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Dec 20, 2008 11:11 PM

Old Town Farmer's Market (Scottsdale)

Finally hit the Old Town Farmer's Market today. Super, super stoked!

We have been going to the Phoenix Downtown Market on Saturdays for a year + now & love it. It's just a bit of a hike for us. We also participated in Maya's Farm's CSA the last go around & have been missing our market visits.

Well I'd stopped by The Old Town Farmer's Market just after it finished a couple weeks ago & saw that McClendon Farms was there. Was psyched about this as we've always wanted to get down to Town & Country on Wednesdays but had never been able to - little kids & all. Well that day they'd packed up already so I didn't see what they had but I could tell they had a pretty large spread.

Today went back to OTFM & brought the family.

Man were we pleasantly surprised.

First of all, McClendon Farms spread was quite large (they said about the same size as they do at T&C) & the produce looked absolutely gorgeous. We are regulars here from now on.

Now the market is still small & there aren't a ton of vendors there but what was there was awesome (for us anyway).

So bonus on the produce. My other favorite thing about Farmer's Markets is getting good food to eat there. OFTM had a TON of that.

Here are some of the highlights for me:

-Chrysa Kaufman & Rancho Pinot are there showcasing McClendon produce - Kale today. They have samples of the daily product & also use it sandwiches, etc.

-Payton Curry & Pavle Milic of Digestif were there & had some dishes. We tried the chili & it was absolutely rocking. Also had a good looking frittata. Payton said that they do a Farmer's Market menu on Saturday evenings as well. They come up with a special menu every Saturday to highlight ingredients they get from the market. Sounds cool!

-Tracey Dempsey (desert queen of assorted Kasperski spots) was there had some beautiful gingerbread houses, her wonderful brittle & a yummy spicy hot cider. Alas no persimmon & goat cheese desert (which is still probably the favorite desert of my life).

So for me, it's already a win. I absolutely love that the chefs of some of the great local independent spots were there chatting & interacting with the community. Think it's a great move (for me anyway) as it makes me want to doubly patronize their restaurants.

-The tamale folks from Downtown Market are there but they were already sold out of a lot by the time we got there. We love their tamales (especially their chicken/mole - probably a bad idea to mention this now that I think about it) so we're psyched they're there.

-There was a hot dog stand using Vienna Beef & doing Chicago style dogs with sport peppers, celery salt & all. As of last week (our first Chicago food visit), we're huge fans so we're itching to try.

-There was also an interesting looking huge BBQ smoker - will definitely be back to try that. Heard it was great from some folks we talked to.

-Maya's Farm was there. Produce looked great.

-There was an interesting vegan desert stall which was quite yummy that we'll be checking out more closely as well (dairy/egg allergic kids).

-Several artisan bread stalls...

And throughout the day, there was a great guitar/mandolin player (Walt Pitts) giving a great vibe to it all.

Was bummed we didn't see Tortillas Rosario there as I did the first time I swung by.

I believe Seacat Gardens will also be having a presence as well.

Still did not see any eggs there. That is one thing that definitely seems to be missing.

Could also use DePoca Foods & their Mexican shrimp cocktails to expand there as well. : )

NOTE: Many of the vendors said they would not be there next week so I'd skip or go with that in mind & alter your expectations.

Regardless, we will definitely be heading back and are so psyched to have something so great so close.

Farmer's markets just give me a good vibe. Though Scottsdale is small, it definitely still did the trick!

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  1. BTW, it's on Saturdays from 8:30 am to 1 pm off of Brown and 1st street in a fenced off section of the city parking lot.

    Not too hard to find parking right nearby.

    They do the write your order down on a card & go pay at a central location type thing like Downtown Phoenix Market as well but there were a couple vendors who were only taking cash.

    If you need it, there is an ATM just north of 1st street on Brown (west side of the street) - I needed it.

    1. OFTM is getting more & more crowded as the weeks go by. Good thing I guess but alas we missed out on the Phoencian chocolate cherry sourdough. GOT to get there earlier as that's a must for us.

      This past week, we had a wonderful pork sandwich with slaw & watermelon radishes from Rancho Pinot. Awesome.

      The thing that was most remarkable though was that Payton Curry was pulling fresh mozzarella. They were serving it with what we later found out was called bagna cauda. Guess it is a staple dip in Italy. Payton said it was super common, almost like our ranch. Olive oil, anchovies, garlic, shallots & red wine. Anyway, it was awesome on the mozz & i feel gypped to have ranch everywhere. : ) The Mrs. had to go home & attempt - and actually did a killer job.

      We also had a great frittata from Digestif w/pancetta, Roaring 40s blue cheese a couple other things. Also great.

      7 Replies
      1. re: ccl1111

        thank you for the updates - i'm headed there on saturday...but shhhhhhhhhhh don't tell the downtown market i'm cheating on them ;) lol

        1. re: winedubar

          ok i went on saturday.... loved bob's produce. he has romanesco, which are only around for a short while. love this freaked out fractal vegetable.

          so i stocked up from bob...

          had a cup of spiced hot chocolate with handmade kahlua marshmallows from tracy dempsey...had hand pulled mozz with a side of mushrooms from digestif. omg there is nothing, NOTHING, like fresh mozz. yummmm

          got some more veg from maya's farm, shes at the scottsdale market too now.

          had a stellar roast pork and lime coleslaw on fresh foccacia sandwich from rancho pinot. OMG - it was so good i had a little taste in my car on the way home and almost got into an accident getting was stellar. the bread was crispy, almost fried, with a dusting of salt that was the perfect union of salt and fat. like a fresh french fry. yum..

          and then - thanks to ccl1111 - i tried the chocolate cherry sourdough bread from the phoenician's bread guy. i had a meeting at my house on sunday and that bread was snarfed up in a hot minute. FANTASTIC. addictive. must. have. more

          so its smaller than the phoenix market, but its off to a GREAT start. i'll stay at the downtown market because its closer to me, but i would happily drive across town for any of the prepared foods for breakfast. YUM..

          did i mention that digestif had a pork belly and porcini mushroom frittata? YUMMM

          1. re: winedubar

            I picked up some romanesco broc too from Bob at Town & Country on Wednesday, it totally impressed my dinner guests. Many pictures were taken.

