April 1st, 2011

City Hall Farmers Market: A Photo Essay

Of course you know that Urban Harvest has been hosting a Farmers Market at Houston City Hall since October of last 2010. Right?  Every Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. you can find around 40 vendors selling  local farmers’ fresh produce, cheeses, breads, roasted coffees, and a variety of prepared meals and food trucks.

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I work only blocks away and go on a regular basis to meet friends, eat lunch and get some items to take home. On my most recent visit, I decided to bring along the ol’ camera to share with you a bit of what I usually see.

Monica Pope’s Green Plum Kitchen Ready to eat meals offer a wide variety of choices. I have tried the Egg Salad sandwich as well as the Butternut Squash Ravioli and both were excellent.

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Ole Dad Farms offers range eggs, fresh vegetables and fruits, pigs chickens and turkey. Bill Briscoe had a variety of eggs on hand. The green caught my attention. He says they come from his Araucanas chickens.

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Angela’s Oven had pleanty or artisan breads, croissants and scones on hand. I bought a country french loaf for home. Excellent flavor and quality.

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Chef Tarsha Gary owns CRAVE Gourmet Bakery & Catered Cafe. Their special of the day was Pecan Smoked Chicken with Almond Herbed Jasmine Rice and Seasonal Veggies, all for $8. I thought it was great to see a vendor smoking meat right out on the plaza of city hall! I didn’t try any samples but a friend did and said the chicken was flavorful and very moist.

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My favorite find of the day had to have been the Sola Stella Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Texas Hill Country Olive Company. They are out of Dripping Springs, Texas and offered three different olive oil blends. The Sola Stella was light with an almost buttery flavor. The owner John Gambini suggested I try it on popcorn! Totally going to try that. I hadn’t seen them before at the farmer’s market and not sure their schedule of appearance but John mentioned you can also buy their products at the new Revival Market in The Heights.

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On each visit I like to stop by Animal Farm to pick up fresh veggies. I usually pick up mushrooms and rainbow carrots. I think my kids find the colors more interesting and eat them really well.

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My lunch choice was a Pimento Cheese Sandwich from Words and Food. I was never a Pimento Cheese fan but on one of my first few visits last year I saw the sign saying their Pimento Cheese is award winning so I had to try it. I LOVED IT!

I usually get a half a sandwich and something else but today I got a whole. I ate it before I realized I never photographed it! I highly recommend it but know its not for everyone. Take my friend Eric. He was new to the city hall farmer’s market. He loves cheese like I do and decided to go with a Grilled Cheese Sandwich from Houston Dairymaids. He said it was “yummo!”

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There are many sweets to choose from at the market. Sinfull Bakery makes vegan, gluten free pastries that are always a hit. You can find cookies, croissants and pies from a few other vendors but my usual favorite are the macarons from Maison Burdisso. My favorite flavors are pomegranate, caramel and lemon but every one flavor I’ve tried is amazing. They sell for $2 each. I sampled marshmallows in orange and honey flavor. Both flavors were really bold. That may be my treat for next week.

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Oh I almost forgot Melange Creperie! Easily the busiest spot of the whole market. I was told on my first visit to get my order on the list, then expect to wait for about 40 minutes. The Banana, Nutella and Pecan Crepe was well worth the wait! Highly Recommend!!

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There is such a variety of food options that I’m sure anyone will find something to please their taste buds. While there are many farmer’s markets around town I think this location works best for many people that work downtown. If you haven’t been yet, please give it a try. I’m sure you’ll see me hanging around most Wednesdays.

View the entire photo set.

— Imelda

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