HOME > Chowhound > General Midwest Archive >

Discussion

Midtown Global Market MSP - It's Up To Us

  • 129
  • Share

This article appeared in yesterday's strib about how MGMkt is not doing well because of a lack of traffic:

http://www.startribune.com/535/story/...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. I just read that article and I'd like to know more about whether all of the stores are hurting or whether it's just the non-restaurants. Occasionally we've picked up meat or veggies there but I find them overpriced and with poor selection. I'd never head there just for groceries and I'm not sure they'd have what I was looking for. Same with the flower shop, it always looks a little sad. If they had more bright, beautiful bouquets out front I'm sure I'd pick one up.

    I personally love MGMkt and really hope it survives but it also seems a bit off to compare it to Reading Terminal or Pike Market which are extremely bountiful and overflowing with beautiful meats and produce. I guess it's a chicken and egg problem - can we get more attractive goods without the crowds to support it? Actually, when I was there for the craft fair it was absolutely packed. Perhaps that type of 'hipster' goods are more what their clientele wants versus what's there now.

    4 Replies
    1. re: katebauer

      We went to the new Asian restaurant in the MGMkt and had a great time. The service was great and we each had wonderful meals. We took advantage of the bar and the bartender shook up some mighty fine martinis. It was relaxing and they were open until 10 which was nice. We hope the Global market can get it together. Some of the merchants don't really seem like smart business people. It is too big of a place to be just a farmers market - it truely is a business center and the people that start shop there need to have some business skills to survive. I am sure the market will go through some phases before it all takes shape and some will work and some won't. Customer service is number one and cleanliness is right up there. Time will tell but it is pretty predictable as to who will be there in the year 2008.

      1. re: Friedrichs

        Is that Chang Bang, the pan-Asian place owned by the same folks who own Yummy? They were just setting the restaurant up 5-6 weeks ago when we were last there--it looked interesting. I can't wait to try it. I'm glad to hear that you liked it. However, I'm most excited to hear they are open until 10pm on weeknights--as you can see from my other posts in this thread, MGMkt's early weeknight closing time of 8pm was one of my frustrations.

        I also agree with your point that MGMkt is too big a place to be a full-fledged farmer's market. I think the key advantage to a consumer is that there are lots of different vendors under one roof. The spaces are too small for all the markets to be comprehensive in their particular cuisines, and the restaurants don't have full kitchens, but, you can get a wide-variety of high-quality foods in a single stop: produce, meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and so on. You can pick up hummus at Holy Land deli, bubble tea from United Noodle, hand-pulled mozarrella from Jakeeno's, hand-harvested wild rice from Birchberry, ...

        I thought that the organization behind MGMkt was serving as a small-business incubator/advisor to the merchants there, but, maybe it was just to get them started and, now, they are on their own.

        ~TDQ

        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          Where is Birchberry?

          1. re: Friedrichs

            It's the native American shop next to Cafe Finspang. If you walk down the West-most aisle (closest to Chicago), you'll run across it. It's not perfectly in the south-west corner (that's where the Mexican bakery is), but it's close.

            http://www.midtownglobalmarket.com/?q...

            EDIT: they also have a lot of Native American crafts, so, you might mistake it for more of a gift-shop. But, they also have teas, syrups, jams and wild rice products (likes soups and pancake mix.) Also, some interesting looking cookbooks.

            ~TDQ

    2. I haven't shopped there for produce, etc, before, but I plan to this weekend, based on this article.

      Coming from Philly, I can attest to the fact that the the meat and produce suppliers at Reading Terminal Market feel a big squeeze from the prepared food providers. They just don't make the same kind of money. There were similar articles during many of the restructurings that Reading has gone through.

      1. The produce is great and at a good price also. The meat market needs a course in customer service. I asked if they could special order something for me and they said they would check and get back to me. I never heard a thing. The next time I was in there I asked about it and they said they were sorry. Didn't offer to check on my request. It's hard to support someone that blows me off. The food also leaves something to be desired. The two times I ate there it took 20 min or longer to get my food. Hard to stop in for lunch with limited time. They either need to limit choices or somehow speed up service times. One time I saw them put my order on the grill 15 min after I ordered. There was only one order in front of mine.
        I think they may have made it to easy for some of the people to go into business. I wonder who reviewed business plans. Parking also is a problem. Minnesotans don't seem to like to pay for parking. They now are adding free spots for the market, I hope that helps. I like the concept of the market and hope that the lack of people problem is cured.

        14 Replies
        1. re: ibew292

          The parking is free.

          1. re: FishMPLS

            I've heard that there is free parking, but we've never been able to identify where the free parking is. Is this a new thing or are we just clueless? Where is it?

            ~TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              In the ramp to the east, even though you need a ticket, it doesn't charge you anything ot part there. Also, in the lot to the west, even though there are meters, it says on each one that parking is free there for Midtown Market.

              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                Parking is free on the weekends if you park in the "main" lot (in front of the entrance). But on weekdays, you must plug lots 'o quarters in the meters.

                Tip: Street parking is free after 6 - I think - every night. I park in front of Uncle Edgar's/Uncle Hugo's and go in to buy a pile of books (which are my passion), then walk over to the Midtown Global Market for dinner and shopping.

                Anne

                P.S. I just gotta put in a plug for the AMAZING wild rice from the Birchberry booth. (It's the rice from Native Harvest/White Earth Land Recovery Project - with the brown label.) This rice is so good that you'll want to throw out the rest of your dinner and just eat the rice. I think I'll have it for breakfast tomorrow....

                1. re: AnneInMpls

                  I love that wild rice, too. We pick up a lot of gifts (which have been well-received!) at Birchberry (like the wild rice pancake mix and blueberry syrup) and at MGMkt in general. Lots of fun, unique gifts to be found there, much of it food-related.

                  Thanks for your clarification about the parking--we tend to go to MGMkt on weeknights to avoid the crowds. I understand that they are particularly hurting on weeknights. It's practically a ghost-town during weekday evenings.

                  I don't know Uncle Edgar's----is it close enough that you can lug your purchases back from MGMkt? I always bring a canvas bag to lug my purchases when I go to MGMkt.

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    I believe you get 2 hours free in the main surface lot after 5. When they first opened they put up a sign as you entered the lot. All I know is that I've never paid for parking there - perhaps I was just lucky!

                    1. re: katebauer

                      Hmmm, when you say the "main surface lot"--you mean the one right one the corner that isn't covered? We always go into the ramp: maybe that's our problem. (Given all of the confusion over the "free" parking even among us, I'm beginning to think the problem isn't us. They need to make it more clear.)

                      Another thought about MGMkt--it's practically a ghost town on weeknights, so that's when we like to go. But, the truth is, it's not really open late enough for us, which means we're less inclined to go on some weeknights because we know we're going to be rushed out of there at 8pm, and, really, many of the merchants start wrapping up 15 minutes to a half hour before that.

                      I wish they were open until at least 9pm on weeknights. I realize there's a window of down-time around 5-6pm after the Allina employees depart, but for those of us who don't work in the Allina building, it takes a while to get home from work and hussle across town to MGMkt. We really have to rush to get there by 6pm and, on those occasions, it's because we've planned in advance to go; it's seldom spontaneous.

