Florida Ave Market - What's good?
The DC Florida Avenue Market / Farmers Market is located close to my new house, but I haven't really taken advantage of it. I've gotten some good wine and pasta at Littori's but that's about it. So my question... what stands or wholesaler/retailers do Chowers like there? Especially, which places are recommended for fresh vegetables? Fresh fish? Or is the quality pretty much like you'd get from any supermarket?
I have lived in the area since the late 80s and am not impressed by the Florida Avenue Market (save for the very impressive A. Litteri's). If you want to buy a lot of chicken for a big, big party, it is a good place. It is really a wholesale market. The market building is just a bit depressing.
That Union Market area has a lot of korean and chinese wholesale outlets. Generally speaking, the produce is about the same price/quality as the full scale asian markets. Here though, you can buy fruits in bulk and are sometimes cheaper. For instance, during Christmas, I bought a box of Florida Oranges (40ct) for about $12. Very sweet and juicy. Back in the day, you could get a gallon of soy milk for about $2.50.
Also, you can buy large bags of rice (100#) and other supplies. There are a few korean owned outlets that sell stuff in bulk, kind of like costco, but a bit cheaper, and of course, without the membership fees. You're "lucky" that you live nearby, so you can walk, because parking is akin to living hell in that asian corner area. Don't drive your nice car.
I agree with the first post--A. Litteri's is the best thing about the market. It is the only Italian market in DC (that I am aware of), and it's sensational. They make great subs on the premises, the store smells heavenly, and we bought really top-flight balsamic vinegar and olive oil for way less than places like Dean & Deluca were charging for the same products. Wonderful store.