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Downtown Baltimore Market on Sundays

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What do you go for? Need recs on specific vendors. Love the atmosphere, just wondering what you all go for and can't pass up.

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  1. my favorites are the greens and herbs from gardeners gourmet, fruit from Reid's or Black Rock (peaches, cherries, blueberries, raspberries), bread from Atwaters, eggs and cheese from Blooms Broom, coffee from Zeke's. . .

    1. For all the time I spend here, I should know all the vendors names, but I don't. HEre's my general list:
      Curry Shack for the spicy turkey patties and whatever special flavour they have that week
      I forgo Zeke's bc the line is ridiculously long and instead hit the coffee peeps on the Hollywood diner side
      Rieds Orchard for apples and herb plants
      The fresh pea people for peas/black beans/okra (next to the mushroom stand)
      Adam and friends (oppe Reids and Neopol Smokery) for pea shoots/sprouts/vegan fare
      Hen's Nest for eggs
      (Next to Gardener's Gourmet) the guys have great corn and green beans and peppers

      12 Replies
      1. re: aussiewonder

        There's coffee besides Zekes? Where exactly?

        I also don't know all the names of the vendors.
        I tend to go to the produce guys who are on the Hollywood diner side about half way down (that's very unhelpful I realize)

        Fruit from the other side (great pie cherries recently) or Reid's. (always a good selection of heirloom tomatoes and apples)

        What's up with the ridiculously long line for peas/beans every week?

        And always get a sausage biscuit from the Argentinian woman. And all of her delicious side bacon and chorizo and sausage.yum!

        1. re: pigtowner

          Ah yes, there is. Looking @ "CatPaw" Cookies, it's to the left of that, sort of opposite the guys who do the bottle sauces (BBQ and HOT); same side and prob close to where you get your produce. Actually, i think they're right behind the diner. They have two fullstrength coffees and one decafe option and it's also $1. They sell lots of pastries too. I tend to go there bc the line @ Zeke's is beyond ridiculous and i just can't wait that long for coffee, esp when people are deciding on take home ground flavours etc....

          1. re: aussiewonder

            Do they also sell beans, or just brewed coffee?

            I looked for the place today, but didn't spot it (Zeke's had the usual long lines). I'll look again next week with your further locational information.

            1. re: Hal Laurent

              Just brewed coffee, which is the reason I like it. I find the bean buyers @ Zeke's just make the already long line. Longer.

              1. re: aussiewonder

                Ah, well that doesn't help me. I brew my own coffee (in a French press) at home before going to the farmer's market. I'm looking for a source of good coffee beans for the rest of the week.

                1. re: Hal Laurent

                  Have you tried BlueBird coffees? They use organic sustainable beans and the roaster is here in highland town. You can find out more info about them at:

                  1. re: aussiewonder

                    Thanks, I didn't know about them. There roasting is done right near here in Greektown, apparently. I'll keep an eye out for retail locations.

                    1. re: Hal Laurent

                      Bluebird was at Share our Strength's Taste of the Nation at AVAM last month. Their coffee was REALLY good, and the guys behind the table were really friendly. They get the thumbs up in my book.

                      1. re: Hal Laurent

                        Zeke's is owned by Thomas Rhodes and Blue Bird is owned by Rik Rudolph. Both were master roasters for Key Coffee before it was bought out by a big corporation, so you can't go wrong with the quality of either.

                        Both are great, so try them for yourself and decide! Local roasters are the best!

                      2. re: aussiewonder

                        Thanks for the BlueBird tip. I usually buy Zeke's at the Wine Source. They charge $9 for a bag of beans--Zeke's charges $11 at the market! I like some of the Trader Joe's coffees as well.

                        1. re: PaulaG

                          i stopped by the Highland town sat morning market and was a bit sad to see so few vendors but was delighted with what i did get...namely corn, tomatos, beets, and BlueBird coffee! I think it was 11 a bag @ the market, is it cheaper to buy BB elsewhere? Anyone know?

            2. re: aussiewonder

              About the long line at Zeke's : 1) the line moves really quickly; 2) once near the table, by-the-cup buyers are waved around the buy-the-pound buyers, who are attended to separately 3) the Zeke's people are super-nice; 4) your fellow citizens waiting in line with you are super-nice, or, sometimes, super-atrocious, sure, but that's what makes the Farmer's Market so great.

            3. I also don't know the name of the vendors, besides Reid market. I'm partial to the guys from Middle River, with their great corn and tomatoes. (A few tables down from the people with the triple wished baby greens in the bucket....)