            1. re: winedubar

              Winedubar, glad I didn't steer you too wrong.

              I haven't been back to report but we got the hand pulled mozz from Payton Curry. Amazing. And the total bonus was the introduction to bagna cauda (the sauce they drizzled on the mozz). Payton told the mrs. how to make it & now am eating more raw vegetables than even in my life. He said that bagna cauda was to Italy as ranch was to the US. Feel totally robbed if that's the case. I love Digestif more as every day goes by.

              We did the pork roast & lime coleslaw sandwich from Rancho Pinto too and it was soooo yummy. She rocks it every single week. Have had other killer sandwiches and ridiculous bean soup from her.

              I'm glad you hit the chocolate cherry sourdough too! Don't know if it's better with coffee or red wine!

              Haven't hit the pork belly frittata yet but that sounds right up my alley!

              1. re: ccl1111

                W, picked up some romanesco from OTFM today. Will Google to see what to do with it but man it looks cool!

                1. re: ccl1111

                  We had dinner at Rancho Pinot on Thursday night and they offered romanesco as a side in place of brussels sprouts. They roasted it cut into small pieces/spears with very little (if any?) oil, and finished with crumbles of crispy bacon, hot toasted pecans and a tiny splash of lemon juice. It was very good, and made me wish I'd have grabbed a head at the OTFM last Sat or today.

                2. re: ccl1111

                  you tolly steered me in the right direction :D there were some good finds there!! true to form, scottsdale's prepared food is a bit more upscale that what we have at the downtown farmers market :D i mean, i love me some dutch pancakes and grady's bbq, i'd just love to have rancho pinot and digestif too :D

          2. We were at Vincent's Market this weekend - it's more of an event, than farmer's market. I go to T&C fairly frequently on Wednesdays, for the more serious shopping. Sounds like this market is the best of both worlds. Can't wait to check it out!

            1. The McClendon Farms spread is nice.

              I'd love to see more restuarants with regular spots - nice to try dishes one might not normally think to order in a more formal outing.

              Also, I bought much of the goods needed for a Mexican meal but nobody was selling tortillas. Same with the other markets. Lots of bread options but some fresh tortillas would be something nice and Southwestern! A Carolina's booth? :)

              7 Replies
              1. re: tastyjon

                Almost every Saturday, a vendor is selling flour tortillas (white and whole wheat) at the downtown Phx market.

                1. re: hohokam

                  I recall seeing them but it seemed they were selling store-ready, consumer packaged stock... like they had gone to a supermarket and bought a bunch of packs, then were reselling them (but I could be wrong - that's just what it looked like). Will have to take a closer look next time, and see if they are fresh off some nearby grill. Or maybe someone knows more about this particular vendor?

                  1. re: tastyjon

                    True, nobody is there is doing anything like pulling and pressing rounds of dough and cooking them on the spot. The guy who sells them works with a local tortilleria to have them made, but ultimately the tortillas ("Tortillas Rosario") are his recipe and his product.

                    1. re: hohokam

                      i've never seen anyone make fresh tortilla's at a farmers market anywhere, not even in cali!!!

                      but i will say the tortillas rosario guy's family recipe is the bomb. i get a package of the whole wheat ones every week..

                      1. re: winedubar

                        We're big fans of Tortillas Rosario & always got whole wheat & the big white ones. He actually did a few weeks at OTFM but it was before it really started to take off & I think he was disenchanted with it. Would love to see him give it another try as we love his tortillas!

                        1. re: ccl1111

                          I stopped by today and he has a list of local stores that stock their fare... should have grabbed a copy. But from what I recall... Sunflower, Ranch 99, Baiz, and others. Didn't memorize as there's a Sunflower near me so that's all I needed to know.

                          We actually hit both downtown the PHX and Scottsdale markets today... it's a quick hop on the 202. I like Vincent's as well, so Saturday's are getting hectic! Will also be checking out the new Organic Sunday market in Old Town tommorow.

                          1. re: tastyjon

                            We grab his tortillas from Sunflower as well but nothing like straight from the man. : )

                            We're big fans of Vincent's market too.

                            Hit Green Market today & it's still too early/small to tell (for us).

              2. Just seeing this...thanks for letting us know. We attend Vincent's Market almost every Saturday with the kids (the best panini ever) and the T&C market on Wednesdays. We'll definitely be trying Scottsdale this Saturday. Fresh tortillas would be great. I had lunch at Carolina's yesterday and brought home a dozen tortillas. It's amazing how good they are.

                Thanks again.


                2 Replies
                1. re: barry

                  barry - not sure if you've ever stopped but they sell good flour tortillas at La Purisima on the NWC of 24th St / Indian School. It's pretty close to T&C if you're ever thinking about it on Wednesdays.

                  La Purisima Bakery
                  2318 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ

                  1. re: azhotdish

                    I've never tried Purisima. Thanks for the tip.