Farmer's Market and other miscellaneous thoughts......
Just a brief report from our even briefer trip to your fair city:
First of all, our only "full" meals were catered affairs at the event we were attending. I will say this however: Catered in New Orleans is better than a lot of places. Specifically, an excellent barbque dinner, and a decent buffet at the Hilton...the latter surprised me: after all, breakfast there earlier in the day was overpriced and disappointing (we only ate it there because my son had to be there early, we only had one car, and we had an hour to kill and were hungry....).
Anyway, one thing that really struck DH and I: the Farmer's Market in the French Market is pathetically small....I hope its not a sign of the times. There were a few decent looking items, but almost no buyers..and probably not coincidentally few stands. DH and I can remember going to the same market pre-Katrina and seeing a much better spread. Its too bad. If you live there, patronize those guys...heck, at least you can have your Cafe du Monde fix and browse a bit....
And I do have a recommendation from the market: there was a guy selling "Cajun Tamales." Now, normally, I'm suspicious of anything that messes with the classic tamale...but I was starving and DH was not in the least bit hungry...so a snack seemed a reasonable way to go. They were out of pork, so I tried the crawfish. Very good!! A little pricey at three dollars each, but they were large. Exactly what it sounds like: crawfish in cajun spices in a typical tamale masa, steamed in the corn husk. People were buying them by the dozen (you get a break price-wise if you do) and I can see why....
The other really appealing item were garlic braids...beautiful ones.
My son is living in NOLA now, so I hope there will be other trips with time to enjoy a few nice meals out.....
next trip, check out the many farmers markets all around town:
"Welcome to the Crescent City Farmers Market, the New Orleans area's premiere source for fresh, local, healthy and affordable food! Join us Saturdays in the Warehouse District and Tuesdays at Tulane Square for a wonderful array of locally grown produce, fresh baked goods, cut flowers, wild-caught Louisiana seafood, fresh dairy, farm-raised meat, handcrafted meals and much more."
New Orleans Regional Public Markets
Arts Market of New Orleans Palmer Park, S. Carrollton and S. Claiborne Ave. New Orleans. Fourth Saturday of each month 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Biloxi Farmers Market Howard Avenue at I-110 in Biloxi, MS. Tuesday and Thursday 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 228.435-6185
Broad St Bazaar Robert's Parking lot, Broad St. at Bienville, New Orleans. Fourth Saturday each month 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Bywater Art Market Royal St at Piety, New Orleans. Third Saturday each month 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 504.944-7900
Camellia City Farmers Market 333 Erlanfer St, Griffith Park in Olde Towne, Slidell. Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to noon.
Covington Farmers Market 609 N. Columbia Street, Covington. Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and the Covington Trailhead Wednesday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 985.892-1873
French Market 1008 North Peters Street, New Orleans. Open 7 days a week 504.522-2621
Freret Market 4400 Freret Street, New Orleans. First Saturday of the month, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 504.638-2589
Gentilly Fest Market Oak Park Shopping Center (Corner of Paris and Mirabeau Avenues), New Orleans. First Friday of the month from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
German Coast Farmer's Market East Bank: Ormond Plantation, 13786 River Road, Destrehan. Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon West Bank: 13969 River Road, Luling (0.7 miles north of I-310 exit) Wednesday 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Gretna Farmers Market Huey P. Long Avenue between 3rd and 4th, Gretna. Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Harrison Avenue Marketplace 801 Harrison Avenue, New Orleans. Every second Wednesday of the month, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Mandeville Trailhead Market 675 Lafitte Street in Mandeville, LA. 985.624-3147 or email@example.com
Market in the Park Scenic Drive, Memorial Park Between Fleitas and Davis, Pass Christian, MS. 228.234.8732 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Saturdays, 8 - 11 a.m.