                      We're more likely get there between 6:30-7pm on a weeknight. If you want to explore AND eat AND shop, you feel too rushed. It's not a lot of time, especially if you want to wander a bit to see what's new before you decide which restaurant to eat at. Because of the variety, it takes you 15 minutes to decide whether you feel like a torta, or if the dinner special at La Sirena Gorda looks tempting, and to check out whatever new place has opened since you were last there, and so on.

                      Plus, I hate to say it, but some of the merchants on the weekday evenings are clearly bored and their customer service ethic goes out the window. Sadly, this just turns consumers off even more. I remember one time I was there in the evening and I couldn't get anyone's attention at one of the stands, even though there were several people behind the counter. Mopping.

                      So, if they want to attract the evening dinner and shopping crowd on weeknights, they should probably make some adjustments to attract the non-Allina folks.

                      ~TDQ

                    2. re: The Dairy Queen

                      Oops ... meant to reply above. Moving my post...

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        [Oh, I guess I used the right reply link - I'm just confused today...]

                        Uncle Edgar's and Uncle Hugo's are two bookstores in one, across the street from the MGMkt (on Chicago Ave, next to the "bridge"). Uncle Edgar's is a science fiction bookstore, and Uncle Hugo's is a mystery bookstore. They have both new and used books, and they have a handful of other books, too (including a cookbook or two, if they have a mystery or SF or fantasy tie-in). They're wonderful stores, and I love that I can combine a book-shopping trip with a visit to MGMkt! (Shopping for books always makes me hungry...)

                        Anne

                  2. re: FishMPLS

                    Funny about that. It must not be free all the time or they just changed the rules. I had to send them $10.00 for not feeding the meters. That was 2 weeks ago. Sounds like they need a better PR firm so people know whats up. I do hope they prosper.

                    1. re: ibew292

                      We were there last weekend and we saw no evidence of "free parking" until we got out of the car, fed the meters and got to the entrance. $1.50 down the drain.

                      1. re: jlawrence01

                        Signage outside is very bad. Tip for future trips - park in the multi-level lot, then bring your ticket in for validation with purchase (not sure of the qualifying amount, but it's not a lot).

                        Anne

                        1. re: AnneInMpls

                          On weekends parking is free in the ramp - no purchase necessary.

                          1. re: AnneInMpls

                            Whatever the minimum is, it's less than the price of a haurache @ Ocampo, or a tamal @ Loma, or a bag of dates from Farm in the Market as I've been validated while just buying those things. To be honest, I do not think there is a minimum, it's just a stamp on your ticket.

                  3. Yeah, I read that, too. Such a bummer.

                    Maybe it's time for Midtown Global Market Chowdown II. (Here's the report from Midtown Global Market Chowdown I:) http://www.chowhound.com/topics/31859...

                    If anyone's interested in a spur of the moment Chowdown next Wednesday, January 10, please contact me at the e-mail address in my profile. I'm going to limit this group to 8 Chowhounds(because of the logistics of the venue), but if there is more demand, I will ask for volunteers to lead the "overflow" Chowdown, same date, same venue, just a separate table of 8, separate kitty, and separate sharing of dishes so it doesn't get too crazy. Maybe we'll have "dueling Chowdowns." :

                    )

                    If there's a critical mass of people who were at the first MGMkt Chowdown, I might group those people together so they can try dishes not tested before as, (I think) Danny previously suggested.

                    So, when you contact me, please let me know if you're willing to be the coodinator of the "second" group of 8, if necessary.

                    I anticipate the logistics of this Chowdown to be similar to the previous MGMkt Chowdown:

                    ~Please bring $10-$12 in cash in small bills ($5's and $1's, if you can) with you to throw in the shared kitty at the beginning of the evening. We will take turns drawing from the kitty to buy "shared" dishes for the table to try.
                    ~Please expect to share food. I'll bring some knives to "split" dishes.
                    ~Please plan on paying for your own drinks out of your own pockets (not the kitty) separately.
                    ~You might want to bring a pen and paper to make notes of what you tried, what you liked, what you didn't like. I like to bring my digital camera, too, to help me remember.
                    ~You might bring a canvas bag to carry any purchases you make at any of the shops--there's lots of shopping opportunity at places like Holy Land Deli, the produce places, etc.
                    ~After the chowdown is over, I will post a "Chowdown report" thread with, as best as I can remember, a listing of what we tried and ask everyone to chime in with their thoughts.

                    That's it!

                    Oh, one more thing--please don't discuss logistics of the Chowdown in this thread--e-mail only please. It apparently creates headaches for the mods if we discuss logistics... (Of course, please continue to discuss MGMkt!)

                    Thank you!

                    ~TDQ

                    1. I also tried to special order something from the meat people and never heard from them...

                      MGMkt is in a part of town that doesn't get a whole lot of traffic, especially tourist traffic (unlike Seattle's Pike Place market). I don't think it's reasonable to think there will be support for grocery vendors (though it appears to me that the Mexican butchers on the east side are doing well).

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: plautus

                        Aren't there a couple of "meat" vendors at MGMkt? http://www.midtownglobalmarket.com/?q...

                        Farm in the Market (featuring Bison etc.) and Bymore Meats (Bymore is MGMkt's Mexican meat market, which someone, MariQ, I think though my apologies if I'm misattributing, said previously that her husband was really happy with and becoming a favorite in her household?

                        )

                        Which of the "meat" people at MGMkt have you been unhappy with plautus and ibew: Farm in the Market or Bymore?

                        ~TDQ

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          Not unhappy just confused. It was Farm in the Market. I want them to prosper. I think they need a mentor.

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            New meat market opening in the old Farm in the Market spot. They hope to be open on Monday. I hope they prosper but they seemed to have a lack of knowledge on parts of a cow. www.chasebrooknatural.com/cgi-bin/nat...

                            1. re: ibew292

                              THis is terrific news! I mean the first part, about the new market opening. Not so enthralled about the lack of cow parts knowledge, though. Still, I'm hopeful. Thank you for the head's up!

                              ~TDQ

                        2. I have purchased Georgia peaches and blood oranges that were wonderful, but I have been dissapointed with meals I have tried. International fair food.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: Mel Carne

                            Oh no! Even at La Sirena Gorda? I think their meals are fabulous and more than just "fair food" (although, I certainly understand the comparison to fair food in general--this is really more of a "quick food" kind of setting--certainly, it's not going to be fine dining.) Also, A La Salsa does lovely meals.

                            ~TDQ

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              I'm with you, TDQ. I went to Midtown Global Market for the first time just about a week ago, and I had a great lunch from La Sirena Gorda. I loved the squid tacos that I ate, and some of the other dishes I saw people with looked even better. I can't wait to go back for the whole tilapia... Yum! ! !

                              Uncle Ira

                              1. re: Uncle Ira

                                Another big YES for la Sirena Gorda...I was in your fair city for two days a few months ago, and MGM was the first place i hit. Bought a lovely anklet at he Tibetan place, then got the octopus tacos at La Sirena...I could have eaten all my meals there!

                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                It's always been my dream to go to a restaurant dedicated to dough/filling type dumplings from different cultures!

