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Best of (3rd St) Farmer's Market?

What's your favorite at the Farmer's Market? I've been there just once and thought it a little like Redding Terminal in Phila but then found the food disappointing. I'm sure I never figured out what was 'native', so please, instruct away....TIA! (I tried to search but never found a dedicated thread to this).

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  1. Yes, the places there are either very hit or very miss.

    My favorites are:

    Loteria Grill (Mexican) -- a bit overpriced but still consistently very good
    Singapore Banana Leaf -- just great
    Gumbo Pot -- not as good as it once was, but still decent and a fun alternative

    1 Reply
    1. re: wutzizname

      Agree on the Banana Leaf. I think their food is wonderful. And the Red Beans & Rice are still top notch at the Gumbo Pot. I probably go to these two place most often. The line at Loteria can be a chore and the Crepe place even worse. But, if you have time to kill, both are excellent.

    2. Magee's is the oldest stall, and serves a great corned beef sandwich.

      I like the crepe place a lot, especially for their savory crepes.

      1. Bob's Donuts are my favorite donuts.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jlq3d3

          Really? Every time I've had em, they tasted stale and cruddy; the glaze had even had time to crackle in that "day old" pattern.

        2. Really only been there a couple of times but once my fiance had a sandwich at Monsieur Marcel that was brie, bacon, crisp green apples, and apricot jam on a baguette. One of the best sandwiches I have ever tasted.

          1 Reply
          1. re: LegoEater

            Was there this morning and my friend had the same sandwich. While my eggs on brioche were tasty, nothing could compare to that sandwich!

          2. and breakfast at Charlie's is great, better than going in to Dupars.

            1. Moishes has good middle eastern, love the salad at the gumbo pot with the pecan dressing.

              1. Have been to M. Marcel many times - disappointed only once, that was when the coffee machine said, "I've done this too many times!"

                1. Last year, in a fit of obsessiveness I went to every stand in the Market. There is some great stuff there: fondue at Mssr. Marcel, the Brazilian churascaria, some of the food at Loteria, Singapore Banana Leaf and DuPars, but the best things I found were the sweets. The toffee at Littlejohn's is some of the best in town, as are the doughnuts at Bob's. The funnel cakes at Country Market are the best I've ever had.

                  Of course, this accounts just for a small number of the stands there...lot's of the food at other palces is mediocre or worse.

                  Full results from my Market experiment are available here:

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sku

                    Wow, what a fun blog! Thank you for the link and intrepid reporting!

                  2. I'll answer my own question with a repeat of many others': Banana Leaf was really quite delicious; I'm still tasting it! We had the "Indo Style" noodles that was really delicious; it reminded me of the Indonesian food I ate as a kid in the Netherlands. And of course the banana leaves themselves bring back great memories too. Please someone tell me they don't import those banana leaves from overseas to this desert?! I am wondering where they get them from though! Someone at our table was eating chapatis I think (some sort of round flat breads but they looked a little deep-fried which seemed odd) with a curry that looked wonderful too. What a find! Highly recommended to all, though it seems others may have placed this recommendation before.

                    I'm looking forward to trying the funnel cakes and donuts too! I had vaguely recalled DuPar's as being associated with pies, and I *tried* to eat a piece, thinking it was what the 'Romans' would do. But I couldn't do it; it just looked too awful. However *their* donuts looked pretty good as well, at DuPar's. I did notice a long line at Bob's and figured that probably portended something. Next time....

                    What a scene! Like how I imagine the fare from LA in the 40's to have been....

                    Also, one of the bakeries in the middle; forgot its name, had rolled cream cakes and the like with hamentaschen (sp?) in the adjacent case. I can't take that huge dollop of goop in those things so we compromised on a poppy seed roll that was really very delicious, very large and highly recommended at 2$. It's the bakery catty-corner to the Pinkberry stand. (And while I'm on that subject, what's *with* that place?! The line was immense, the cups being hauled away huge and the unimaginative laddlings of canned sweetened fruit were spilling everywhere with abandon. The appeal escapes me in the midst of so much that is not-canned).

                    How's the fondue at the froofy place near the Grove? It looked *really* thin to me, from my stolen perspective gawking at a diner while I was passing. But the patrons appeared very happy!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: aliris

                      My rule of thumb is to never eat at the Grove. Every time I have strayed from that rule, I've regretted it.

                      1. re: aliris

                        SBL is easily my favorite. The chapatis are paratha with a little bit of curry and they are delicious.

                      2. kokomo's is still good for comfort food and better than average diner fare- back in the day (pre-grove! gasp- imho no foodie should eat there and expect anything better than corporate shlock--ok the hot dog guy, hagen dasz and the farm are ok...) the line for weekend brunch was insane and the food was great- has anyone been there lately? i had a late night dinner there recently and my companion's chili fries and hot wings were decadent fun
                        loteria is really so good (love the tortilla soup) and m, marcel is also consistent, agree with sku- the baked goods are good at many stalls, the ice cream is good at bennets and ?the other place on the west side of the market and the candy stalls are very good--but really it is more about the experience of community (and many of the neighbors really do patronize the place on a regular basis)

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: sgl

                          Opinions on Kokomo vary greatly, though they're all pretty moot now as they have lost their lease at the Farmers Market and will be closing shortly.

                          Last I heard the owner is going to relocate Kokomo to his Eat Well location on Beverly, but remains to be seen if and when.

                          1. re: wutzizname

                            i was at the market yesterday and Kokomos was closed at 4pm. i wonder if they are closed for good now. Singapores Banana Leaf is my all time favorite restaurant. i love the mee goreng and the rojak salad. the paratha (the bread w/ curry sauce) is amazing... i've never had one bad meal here. i also love Bob's Donuts and Little Johns. Thee's bakery is really great too. What may be overlooked by some (i overlooked it for years) is the tiny Sushi stand behind Little Johns. i think it's called Sushi a go-go. I eat that Sushi a few times a month and while it's no Hirozen, it's pretty darn good for the price.

                            1. re: wutzizname

                              Huh. I hope they don't sandwich SBL with another froyo chain store. I found Kokomo to be serviceable. Our raccoon friend (shiny, pretty, design conscious, but no palate) was immediately drawn to this place over the other stalls, so I've been there a few too many times. I always went with the catfish & eggs. I can't say I'm terribly sad to see them go.

                          2. Went to Loteria today (as I've seen it hyped here), and was quite letdown. I had two tacos, carne deshrabada and cochinita pibil. I thought both were salty, esp the cochinita pibil. Even without the saltiness (which I generally don't mind some saltiness), these were barely above average. To make things worse, these cost almost $3 for each taco, which were tiny.

                            I also tried the Crepe place next to it, and had a solid crepe, but nothing great.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: mdpilam

                              I agree that the tacos at Loteria are no big deal...but they have great Queso Fundido and chilaquiles.