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Aug 6, 2008 10:52 PM

Saturday SF Ferry Farmer's Market - What not to miss?

I am going on Saturday to the Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building hopefully by 11:00 am. Can any one recommend shops/stalls that should not be missed and what item(s) should be purchased at each?

We will be hungry so items to be eaten right away along with stuff to take with us. We are renting an apartment for 3 days so we have a kitchen. Not planning to do much cooking but some good in season fruits that are only locally available would be great. We are from So Cal so we do get stone fruit and grapes at our local farmer's market (not too great though).

I want to hit Acme and Cowgirl. What should I try to purchase at each?

Thanks again for your help!

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  1. Acme and Cowgirl Creamery both have outlets inside the Ferry Building Marketplace that are open 7 days a week, so I wouldn't make them a priority at the Farmers' Market per se. I'm not a big enough fan to keep abreast of what's hot at the moment, though squash blossoms are looking pretty good these days.

      1. re: sugartoof

        I think they are out of season.

        1. re: wally

          In or out of season, the date folks were not there last week.

          1. re: poot

            They don't come when the dates are out of season. It will probably be a 6 weeks or so.

      2. Don't miss the best sammich this side of Ittly at Roli Roti (the dizzy chicken truck). It's porchetta,pork covered in herbs and wrapped in more pork. On those rare occasions when it is not available,the roasted pig knuckle is a good substitute. The chicken is no slouch either.

        1. So many good things there, its hard to name them all, but I think Della Fattoria's pretty awesome, particularly their cinnamon twists and crispy chocolate chip cookies (and I usually like my chocolate chip cookies chewy, but these are yummy).

          1. In the front of the Ferry Building:
            Rancho Gordo's fabulous array of dried heirloom beans
            Hodo Soy Beanery's fresh tofu and tofu salads, "noodles," soy custard, tofu croquettes, etc.
            Swanton Berry Farm strawberries

            In the rear (main part of the farmers' market):

            Tierra Vegetables dried smoked chiles, chile jams
            Andante cheeses
            Della Fatoria breads
            Downtown Creamery pastries
            June Taylor jams
            Bella Viva dried fruits
            Marshall's Farm honey (from many Bay Area neighborhoods)

            Inside the Ferry Building:
            Far West Fungi great variety of mushrooms, both fresh and dried
            Cowgirl Creamery
            Frog Hollow Farm -- jams, conserves, excellent pastries (try the sweet risotto tart)

            4 Replies
            1. re: Nancy Berry

              Bella Viva and Marshall's are in the front of the building.

              1. re: wally

                You're right. I see those two at other markets and got confused.

              2. re: Nancy Berry

                Nancy offers a great list. The majority of these places have samples so you can decide for yourself if the recs are good.

                Tierra - if they have the dried smoked onions, they are pricy but WONDERFUL

                Andante - much better than Cowgiril, IMO. If they have the figaro, cheese wrapped in fig leaves, it is one of their best. Whatever cheese they feel is best that week.

                Downtown Creamery Bakery - I love their como bread, especially this time of year. The yeasty bread stands up great to juicy summer tomatoes. I liked their gallettes and turnovers a lot.

                June Taylor - Samples of all their jams. They excel at the bing cherry. I also like some of the apricot jams a lot. No samples, but the bottled syrups are great.

                Marshall's farm - The pumpkin blossom honey is the best and different from any honey I've tried. It is also nice to get different types and colors. The wild, wild, west wildflower is one of the darkest and has a very assertive flavor. The star thistle is a lovely light honey.

                Cowgirl - There is a recent favorable post on the SF Drakes washed rind cheese

                Rancho Gordo - My favorite beans to date have been the black and white vacaro. Lots of people like the hominy, but I haven't tried that yet.

                Saint Benoit Yogurt is lovely. They have samples and I like the lemon alot

                Sciabica & Sons - I love their olive oil. It may be too early for the lovely peppery green early season oil They have a nice little sampler pack of their oils. Although I usually despise flavored olive oils, theirs is great. They also have a sampler pack of these. My favorites are the lemon and rosemary oils. Great cookbooks two by the mother. Knoll has a great variety of figs, but sciabica's are half the price and twice as good. They might be sold out by time you get there though. The figs sell out early

                Bates and Schmidt - They make a lovely balsamic apple vinegar

                Bodega & Yerba Santa make wonderful goat cheese and an exquisite caramel sauce from the goat milk.

                The Peach Farm has outstanding melons, especially the ogen which will perfume your entire apartment.

                White Crane has great herbs and 'the mix'. If you think you might make a salad at home ask for this ... and you have to ask. Very worth the $$$$

                Hamada is a very good fruit vendor and has occasionaly some sort of fig with the word violet.

                Massa organics has good organic rice

                Spring Hill has some nice quark. I like the lemon and some of the seasonal flavors.

                My favorite prepared food vendor is Hayes Street Grill. Love the soft shell crab in season, otherwise this time of year the BLT is outstanding. In the morning they look around for the best tomato vendor and use those. The bacon is Hobbs and the sourdough is great.

                Blue bottle coffe ... the African one is my favorite if they have it

                Boulette's Larder I like quite a lot. However, Saturday when the market is mobbed is when they don't offer as much.

                1. re: rworange

                  I like the Spring Hill quark too, just the regular that just says 'quark', on crackers or apples, or Acme epi....the lemon is too sweet for my taste.