Mid-City Green Market 3700 Orleans Avenue at the American Can Company, New Orleans. Thursday 3 pm to 7 pm rain or shine. 504.483-6314
Ocean Springs Fresh Market 1000 Washington Avenue in Ocean Springs, MS. Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 800.683-4176
Red Stick Farmers Market 5th Street between Main and North streets in Baton Rouge, LA. Saturday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. 8470 Goodwood Boulevard, Baton Rouge. Tuesday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. 225.267-506
Renaissance Marketplace of Eastern New Orleans. 5700 Read Blvd. adjacent Lowe's Home Improvement at the I-10 & Read Blvd. Service Rd., New Orleans. Every fourth Saturday 4 to 7 p.m. 504.261.5067
Sankofa Marketplace At the corner of Caffin St. and Claude Avenue in the historic Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans. Every second Saturday.
Upper Ninth Ward Market Holy Angels Church, 3500 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans. Saturday, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 504.482-5722
Vietnamese Farmers Market 14401 Alcee Fortier Boulevard, New Orleans. Saturday, 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Waveland Farmers Market 301 Coleman Avenue in Waveland, MS. Wednesday 6 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 601.273-6403
Westwego Farmers and Fisheries Market 484 Sala Avenue and Fourth Street, Westwego. Saturday 10:00 a.m. 504.341-3424 ext 209
and do not forget a visit to:
re: edible complex
Great list, but the OP's point is a valid one. Given the increasing popularity of Farmer's Markets and the fact that the French Market is the oldest public market in the U.S., we are missing the boat here. The FQ Farmer's Market is a first-rate facility, and could accomodate one of the most vibrant markets in the country, drawing local buyers from the FQ, Marigny, and Bywater.
it is a great facility for an outdoor market, but im afraid weve long missed the boat... there is no way anyone would be able to relocate all the kitchy t-shirt, luggage, sunglasses and gator head vendors in there... theyve got their thing and theyre not gonna go away. sadly i dont think we'll ever see a farmers market there again.
I'm going to differ with you on that one. I think it's all a matter of vision, marketing, and positioning. From the purely local standpoint, a vibrant farmer's market in the FQ is a contributor to quality of life and would exert a long-term positive influence on real-estate values. Additionally, the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods continue post-K to be without a traditional market.
Much more important than this, however, is the tourism impact. Markets tend to draw an economic demographic higher than the aggregate of the neighborhood in which they are located. When one considers the brand that is New Orleans, you could argue that food, music, and architecture are the big three differentiating factors for our city. A world class FM fits perfectly into that branding scheme, easily positioning itself as a "can't miss" stop for any visitor wanting authenticity as an aspect of their trip. Kind of like Pike Place in Seattle, although I think we could do even better than that. By any objective standard, NOLA's food culture is a stronger part of our identity than is the case in Seattle.
Once the ball got rolling, the boudin stand becomes a stronger revenue generator than the t-shirt guy, and market economics takes care of the rest.
I admit that I am a ridiculously biased foodie, but my wife and I are both of the opinion that the FM is perhaps NOLA's must underutilized asset.
Then again, maybe I just don' t like t-shirts!
dont get me wrong i love the idea, but why would the existing tchotchke shops move out? while boudin would be great, id guess that chinese made t-shirts & luggage have an easier, higher profit margin.
would be a good discussion to have w/ the French Market Corporation (FMC) that manages the space, tho.
get this -- i just visited the FMC's site, and they have a Request For Proposals out. they want to lease the empty spots to fresh food providers!
...i hope they can find vendors to lease those spots.
I just can't see FrMkt Corp turning the space back to a true Farmer's Mkt - the trinkets, t shirts, masks and bad feather boa's have just too much of a profit margin. If they wanted food vendors in, doing spaces such as the one Loretta's has would have been a priority, which sadly was not the case.
The St Rock Market building on St. Claude would be a great mini Pike Place - the city owns it and nothing has happened at the site except for a sagging sign. You could imagine it expending into the huge neutral ground behind it too - the trees there are just beautiful.Hopefully whatever ends up being the new administration makes cultural tourism a priority. Remember 8/12/07 Nagin's .violent crime "keeps the New Orleans brand out there", We just cannot have another 4 years of that mindset.