                              3. re: Mel Carne

                                thought that I had posted about the lovely chicken mole I had at a la salsa in MGMkt awhile back but I just searched for it and can't find it. I thought it was really flavorful and tender. I don't have a lot of experience judging authenticity of mole sauces, but I thought this one was nice. Also, it was served with a side of "tamales"--but, these were interesting in that they weren't stuffed with anything--it was just a bit of masa. You'd think it would be boring and bland, but, actually, it was a nice offset to the mole. Anything more would have been too much.

                                The thing with A La Salsa at MGMkt is that it's a sit-down restaurant with a bar and table service, whereas most of the other food vendors are "take-away" stands, where you order your food at a counter, then take your meal to one of the common areas to eat. I noticed the new Chang Bang seems to work the same way.

                                Maybe these "sit down" settings would feel less like snicky snacky fair food for you.

                                On my first visit, I was marveling at how many cultures seem to have some kind of breaded dumpling take-away dish that could serve a similar purpose to the sandwich in Anglo culture. The Jamaican patties from West Indies Soul, the momos from Everest Cafe, the sambusi from Starlight Cafe, the tamales from Las Lomas, and so on.

                                Anyway, I just thought I'd post about this before I completely forgot.

                                ~TDQ

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  I second the chicken mole with tamales. The only meal I've had there, but fantastic. I do have a soft spot for mole, though...

                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    So, taking advantage of the new "photo" feature of chowhound, I'm posting a photo of the chicken mole from A La Salsa (sorry the quality of the photo is so lousy...)

                                    ~TDQ

                                     
                                2. Location, location, location. That is the problem with MGM. It is not in the right neighborhood to attract tourist or outsiders. I suspect Allina employees by now are burned out. You just can't go back and back day in and day out without getting tired of it.

                                  It reminds me of several other enterprises such as Riverplace, Energy Park, and Butler Square where the impetus was to take advantage of unique buildings. A unique building alone cannot sustain a development.

                                  1. Here are some specific things I love about the Midtown Global Market:

                                    1. the fish tacos at La Sirena Gordena
                                    2. the falafel sandwiches bigger than my head at Holyland
                                    3. the cool public art (e. g., the mosaic statues)
                                    4. the free parking on nights and weekends (can't hurt to say it again)
                                    5. not a single chain. no Subway, McDonalds, Ruby Tuesday, Starbucks, etc.
                                    6. no overpriced, pretentious, not-very-good restaurants, like Figlio's, for example. ugh.
                                    7. the mango lassis at Everest
                                    8. the dog bones at Farm in the Market
                                    9. the huaraches at Tacqueria los Ocampo. yummy.
                                    10. the frozen mochi things at United Noodle
                                    11. it is in my neighborhood. yes, what too many people think of as a "bad" neighborhood. I'm proud to live here.

                                    things I would like to see change at the market:
                                    1. stay open until 9 PM on weeknights. I would be much more likely to go then, given my odd schedule.
                                    2. list the phone numbers for each and every vendor on the Midtown Global Market Web site. the phone numbers are impossible to find. this makes is very hard to call ahead and order take out or place a special order.

                                    My concern is that if the independent vendors at the market don't get enough support, they will be replaced by chain places, which would be a disaster. Don't let it happen, chowhounds.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Cassandra

                                      All good points. I glad I'm not the only person who wishes they'd stay open later on weeknights.

                                      I personally have never had a problem finding phone numbers for the vendors I've wanted to contact on the Midtown Global Market website (and I've contacted several by phone), but, one thing you might try is the delivery website. Not that this is a solution to fixing the problem, of course, but my guess is they can easily contact every vendor and, in a pinch, can tell you how.

                                      http://www.mgmroomservice.com/

                                      ~TDQ

                                    2. Also, I just sent the Market an email with some suggestions regarding what I think they need to do to improve. Here is the url for the Web form to reach them: http://midtownglobalmarket.org/?q=con....

                                      1. Out of pure desire to make it succeed, I have been trying to go at least a few times a month. The big issue I run into is that I pass Mercado Central, Heart of the Beast, etc... on the way and I actually like the Bloomington-Lake location better. I mean, if my family is in from the burbs or out of town I'll go to MGM, but if I want to get really good food and a true market atmosphere, I just love Mercado Central.

                                        Some of my observations:
                                        1. Parking has never been an issue (get a ticket in the East Ramp and exit without paying)...they could offer more explanation
                                        2. I agree 100% with La Sirena Gordena being the place to eat first! Incredible food.
                                        3. They need seafood, fresh bread, fresh produce and other aspects of a market ($600 cowboy hats like at MC) to make it feel more hopping. I went this morning with my 2 year old and we had the run of the place. Good for us, bad for businesses.

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: marknavoski

                                          Mark, I agree with many of your comments, but am puzzled by your third point. They do, indeed, have a seafood place (Republic of Fish--it's across from Manny's) and fresh produce (including "Bill's" and "The Produce Exchange" at the center of the market.) Is there something grander you had in mind re: seafood and produce?

                                          I agree fresh bread would be a great addition.

                                          I'm still puzzled by our inability to find the free parking on weeknights, so, we'll look harder for the east lot. In addition to being open until at least 9 on weeknights, I think they should also sell re-usable "tote" bags for you to accumulate your purchases...

                                          ~TDQ

                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                            Let me explain myself better:

                                            The Produce Exchange feels like the produce section at a grocery store to me and I've never seen Bill's (I'll look next time). I mean I can buy a crate of clementines or "Naked Juice" there for the same price and use my credit card at a checkout line. When I think produce market I think of 2 or more vendors where I give the guy/gal a $5 bill for two crates of something better than I can get at the store. I guess I just get this good feeling when I'm buying something in cash from what appears to be the owner like at the farmer's market. It's probably a perceived value, but perception is reality. I simply wish there were more vendors in smaller stalls.

                                            Come to think of it, I have seen the seafood vendor, but it wasn't too memorable. I'll seek them out next time.

                                            The experience I hoped to get was something that can be replicated by just going over to 26th and Minnehaha and driving to a few places:
                                            1. United Noodles (they have a satellite at MGM, but the real store is an amazing place)
                                            2. Coastal Seafood (the best selection of seafood in the city)
                                            3. New French Bakery (great prices right from the source)
                                            4. Seward Co-op (everything in between)

                                            In short, my expectations are probably higher than can be accomplished as the MGM is new and it is trying to quickly accelerate the many great things that other sections of town that provide its many vendors accomplished over time (e.g. Nicollet/Eat Street, East Lake Street, East University, Central Avenue). I hope it works out and I will continue to be a patron.

                                            1. re: marknavoski

                                              Thanks for clarifying that. For the record, I do think the vendors at MGMkt are genuinely small-time sole proprietors and the fact that they accept charge cards is probably something the business advisors at MGMkt has encouraged them to do to facilitate business.

                                              They do have a farmer's market outdoors in the summers on (I think) Thursday afternoon/evenings, but, obviously, that's pretty much out of the question this time of year.

                                              P.S. Do you take your 2-year old to the little indoor play area at MGMkt? I always thought that would be a fun place to take kids.

                                              ~TDQ

                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                Good to know about the outdoor farmer's market in the summers. In regard to my 2-year old, the play area is great, but he is a much bigger fan of the live music. I think the biggest asset the MGM has is its ability to serve a diverse crowd. I mean, some of my grilled cheese friends from Orono could even find something they like. I've talked it up a bit and plan on bringing them to it. As a Lake Street resident, I hope it makes it.

