce, but I’d be lying. Sure, the produce is great, what there is of it this time of the year anyway (lots of lettuces, a few tiny baby strawberries, green onions, rhubarb).
But when produce gets stacked up against something like The Chef Shack, it’s gonna be hard for produce to win. I’ve been a fan of The Chef Shack ever since I met it at the Mill City Farmers Market a few summers ago. They have Indian Spiced Mini Doughnuts that are out of this world (literally, figuratively). Haven’t seen those little gems hit the Fulton market yet, but everything they serve is generally great. Saturday I ordered the Hangover Hash. Was I hung over? No. Had I had some wine the night before? Yes. So, seemed like I could make it work.
I’ve never had a breakfast of eggs, veggies, and potatoes taste so good. Seriously. The potatoes had great straight-up potato flavor, but were also salted perfectly and in these big chunks of smashed-ness. The veggies made me feel healthy. The eggs were tasty. And to really make it sing, there was a special sauce drizzled all across the top. I have no idea what it was, but I’m guessing it involved sour cream or mayo. And it involved something red to give it its salmon-y color. I didn’t study it long enough to figure out what it was because I was too busy shoving it into my mouth.
But it gets even better than the Hangover Hash and The Chef Shack.
I had been hearing about this Bogart Loves, a new baker in town. She has a daytime gig unrelated, but will be baking this summer at the Fulton and Kingsfield markets, alternating each week. I immediately became intrigued by this, imagining someone waking up at like 1 am on market days to bake away. And I heard her stuff was delicious, so I had to give it a shot.
BL’s stuff looks homemade (in a well-done but still charming way), which immediately raised the appeal for me. We have some good baked goods in town (not a ton, but some), but they are squarely in the professional camp. And when you’re talking cookies, brownies, and cupcakes, you want something homemade.
I tried her Nutella-Stuffed Doughnut, her Chocolate Whoopie Pie, and her Chocolate Cupcake. All three were fantastic. The Nutella-Stuffed Doughnut was perfect in proportions. The dough wasn’t overly sweet, and the amount of Nutella wasn’t over the top. The cupcake surprised me at first because I was expecting the usual super sweet chocolate cupcake. This one was smarter than the rest. It was deep in chocolate and glazed with only a thin layer of chocolate ganache. A very nice cupcake. And cute. The whoopie pie was moist, creamy, cakey, and sweet, just like a whoopie pie should be. The cakey layers were thinner than I would have expcted, but there was a right amount of frosting associated with it, so it worked.
There is a vendor who sells goat cheese.
I’m pretty sure I saw a vendor selling meats.
One vendor had gorgeous peonies.
Sunstreet Bakery and Patisserie 46 are both there (although I’ll always be hitting up BL for baked goods).
There is a stand that brews the coffee right in front of you, and has uber thick real cream. (I bet its organic, too.)
Big River Pizza was there a few weeks ago when I went.
And of course, there are produce vendors. But look for the nice produce vendors.