              But, I was actually wondering if anyone here knew why the market vendors are now not allowed to offer samples? It makes the market experience a bit less fun, and is sort of an impediment to buying really great produce.

              7 Replies
              1. re: baltoellen

                Really? Since when? I now eat fresh corn uncooked bc the Middle River guy accosted me w/ a cob and demanded i try it, as he says: "you eat tomatoes raw, why not corn?"
                And i always try a blueberry or cherry tomatoe or tatsoi before buying! Huh.

                1. re: aussiewonder

                  I didn't get to go to the market yesterday, but in the past two weeks, I was told, from the folks at Reids and the Middle Riv guys, that they were not allowed to give samples.

                  If this changed yesterday, well, I'd happily be proved wrong on this one! ;-)

                  1. re: aussiewonder

                    Speaking of the Middle River guys: We bought their corn there Sunday. We also had guests who had ended up bringing corn from various points in the mid-Atlantic. We had corn from outside of Dover, DE, and from an Amish Market near Lancaster, PA. Hands down, no contest, not even close, the Middle Riv guys had the winning corn.

                    Just thought I'd share!

                  2. re: baltoellen

                    the guys at Reid's told me a while ago that the Health Dept cracked down on samples of fresh cut fruit due to hygiene issues, but I guess it is still okay to nibble on the occasional blueberry or cherry

                    1. re: honeybee926

                      This becomes a huge problem when Reid's gets in their 25 varieties or so of apples, and when it becomes the height of tomato season. Really, the lack of samples is such a downer!

                      1. re: baltoellen

                        Such a shame. i remember that the tasting used to 'spoil my lunch' appetite, but i loved it! One of reasons i go to market is to try the varietals of tomatoes and fruit that i wouldn't ordinarily get in the store and it's often the reason i've branched out and found my new fav's flavours!

                    2. re: baltoellen

                      The Argentinian lady at Old Pioneers Kitchen (i think that's the name), also explained that she doesn't give samples anymore b/c apparently she had a problem with people just eating a breakfast of samples at her stand without buying anything ever (apparently it was the same people every Sunday).

                    3. The Peruvian chicken tacos (I think new this year) are great. Also the lady who sells soup in jars (I think we had some sort of black-eyed pea soup) .... awesome. She gave samples two weeks ago.

                      1. Just went. Loved the kettle corn stand, the mini donuts stand, the thai iced tea and thai mango sticky rice stand. The fried trout and the trout stand was definitely the best i've had in the last year. Kettle popcorn reminded me of fairs in Louisiana. Zeke's iced coffee was also very good. Last time, got crepes with strawberries and those were good. I got a chocolate croissant and portugese roll from some stand (Atwaters?) and they were good. Another thai stand has chive dumpling, shrimp toast, and thia iced coffee, all of which I thought were jsut mediocre. It's just a heck of a lot of fun, though.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: bmorecupcake

                          I got two of those chive dumplings this past Sun, and they were THE most vile things I have ever tasted.They were soaked in grease and completely inedible. I ate one and threw the other in the trash. don't get them under any circumstances.

                          1. re: mgarland

                            I enjoy their thai iced coffee, nice and refreshing in the heat. The shrimp toast is also very greasy but for some reason I can't stop eating it. I did try their fried bananas. They too were very greasy, but tasted alright (I think they need to slice the bananas thicker).

                            Last sun I tried the crepe stand for the first time and really enjoyed the ham egg and cheese crepe that I got. Last year my BF had an apple, walnut and cheese crepe that he really enjoyed.

                            Got a really good baguette last sun from the place 2 stands counterclockwise from the curry place (I really have to start learning the names). Nice and crusty,it went really good some goat brie that I picked up at Wegmans.

                            The fried trout is awesome, but I can't bring myself to eat it at 8:30 in the morning.

                            I buy all my coffee at Zeke's now. My favorite being the Tell Tale Dark.

                        2. I love the Fried Lake Trout and the the grilled portobello mushroom salad at the mushroom stand. I got some excellent plums from a stand (Lewis' I think)and some golden cherry tomatoes and poblano peppers as well ( I don't remember that stand name)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: amethiste

                            My wife goes for the produce. I had to laugh when someone from the midwest lamented our lack of good tomatoes elsewhere on this board. It's good to hear that everyone thinks their homegrown produce beats everyone else. I love the local color, not just the customers. The guy from the Bush River with crabs, the Middle River truck farmers with real seasonal homegrown stuff who've probably been hauling stuff to market since the turn of the century, the orchardists from Pennsylvania and the Maryland country, the retired vet with the Irises. What a brilliant idea to restrict the market to goods raised by the growers or harvesters. I know its an old idea but I am thankful for it every time I go.