                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                  Our 2-year old girl enjoys playing in the little play area. Sometimes we eat at one of the tables nearby and let her run around in it. Man, those plastic playhouses, etc sure are getting grubby, though!

                                                2. re: marknavoski

                                                  Great reply Mark, I shop at MGM at least once a week, but they make it hard to keep it up. At the fish place I asked about fish skins and heads, they said what for? It's amazing to me that they expect us to pay permium prices for things that seem to be a hobby for them. Also people need to realize that 75% of new businesses go out of business within the first two years. Lets all support MGM and see what shakes out. It could develope into a great shopping/eating experience. "TDQ" hope your chow down goes great. I am looking forward to a report.

                                                  1. re: ibew292

                                                    Was at MGM yesterday. It seem that things are starting to go smoother. Farm in the Market expanded and they had sweetbreads in smaller quanities. Their selection seems to be growing and most of it looked good. The Produce Exchange was well stocked and fairly busy. A fair amount of people eating in the courtyard. Hope the New Year brings them more business. Has anyone tried the new fish place? I didn't get to that side of the market to see if it was even open.

                                              2. re: marknavoski

                                                there is a new fish store, but I haven't tried it

                                              3. Rumor has it that the STRIB articles drove a ton of business into MGM this weekend. Hopefully there will be some carry over....the STRIB can't give the place 2 front page write-ups every week.

                                                1. Just wanted to bump this up since I was at MGMkt last night and it seems like there's been some changes in the past month. The local meat place (sorry - I'm terrible with names) has expanded into a deli area, with sandwiches and salads. Maybe this will be the place in the cities to get good deli sandwiches?! Also, I believe the seafood market is changing ownership, maybe they'll be open more often and/or have better hours? In general at 7:30 last night the place seemed to be doing good business, despite the fact that many of the vendors had already closed up. My impression was many of the Muslim customers had headed there for their break fast meal.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: katebauer

                                                    An update is a great idea. Also, Birchberry has closed its full-time stand at MGMkt (although, I talked with the owner at the State Fair and she indicated they might have a weekends/evenings) holiday stand... Chang Bang has probably opened and closed in the time this OP started. And, what's the deal with Republic fo Fish--is it gone, gone or just on break?

                                                    ~TDQ

                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      The Republic of Fish hasn't been there for months. Even when they were there, they weren't really there. They would have a couple pieces of fish and the guy running the stand would be off at another one talking to people.

                                                      1. re: churchka

                                                        Exactly! They haven't been there on any of my recent visits and I couldn't tell whether they were permanently closed or just being flakey.

                                                        ~TDQ

                                                  2. hey since we're bumping this thread up, & i myself have not been back to MGM since midsummer, before chang bang closed-- we're listing what's not there anymore-- but what IS still there-- farm in the city, produce exchange, los ocampos. . .?

                                                    17 Replies
                                                    1. re: soupkitten

                                                      Farm in the Market has expanded, the produce exchange is still there too. Most places are still there, plus a lot more gift shops. What has closed is the fish market and Chang Bang, I think that is it.

                                                      1. re: soupkitten

                                                        Jakeeno's is doubling in size too, like the Farm in the Market stand (that was so exciting!) - it is adding an Italian grocery promising things like olive oils etc in addition to their deli case items. I had been wondering about RoF too - I had never actually seen anyone there or any product in the cases, and I go to the MGMkt pretty darn often! I had been hoping it would someday open...oh well.

                                                        1. re: moira51

                                                          We are there every Sunday for our weekly shopping, and were sad to see the RoF go under. We sometimes got good deals, but mostly the place was closed. Farm in the Market now sells local trout. If someone sold sugar and flour I would never have to set foot in a supermarket again.

                                                          1. re: bigchow

                                                            That's what they really need - a store that sells more "regular" groceries, then we'd never have to go elsewhere either (because sometimes it's just too tempting to only make one trip to the 'big' store) -- and some more bars to get people in in the evenings. I have to say though that although every single time I've been to A La Salsa I've gotten horrible service (and if they get a HINT that you might know about the 'secret' happy hour specials the servers tend to disappear forever) - (yet I keep going back, hmm) I went last Friday and we had a very friendly and attentive server who actually told us about the specials right away and saw that we never had empty glasses. Great improvement!

                                                            RoF has been sold. I don't remember the new name, and it's not listed on the MGMkt website yet, but it's another fish place and looks great - lobster and crab and eel in the tanks, shrimp and fish on ice, etc - got there after closing (on my way to the bar) but I will definitely go back soon (this weekend?)

                                                            1. re: moira51

                                                              Thanks, Moira51 - it's great to know about the new fish place!

                                                              I'm going to stop by tomorrow for some last-minute Halloween candy (the Mexican candy booth has GREAT stuff!) I'll definitely check out the fish stand for dinner ideas. I love being able to pick up dinner ingredients when I'm making a specialty food stop.

                                                              I'm with you - if I could get my staples there, as well as organic meats and veggies, that I wouldn't need to shop anywhere else.

                                                              Anne

                                                              1. re: AnneInMpls

                                                                Farm in the market and Jakeeno's are indeed expanding, while lots of places have disappeared. I'm disappointed in the loss of diversity.

                                                                Has Everest Cafe gone under for good or are they just on break?

                                                                The new seafood place looks like it's open now. Lots of octopus, tiliapia (farm raised, costa rica), snapper, shrimp, grouper, atlantic farm-raised salmon and oysters.

                                                                Also, we've been parking in the West surface lot recently. It was full this visit, so we checked out the ramp on the East side and they offer 3 hours of parking free on weekends, which is nice.

                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                  anybody tried the fish at the new fish place & could speak about quality/freshness?

                                                                  1. re: soupkitten

                                                                    I bought pre-peeled shrimp there on Thursday. It was EXTREMELY cheap ($2 per 1/2 pound - I bought non peeled shrimp at Kowalski's this morning for $10 per pound). I just stirfried it up to use in fresh spring rolls so it wasn't really the focus of what I was making but it was okay, not great. I think if I were making something where the main ingredient was shrimp I wouldn't buy them from there. However, the person ahead of me bought salmon which looked great and they also commented how inexpensive it was.

                                                                    1. re: katebauer

                                                                      kate, we're thinking of going next weekend, now that the FMs are winding down - I'm curious about the new fish market. Do they source their offerings? Cheap shrimp sounds great to me, but after all the food issues in the news, I would love transparent sourcing like the RoF did.

                                                                      Any thoughts or in-the-know on this?

                                                                      1. re: cayjohan

                                                                        To be honest I didn't look that closely at the choices or what information they provided on the fish. I just knew I wanted some shrimp and was happy that the fish market had reopened so I didn't have to make a separate stop on the way home.

                                                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                    The diversity still seems to be there, as the better planned operations look to be doing well. Poor planning and execution seems to be the reason behind the failures: RofF, Chang Bang, the little produce stall guy and the florist. The stalls that market(in the display sense) themselves well and serve a real need are all still there. Which places were you sad to see go?

