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May 15, 2008 12:29 PM

MSP-Nicollet Mall Farmer Market

Anyone have a favorite vendor for fruits/veggies. I got some tomatoes at the stand in front of the IDS/Crystal court and they were grainy. I'm guessing this isn't locally grown this early. Does the quality vary between vendors? Maybe that's why there prices were a little lower then some other vendors.

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  1. If I recall correctly, the stand in front of IDS is one of the large produce distributors that comes in and puts up several stands. They have all kinds of non-local, non-seasonal goods (but sometimes great deals on those items!). For local veggies/fruits, I like the block in front of City Center. Pflaum Farms (north end of the block) has good veggies, and on the south end of the block, Appleberry Farms has great in-season fruits (especially berries, as the name suggests) and out-of-this world jams. I love the rhubarb jam-- get it while you can because they don't always have it. Dehn's herbs are also on the block-- great stuff. There is also a good Hmong farm stand in front of Gaviidae with reliably tasty veggies.

    I went past the mall on the bus the other day and it looked to me like the market was a little thin yet-- there are more vendors later in the season. So, the ones I mentioned might not be around yet.

    6 Replies
    1. re: KristinT013

      Great tip on the rhubarb jam, thank you. Do you know if they sell it at the St. Paul Farmers Market or at the Midtown Global Market Farmers Market, too?

      I hear that on Thursdays Holy Land and a couple of other restaurants will be setting up at the Nicollet Mall Farmers market. I'll see if I can find that link.


      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        Aha! Here's where I read that--on the Rake's blog:

        Basically, on Thursdays from 12-5 at the Nicollet Mall Farmers Market, the following restaurants are going to have a stand:

        Manny's Tortas
        La Loma Tamales
        Pham's Deli
        Holy Land

        (Sounds like a mini Midtown Global Market!).

        I'd love to hear if anyone has a chance to check this out.


        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          I have been going to the market for the last 3 weeks and haven't seen any of these vendors. Just the hot dog guy.

          1. re: dave43

            I saw them a couple Thursdays ago. They were near a stage set up at the Xcel offices (between 4th & 5th.) However, it was about 3PM and it seemed they were already in the process of packing up.

            I looked for them last week in the same spot and didn't see them. But I got out a bit later than the last time, so maybe they had already gone.

            1. re: Kilgore

              You guys are right....I never noticed before because they were so far off the beaten path. Had a 1/2 cubana torta for $3 from Manny's. A little soggy but still good and a good change of pace from skyway food.

              1. re: dave43

                Has anyone had the Tamales from the Caribbean Heat stand in front of the IDS? I got some and will report back. He had some fiery hot salsa which had some kick.

    2. For the first time, I tried an all beef polish hot dog from a street vendor--I'm not a big hot dog consumer.
      I didn't find the other lunch vendors...didn't walk to/beyond 5th and 4th street. not much available for lunch munchies between 10th and 6th. The tamale place looked like they only had frozen tamales for indication of lunch available for the person on a mission.
      Was I walking to fast and focused on lunch rather than enjoying the sun, neighbors, and sales tents?

      Beef Poilsh Dog was good, though the technique of eating bun/dog with acoutrements (sp) pickles, hot peppers with stems, and mustard _and_ a diet coke was quite the trick. I was trying to avoid a mustard crash with those moseying down Nicollete. Mission accomplished. No mustard on self/clothes and no known mustard attacks on the Nicollet moseyers.

      Dog ( and can of diet coke ) was tastey enough, will be willing to have this as a lunch focus in the future ( killed a 5 dollar bill vs a 10 dollar bill required for other lunch downtown venues

      Will be willing to venture further north to see what eats are available for walking and munching.

      3 Replies
      1. re: type2runner

        I've been demanding street-side tamales DT for years. Several MGM restaurants are set up on Nicollet @ the XCEL courtyard, kitty-corner from the Nicollet LRT station, and among them is La Loma, whose Oaxacan chicken tamale is one of my favorite single-serving carry-out items in the entire TCs.

        There was also a stand from Manny's Tortas and some meh-looking Chinese restaurant. I was told that this is only going on for one or two more Thursdays, which IMHO, is stupid. Ought to be every week. Though I suppose other downtown rent-paying vendors are raising unholy hell to the city council over lost revenue, etc.

        But, I have to say, eating that tamale yesterday while listening to the Moroccan music blaring over the speakers on that little terrace in the beautiful sunlight with the crowd buzzing, the train passing by and the skyscrapers all around was one of the most surreally great lunches I've had since moving here 8 years ago. MORE STREET VENDORS, PLEASE!

        1. re: g rote

          What???? It's not going on all summer, at least? What a shame!


          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            Anyone know if the food vendors are coming back this year?