                          2. This past Sunday I tried the Quinoa from the mushroom stand. The grain was sauteed with 'shrooms served over fresh greens and topped more grilled portabella mushrooms, feta and hot sauce. Delicious!!!!

                            I picked up some Peruvian chicken to have later for lunch. It was a grilled tortilla topped with lettuce, shredded roast chicken and a couple of sauces. It was wonderful when I heated it up for lunch. The chicken was very moist, even after reheating. Note to self: must find a Peruvian Chicken restaurant!!!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: amethiste

                              OH my...there are such good ones! Here is an earlier thread....http://www.chowhound.com/topics/337037

                              1. re: crosby_p

                                There are some new ones in Baltimore as well, such as the one of the corner of Lombard and Anne, and another one on Broadway and Gough. I actually think that there's one more on Upper B'dwy.....

                                Someone should really do a taste test on all the Peruvian Chicken joints that have sprung up recently.

                                (BTW, I think the one on Lombard & Ann is fantastic....and maybe beats out Chicken Rico, but I'd love it if others would chime in on their opinions, too!)

                                1. re: baltoellen

                                  I had been reading the thread on the place on Lombard and Ann and ventured there last night. I got the 1/4 chicken w/ fried plantains and fries to go. I also got a sample of the special drink made from purple corn. Everything was delicious although they gave me a dark quarter instead of the white quater I requested. Everything was still yummy

                              2. re: amethiste

                                I tried the Quinoa last week too. Might be a new favorite! I've liked the mushroom stand for a long time. The pita sandwich falls apart - the pita just can't take all the stuffings.

                                My other farmer's market vices are the kettle corn and the veggie spring rolls at the thai (?) stand close to the mushroom stand.

                                Oh, and the soft serve hidden inside the cheese trailer is out of this world good.

                                1. re: misssphinx

                                  I usually get the salad from the 'shroom stand. It' s just likie the pita but with no bread.

                                  Oh I loooooooove the kettle corn. I try not to buy it too often because I wind up eating the entire bag in one sitting.(alhthough I usually eat it standing up so the calories don't really count :-P )

                              3. I go every week and buy waaayyy tooo many vegies, and always get cilantro/basil/dill from the guys who sell herbs and vegis before the french bread guys. but I am still mourning the cheese guys - my favorite was to get a few heirloom tomatoes, some fresh basil, a baguette, and some cheese then go home, munch on my spoils and read the sunday NY Times - ah heaven! It's just not quite the same combo without the cheese. Which leads my to ask, somewhat off thread, where do folks go for lovely cheeses now? I tend to hit up Whole Foods, but wondered if anyone else had other suggestions?

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: pagoda girl

                                  If you're willing to make the trek, Wegman's in Hunt Valley has an impressive selection of cheeses. There's more variety than Whole Foods but the quality is about the same.

                                  1. re: Roland Parker

                                    Wegman's has a nice selection, but they don't carry some of the rarer cheeses, such as French Munster and D.O. Cabrales that you can find at WF. I do most of my grocery shopping (including cheese) at Wegmans, but it's worth the occasional drive to WF in search of cheese that's unavailable elsewhere.

                                    1. re: JonParker

                                      I have noticed a cheese store on Calvert Street downtown, around the Centerstage (I think!) called Cave Aged Cheese Fromagerie? (I think that's the name...always driving by in traffic) Have you heard of it?

                                      1. re: crosby_p

                                        I've also passed by the Fromagerie on Calvert (right next door to Iggie's), but they never seem to be open. ???

                                        1. re: scarlet starlet

                                          I don't know if they are. They were only open for a short stint a few years back, the concept never took off? Or was it too hard to find? I'm not sure. I made it there once and then when i went to go again, found they had closed. If they've reopened (or perhaps under a loong 'renovation' and are now open) please someone speak up!

                                  2. re: pagoda girl

                                    Cierello's for mozzerella and Atwater's for anything else, both in Belvedere Square.

                                    1. re: pagoda girl

                                      Pagoda girl - I made my first mozzarella this weekend! Ate it with tomatoes and basil...very yummy.

                                      She was totally right, it's not hard at all. We should try it at the next dinner...

                                    2. I went at 9 this morning and there was some other stand in place of the trout stand!?? Does anyone know what happened? I loved that stand.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: bmorecupcake

                                        The 'fried trout' stand? I was there late, around 11, and it was definitely firmly in its spot!