                                                                    1. re: bigchow

                                                                      Birchberry, Everest Cafe (if, indeed, it's really gone)...

                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                        I ate at Everest Cafe a week ago. I'm pretty sure it is still open.

                                                                        1. re: churchka

                                                                          Everest Cafe: When I went by there on 11/1, there was a sign on the counter indicating that it folded permanently. Just 2 weeks before that, the gentleman who was running the cafe told me that he was considering moving to a different spot with more traffic. Apparently, the amount of traffic greatly varies within the market, exposing certain merchants to a much larger audience than the others. It is really too bad that things did not work out for Everest Cafe because I loved the momos, chilli cucumber and spiced coffee/tea.

                                                                          1. re: Ms. Fennelbulb

                                                                            That's interesting about the traffic. I was always so surprised that Manny's and Everest, two places with a large following at their regular spots, always seemed deserted. I also noticed that Everest was inconsistently staffed, which led to me hesitating to go there and then be disappointed that they were closed.

                                                                            I wonder what the heavily traveled areas of the market are. I always come in the west doors, turn right and make a loop around, peeking in at the places that face the middle aisles and ending up with Holy Land and the Scandinavian places as my last stops.

                                                                            1. re: katebauer

                                                                              I agree--the service at Everest Cafe was always flaky. And Manny's (which has fine service) just doesn't seem to be that crowded.

                                                                              I bet few people enter at the South Entrance, so, the vendors towards the South suffer for it. I'll bet the vendors in the interior aisles suffer, too, because, unless one of those stands is your specific destination, it's easy to lose track of which aisles you've visited and miss one. Or, you just run out of time.

                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                            2. re: Ms. Fennelbulb

                                                                              Ah, thanks for that. We sae that it was clearly "packed up" but didn't see a sign indicating the status. We must have overlooked it in our shock and despair. I had my heart set on their veggie momos. I hope they find another location within MGMkt.

                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                          2. Bringing this topic back up--what's up with the website for MGM? I've tried to get in for a few days now, and keep getting a message that either my "username and password are incorrect" or my "hosting provider's database server is down". Anyone else having the same problems? I wanted to check out what was new with the Market.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: prasantrin

                                                              The url is http://midtownglobalmarket.org/ but, I'm having the same problem you are...

                                                              ~TDQ

                                                              1. re: prasantrin

                                                                I can't access the web site, either. But, as of my visit yesterday, the market itself is hopping. Here are the changes I noticed since my last visit:

                                                                There's a new sit-down Asian restaurant, Jade. (See http://www.rakemag.com/blogs/breaking... ).

                                                                Holy Land Bakery has expanded to the next space, and now sells meat. And more types of olives. (See http://www.chowhound.com/topics/514905 ).

                                                                Farm in the Market now sells unfrozen chicken every day (both whole and cut-up), as well as an expanded line of food, such as cheese and sliced deli meats. And they make sandwiches with these ingredients. Yesterday, I got some whole wheat bread from Bread Coffee & Cake, and some Pear-Ginger preserves! Yum.

                                                                As of Memorial Day weekend, there's a new bakery, Salty Tart. (See http://www.chowhound.com/topics/525001 .)

                                                                I didn't get over to the fish vendor, so I don't know if it's still there. But I hope it is!

                                                                Anne

                                                                1. re: AnneInMpls

                                                                  We were there end of last week, and the fish guy was there, over in the corner near the Mexican grocer

                                                                  1. re: AnneInMpls

                                                                    And the following are gone:

                                                                    Starlight Cafe (replaced by Salty Tart), Andy's Garage (vacant), Everest, Birchberry, Republic of Fish (replaced by a new fishmonger), Chang Bang (replaced by Jade).

                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                2. The shops were fairly interesting and it was worth the half hour that I spent there last weekend. It is not really a place that I would want to return to.

                                                                  I am glad we stopped there as we had a great meal across the street at TAQUERIA LOS OCAMPO which was a really pleasant taqueria with a great menu. We really enjoyed the gorditas.

                                                                  21 Replies
                                                                  1. re: jlawrence01

                                                                    any particular reason you didn't eat at the Taqueria Los Ocampo in the market?

                                                                    1. re: faith

                                                                      I did not see the store in the market. The set up within the market building is such that it is not hard to miss a shop or two.

                                                                      The place across the street is big, very noticable from the street, and is spotless both inside and out. The older gentleman who runs the place was washing the windows and runs a tight ship.

                                                                      What I think is great about the restaurant is that they show pictures of all the food so if there is an item that you are not familiar with, you can see what you would be ordering. It helps Anglos a lot in the ordering.

                                                                      1. re: jlawrence01

                                                                        What about Slavs? Are they helped in the ordering by pictures? Seriously though what was wrong with the market that you would not to return to it?

                                                                        1. re: jlawrence01

                                                                          Tacqueria Los Ocampo in MGMkt is located right smack in the middle of it - it is the Mexican joint that faces the central seating area. That location has pictures of all the food as well.

                                                                          Assuming that all Anglos don't know what Mexican food items are and need pictures is a bad assumption. Maybe say "people unfamiliar with authentic Mexican food"?

                                                                          I take out of town people there all the time and they love all the unique shops, and frequently buy gifts there.

                                                                      2. re: jlawrence01

                                                                        I love the Taqueria Los Ocampo in MGMkt, but the location across the street that jlawrence checked out is also terrific. Their al pastor tacos, carnitas tacos, all delicious. It's a big, attractive restaurant. A great spot.

                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                        1. re: jlawrence01

                                                                          Curious as to why it is not "a place you would want to return to?" The owners initially approached CG to open up a cheese shop there but we decided not to, for a few reasons, and your comment is making me think we made the right decision.

                                                                          1. re: cheeseguysgirl

                                                                            I can't speak for jlawrence, and I know you're never interested in my opinion CGG, but I'm here to give it anyway, opinionated 'hound that that I am. ;-). I can completely understand why someone as well-traveled as jlawrence wouldn't see a lot of value in visiting MGMkt more than once, or, even once frankly. I love MGMkt and have been a big advocate since it opened, but it can't hold a candle to similar concepts, such as San Francisco's Ferry Plaza or Montreal's Jean Talon market, in bigger cities, so if you've been to a lot of these big cities or are from one of them, then it might not seem that spectacular.

                                                                            I used to think MGMkt was a great place to recommend to visitors because it had a good cross-section of stalls that gives a visitor at least a glimpse of culinary delights that, in combination, are unique to the Twin Cities: Scandinavian (Cafe Finspang)+Birchberry (Native American)+Hmong Crafts+African cuisine (Safari and Starlight Cafe)+local meats at that place in the center of the market (can't think of the name right now.--Farm in the Market?) I had always wished there was a better representative of Southeast Asian cusine than Pham's, but, well, you can't have everything. Plus, I think La Sirena Gorda and Taqueria Los Ocampo are top notch and would hold their own in many major cities.

                                                                            However, now that Birchberry and Starlight have closed, some key representation of Twin Citiesness has been lost. And contiues to slowly bleed some of the variety--like Everest Cafe and Andy's...

                                                                            So, I'm now very cautious to recommend MGMkt to visitors, depending on what their requirements are and where they come from. If they are coming from an even smaller Midwestern city or have limited time or are on a budget, I still wholeheartedly recommend it. Otherwise, not so much.

                                                                            What MGMkt is slowly turning into, which I think is fantastic for locals, by the way, but less fantastic for well-traveled visitors from big cities, is a great place for locals to do their daily shopping. Holy Land has expanded with a bigger produce section and with a meat counter. Farm in the Market has expanded. United Noodles seems to be thriving. Jakeeno's has expanded its grocery section. These are all expansions that appeal to the home cook, that is, locals, more so than a visitor who wants to dine on site.

                                                                            So, I wish cheese guy had opened a shop in MGMkt. I think MGMkt could use a great one, featuring ideally both very local and imported cheeses. I also think it could use a good bakery (and I've got my eye on Salty Tart, but I think it's going to be more of a pastry place than a place where you can get freshly baked loaves of bread and baguettes, etc. like I was hoping for.) I think it could use a much better fishmonger (Coastal Seafoods, I'm talking to you) than the place that's there now (that replaced Republic of Fish). They can't even answer basic questions like the sourcing for their fish.

                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                              TDQ You are spot on in my humble opinion. I think that the quality has gone up, although the selection has been reduced. I was not happy with most of the shops and markets when the first opened but now I'm happy to shop there at least once a week .The Holy Land had Loin Lamb Chops for only $4.99 lbs. they were fantistic. I have never tried the fish market, any reports? Some of the offerings looked inviting. Also for cheese, Farm in the Market is starting to offer some interesting choices, I hope they keep expanding the selection.

                                                                              1. re: ibew292

                                                                                I've only purchased salmon there, once or twice, I think. It was just fine, but it's not that delicate a fish. I guess what worries me about the fishmonger, and it's a completely circular problem, is that they don't seem to be that busy and that's not good for turnoever. On the other hand, if I (and people like me) never buy anything from them, I'm just perpetuating the problem, right?

                                                                                Thanks for the comment on the lamb chops. I haven't bought anything from the Holy Land counter yet, but I'm delighted to hear something favorable about it.

                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                  I think you are also spot on in your opinion, which I DO like to hear (I surely hope you were kidding above). When we were approached before the market opened, it was pitched as a "public market" like Reading Terminal (Philly) or Pike Place.(Seattle) or the Ferry Building (SF). The impression we got from all the signage, marketing, branding, etc (as well as the name) was that it would end up as more of an ethnic market. A public market could support a cheese shop of a certain caliber, because of its clientele and volume of traffic. An ethnic market could not, especially since our hispanic, african, middle eastern and southeast asian communities have limited at best call for specialty cheese. They may have call for ethnic cheeses, but those are pretty well covered by the ethnic grocers in the market already. I am very glad to see Farm in the Market offer an increasing selection of wonderful local and regional cheeses. I think it's a good fit, but I would venture a guess their cheese business is nowhere near what it would need to be to support a stand-alone cheese shop.

                                                                                  1. re: cheeseguysgirl

                                                                                    Makes sense, what you're saying, CGG. It's hard to say where MGMkt will ultimately land --ethnic market or upscale/specialty grocery--when it reaches its equilibrium. I do worry/worry if the it's getting enough traffic and whether vendors are making enough money to stay afloat!

                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                      I love to read up all the Chowhound postings. After doing so, I talked my family into giong to the Midtown Global Market for a late lunch. Great meal at La Sirena Gorda, pastry at Salty Tart, coffee at Mapps?, and some pretty impressive Italian Ice to finish up. Also want to give a plug to Don Strong, who was playing classic jazz.

                                                                                      I had gone there during the opening week, when everything was too expensive, too low in quality and too helter skelter. I'm glad to read these posts and give this place another chance.

                                                                                      I used to live in Philly and loved going to Reading Terminal. Reading was 10 - 20X bigger, but it was so noisy and crowded that eating was not that pleasant. Now if only Midtown would get the Mennonites to set up a stand and hand make the soft pretzels I used to enjoy in Philly...

                                                                            2. re: cheeseguysgirl

                                                                              Over the years, I have lived in Cincinnati, Dayton, Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis and Chicago, so I am used to markets that offer a lot of funky little stores. (Actually, Chicago has little to offer in this category which has been a major disappointment as you have to go around the city to get all the stuff.)

                                                                              The MGMkt was alright. They have a couple of interesting lunch stands and some interesting vendors. It was a fun walkthrough. However, with the exception of a few of the shops, there was nothing really all that unique about the market. Personally, if I lived in MSP, I would probably head there once a month or so to try out some of the stands. For me to head there once a week (as a resident), there would have to be a better selection of produce (like Cleveland's West Side Market or Detroit's Eastern Market). Some of the vendors seem to me to be "hobby businesses" meaning that they are not really attentive to the customers. For example, one Mexican vendor had a stand BUT I stood there for three minutes and got no response.

                                                                              What I really did like was the library in the back of the market. That was pretty cool. The day we were there, some kids were selling small and large sweet potato pies that were excellent. They seem in touch with the community.

                                                                              They need a marketing plan as I stumbled onto market through my internet research. I could have driven past it easily as it looked like one of those older urban Sears stores (just like the one I lives near in St. Louis). Signage is not all that great.

                                                                              I ENJOYED the market a LOT more than the "farmers market" that is located by the Mill City. Most of the prices there were pretty expensive.

                                                                              1. re: jlawrence01

                                                                                Library in back of the market? I will have to look for that.

                                                                                I share your observation, jlawrence, about some of the vendors not being that attentive. I've had that complaint about more than one vendor at MGMkt. Many of these business (Holy Land, Safari, Pham's, Manny's, La Loma, a la Salsa etc.) are off-shoots or mini-versions of restaurants elsewhere in the Twin Cities and, therefore, aren't staff by the owners. I think the people they've staffed their stalls with need better training, and, frankly, more to do. I have the feeling if business were always hopping, they'd be foreced to be attentive, whereas now they are just sort of ho hum and bored.

                                                                                I love the Mill City Market, though I agree that it's quite expensive. But, I'm sorry you were disappointed by your visit there.

                                                                                You do know that MGMkt is in the old Sears building, right? Did you see the footprint from the original construction encased in glass in the cement (right by Taqueria Los Ocampo?) Which is why it looks like Sears? (And yes, signage and marketing and information about parking could ALL be improved. I agree with EVERYONE on those points.)

                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                  Whatever, the suburbanites, and moneyed folks that you need to have a fancy food joint do not fit the demographic of the neighborhood, nor is it on any of their major routes. The ethnic clientel already have plenty of other longer-established markets for most of their staples. So where does the MGM need to fit? The restaurants have to do a brisk lunch and weekend business to survive spotty evenings. The stores have to be reasonably priced so that the neigborhood folk will shop there, or be exotic/differentiated enough that people will make the trek to their location. The produce exchange hits the first count very well, and Holy land and Farm in the Market hit the second one well to a lesser degree. These three will be the survivors/canary in the coalmine. Other than they, the other vendors are just nice to have but not as central.

                                                                                  1. re: bigchow

                                                                                    Well one idea, bigchow, is that they should partner with the Midtown Greenway people and their new cycling center to develop web grocery ordering with delivery by bicycle or some marketing/service to bike commuters (like ability to order lunch from the cycling center and have a runner bring it down). On Monday at lunch, I biked from my office in Golden Valley to the MGM but didn't want to fuss with locking up my bike, etc. (plus I had a meeting to get back to). If it had been easy to interface from the Greenway, some vendor could have gotten $10 from me. (Like a drive-through for cyclists).

                                                                                    There are literally hundreds of people that bike past every day, many of whom don't own cars. There's a tremendous buzz in the cycling community about the center right now (which is located just behind the MGM). They should reach out to that population somehow. Just a thought. Maybe someone will forward it to someone.

                                                                                    I agree that it's not an "easy" place to use (especially for us well-heeled suburbanites) but also share the viewpoint that there's not quite enough there that I can't get along my normal routes around town. I'll go the difficult route for great food. The new bakery will draw me in soon though.

                                                                                    1. re: MSPD

                                                                                      This is a great idea. I was in Freewheel on the Greenway (across from the Midtown Exchange, but very hard to get to from there.) last Sunday buying a bike and was pleased and amazed at the number of people in and around the Greenway. I spoke to the staffer helping me @ Freewheel and he admitted they vastly underestimated how busy they would become after opening. There was a line of about 6 people waiting to rent bikes and a bike was on all 3 repair stands and 4 in queue.

                                                                                      What would be lovely would be direct access from the Greenway into the Midtown Exchange. Getting from the Greeway to the exchange isn't difficult since there is an exit right there, but since we arrived without bikes, getting to the Greeway on foot was confusing.

                                                                                      Can't help but wish the Greenway went into NE. I'd ride down there every weekend for some shopping.

                                                                                      1. re: Foureyes137

                                                                                        The Greenway doesn't go to NE, but there are a number of on-street bike lanes that run into/through downtown Minneapolis that link to the Greenway. You can do a whole lot of chowhounding by bike and groceries at MGM towed/carried by bike to NE is realistic.

                                                                                        1. re: MSPD

                                                                                          Yeah, we know these, it would still be nice if the Greenway went through NE. It's not hard to get there, you just have to dodge car traffic to do so. I like pretending there are no cars ;)

                                                                                      2. re: MSPD

                                                                                        He doesn't say where, exactly, but Jeremy Iggers has spotted an horchata stand on the Greenway. (I haven't seen her myself, but I've been off the bicycling for a couple of weeks) http://www.rakemag.com/blogs/breaking... Now, if she could just partner with a tamale lady, we'd be all set.

                                                                                        I guess the stand is open during afternoons from 12 or 12:30 to 6 or 6:30pm

                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                          I've seen her just east of 35W on the corner by the soccer field. I don't carry much cash when I ride so I couldn't tell you if it's any good. For sure, tamales on the Greenway would cause me to start carrying cash more often.

                                                                            3. The market does not seem to be well marketed. We used to see advertisements for the facility, but have not seen any mention of them in quite a while. We go there occasionally, but it is not a regular stop. Management should give thought to better organization and a "better" standard of operation for the businesses that are housed there. We go there to buy guarana by the flat from the shop over near the Mexican market.

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: MIKELOCK34

                                                                                wow, what do you do with the guarana? make homemade 'Jolt'?

                                                                                1. re: faith

                                                                                  Drink it! It is a popular soft drink in Brazil. I found out about it when I was in Brazil years ago.

                                                                                  1. re: MIKELOCK34

                                                                                    We bought a case of that Guarana Antarctica last winter. It's sort of like ginger ale but without as much of a kick. Not bad with some lime.

                                                                                    1. re: Jordan

                                                                                      Since the first time that I tried it in Brazil, it has tasted like ginger ale and apple juice mixed together to me. We love it.

                                                                              2. The website is back up, if anyone is interested!

                                                                                FWIW, when I'm in MSP I'm a tourist, and I would go to MGM again, but only for the food. It's great to be able to find both good Mexican and Middle Eastern food in one location, as those are the two main reasons we go to MSP.

                                                                                However, as far as the non-food stuff goes, I think the market is quite sad. Many of the little shops are sparsely stocked with cheap-looking goods (at least they were the weekend we were there). It's even worse than The Forks in Winnipeg. Most people who travel don't travel for food, so as far as MGM goes, there's not a lot to offer tourists.

                                                                                I'd still go back, but as I said, we go to MSP for the food. I can't wait to try the new bakery!

                                                                                1. Andy's Garage has re-opened.

                                                                                  I was there on Tuesday and noticed that. also bought some stuff from Farm in the Market. today I noticed FITM was completely desolate. anything on this? I like that place.

                                                                                  23 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: getgot211

                                                                                    I'm wondering about FITM also. Sign said temporarily closed, with no indication as to reason or for how long. Anyone know if they sell their organic chickens somewhere else, on the western side of things?

                                                                                    1. re: Enso

                                                                                      Well, I just went to their website and no mention of chickens...I thought sure I had read here that they sell free range chickens. Any one know what I'm co-mingling in my memory?

                                                                                      1. re: Enso

                                                                                        Farm in the Market definitely sells chicken from Callister Farms - see the About FITM link on the Farm In The Market web site at http://www.farminthemarket.com/ . For my money, it's the best chicken around.

                                                                                        Dara M raved about this chicken a few years ago ( http://www.citypages.com/2006-07-19/r... ) and there's been some discussion on this board, mostly by me (such as here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4814... ).

                                                                                        I hope and pray that this shutdown is temporary. I love Farm in the Market, and have been looking forward to ordering my Thanksgiving turkey from them. Last year's turkey was wonderful.

                                                                                        Anne

                                                                                        1. re: AnneInMpls

                                                                                          the chickens are available at the St. Paul Farmers Market. not quite as conveniently located for me.

                                                                                    2. re: getgot211

                                                                                      We were by MGM yesterday looking for mozzarella curd, and ran into the FITM owner moving some of the equipment away. They are closed for good. They have no plans currently for a new place. Apparently there was not enough business to stay open. I am so sad. They had amazing chicken, and their turkey was HUGE, meaty and delicious. They also had a great selection of local and regional cheeses. We will miss them.

                                                                                      1. re: cheeseguysgirl

                                                                                        Dang, that's where we get most of our meat. I guess we just didn't eat enough. Clancy's is so inconvienent for us. This sucks.

                                                                                        1. re: churchka

                                                                                          Oh, I'm so sad. I loved that place. Was only able to get there once every other week or so, but I will definitely miss it. I thought their expansion was a good sign--I guess not.

                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                            Dang, dang, dang! I'm really bummed about Farm In The Market closing! It's all my fault for not shopping there enough. I guess I'll go to the St. Paul Farmers Market to order my Thanksgiving turkey. Or I could call the farm directly (http://www.localharvest.org/farms/M9178 ).

                                                                                            And I've seen the Callister Farms chickens at Golden Fig - but call to confirm before heading over, as selection seems highly variable for most things at Golden Fig.

                                                                                            Anne

                                                                                            1. re: AnneInMpls

                                                                                              My husband and I have started going there for a writing group on Saturday mornings (nine o'clodk at Salsa a la Salsa) anyway-he had never been there, so we shared a to-go order of the buffet at Holy Land. I did really want to get some meat from there-we got some produce, but I wasn't careful and the lettuce is already brown. Grr. I love going there to eat, or for interesting things, but the produce is no that great.

                                                                                              1. re: AnneInMpls

                                                                                                I wonder how much their expansion was related to their demise. I wonder if they paid more rent to take up more space, and obviously they had to put more money forward to buy all the additional food they offered. It's a shame if they could have stayed in business if they stayed smaller or if expanding was a last ditch effort.

                                                                                                1. re: katebauer

                                                                                                  oh no!!!

                                                                                                  & another thing that sucks is that the callisters scaled back from their farmer's markets, pulling back from st. paul and out of mill city, to concentrate on FITM full time. now they've lost their slots/seniority. last time i talked to lori callister she said it was going well, but apparently she was being too optimistic. :(

                                                                                                  1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                    This is very discouraging news. How do I find free-range chickens and eggs (I love the image of eggs roaming the range! lol :-) near Plymouth? I'll happily pay extra for the good stuff, but not big $$ in gas plus hours of driving on top of it.

                                                                                                    1. re: Enso

                                                                                                      I just started following this thread and I'm so disappointed. I love the FITM, although obviously I haven't been there in quite a while. I go to the St.P Farmers Market all summer and used the Global Market as my winter back-up, particularly for meat.

                                                                                                      A word of encouragement about Callisters, however. Another place that sells their chicken (maybe just breasts, not sure about whole chickens) is Eisenburgs Market in downtown St. Paul (on 10th and Jackson). It's a crazy place to find it, and it isn't likely to be as fresh as it was at the FITM, but it's still the best chicken around I think. And if you've never been to Eisenburgs, um, well you're in for...an experience.

                                                                                                      1. re: mrsforss

                                                                                                        I'll second the Eisenburgs "experience." I have to say though, if you are careful and use what you buy fairly quickly if it's "fresh," you can find some good buys and a few oddities you would not normally find in a store such as that. Many years ago I beleive they started as a wholesale fruit distributor.

                                                                                                        1. re: ssioff

                                                                                                          Oh and I forgot, the still make the very traditional fuit basket!

                                                                                                          http://www.eisenbergfruit.com/

                                                                                                        2. re: mrsforss

                                                                                                          Sounds like an interesting spot. Alas, it is too far; my interest is not strong enough to sustain a 1+ hour, 50 mile roundtrip. I tried contacting Callisters to find something local, but no one responds. I hope they aren't having more problems than what caused their closing at Global Market.

                                                                                                          If anyone sees free-range chickens/eggs available in Mpls - or west - please do post.

                                                                                                          1. re: Enso

                                                                                                            Clancey's has chickens, also very fresh.

                                                                                                            eggs are pretty widely available.

                                                                                                            1. re: getgot211

                                                                                                              Salsa a la salsa was perfect, fish tacos were good, three enchiladas were also very good. Service was top notch.

                                                                                                              Salty tart was a bad experince, we waited in line for 5 minutes for the three lady's in front of us to decide order and make their way mulitple times back in front of us for what the forgot or didn't get the first couple trips, two people working there never even acknowledged our presence the entire time we were there, after trying to make our way up to the register once again, only to get rebutted by one of the lady's again, we left, Not sure the staff ever knew we were there or that they missed out selling a couple $3 cupcakes, they certainly didn't make any attempt of any sort, for us. Part of me would just keep walking right past it next time, part of me is intrigued with the good reviews.

                                                                                                              Stopped at Jade hoping to get a small sushi snack, alas their sushi bar is not open on Mondays, we laughed a left.

                                                                                                              Can't count the number of times we tried to go somewhere or eat some where on a monday only to find out they are not open on mondays, Jasmine Deli, Fuji-ya, JP's I can hardly remember them all... So now we just laugh.

                                                                                                              1. re: mnxd9

                                                                                                                If you're only getting cupcakes, I'd keep walking. I had a chocolate cupcake, and it was good, but it wasn't worth $3. I did like the dulce de leche filled cookies, though.

                                                                                                                I was hoping they'd have some sort of salted caramel tart, but no such luck when I was there.

                                                                                                                (Service wasn't that great when I went, either, and I was the only customer around. They still left me standing there for several minutes before anyone approached me, though.)

                                                                                                                1. re: prasantrin

                                                                                                                  I think they're still experiencing some growing pains, in regards to service. The chef/owner told me that they've been swamped since Rick Nelson's review in the Strib, and that they had to quickly add new staff. It sounds like a wild ride for them!

                                                                                                                  And I do think the goods are worth the wait. The macaroons and rosemary corn cakes have made the Salty Tart my new favorite bakery (taking top spot from A Baker's Wife).

                                                                                                                  1. re: FireRev

                                                                                                                    I went before the review was published (I was in MSP at the beginning of August, and according to my search, the review was published in October), and as I said, I was the only person waiting. There were at least 3 people working that day, but it seemed none of them wanted to come to the front counter to help customers. I would not say it was because of growing pains, but poor training or poor attitudes. I have only been there twice, though, so perhaps it was just my bad luck (although I do believe bad service is never due to bad luck).

                                                                                                                    I would still like to try their other goods, but their cupcakes really aren't all that. Or perhaps it's just all about frame of reference.

                                                                                                                    1. re: prasantrin

                                                                                                                      I've had pretty good service the few times I've been there. but what I've had has been mediocre at best, and disappointing for the price.

                                                                                                                      1. re: getgot211

                                                                                                                        Ditto getgot's experience. We had some sort of fruit tart (can't remember specifics, so apparently not to-die-for). It was tasty enough, though too small and priced way too high. Also ordered the rosemary corn cake, which you'd have to pay me a sizable sum to eat again.

                                                                                        2. I believe the Global Market is looking to take a fresh direction- I live in the area, frequent the market, and I love it. I feel very good about supporting a non homogenized community. I love La Serena Gorda's Octopus tacos, Salsa ala Salsa for dinner and a Pacifico. The Salty Tart Bakery has also become one of my favorites. I find it hard to believe their cupcakes were ever dry, as I had one today

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: inkmuse

                                                                                            I, too, love the current Midtown Global Market. It feels very vibrant and fun. I adore the treats at Salty Tart, the seafood tacos and tres leches cake from La Sirena Gorda, and everything at West Indies Soul. Oh, and Safari's spicy food, Los Ocampo's tacos, and Manny's Tortas. And, of course, Holy Land (love those inexpensive whole roasted chickens!)

                                                                                            I finally figured out the free parking deal: park in the lot in back, bring your ticket in, and have a vendor stamp it when you make a purchase. Voila - three hours of free parking.

                                                                                            And best of all, they've added gift certificates! They're called "Market Money", come in $5 increments, and all vendors accept them (as far as I know). It's a bit confusing to find where to buy the gift certificates - I bought mine at the jewelery table, but it might have been a holidays-only stand. I think the florist sells them, too.

                                                                                            I bought a bunch for Christmas gifts, and they were wildly popular (most recipients have spent theirs already). They'd make a great gift for someone visiting (or working at) the Abbott-NW hospital...

                                                                                            Anne

                                                                                            1. re: AnneInMpls

                                                                                              I keep meaning to eat there, but when I'm in the neighborhood I can't help myself -- I have to have the pupusas at the Mercado Central. Maybe next time I'll eat at the MGM and get the pupusas to go...