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Briarcliff Indoor Farmer's Market-- too popular for it's own good?

I've gone the last three weeks, since it opened, and each time it's become more crazy-- to the point where I am finding myself rethinking the idea of going. Getting there 5 minutes early, and needing to park down the street-- then being 40th in line (and thus 20th in line at either of the two go-to spots once you get in-- the fish stand being one of them). Not being able to squeeze past the parallel lines of patient customers-- I'm REALLY glad they are so popular, but this is nuts.

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  1. How true! I got there at 1045 last week, and ALL the fish/seafood was already sold out (except a little flounder roe?!?!). I was only able to get EXTRA large eggs. Thank goodness for Bobolink--a chunk of foret and a cranberry walnut stick made the trip worth it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Marge

      I feel the same way. I walked in...and then walked out. I'm delighted that it's so popular but I just can't stand fighting the crowds. Not sure what the solution is, though a larger venue certainly seems in order!

    2. I completely agree. They desperately need a larger venue. The cramped quarters have made what used to be a leisurely Saturday activity into a stressful chore, not too mention that along with the patient customers you mention, there are also plenty of rude people who have no qualms about shoving people out of their way.

      I'm so, so happy that it's so popular, and I will keep going because I have become very loyal to some of the vendors, but it's no longer as enjoyable for me. May can't come soon enough...

      ETA: Has anyone been to Mt. Kisco? Is it less crowded?

      1 Reply
      1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

        How about John Jay? Maybe that one is less crowded, too. Anyone know?

      2. Indeed it is a zoo, at least when it first opens. The demand far outstrips supply and the venue's capacity. I was there 2 weeks ago at 11 a.m.--parking was a breeze, at least. But no fish, no chicken, and no bread at Bread Alone. On the other hand, it was such a civilized experience I may just start going then--I can still get my salad greens, Bobolink cheese, eggs, and other things. The lines at 9 a.m. are really unbearable. Perhaps next year some other indoor venues will open?

        1. Here's a little secret-- The Mt Kisco and Katonah-Lewisboro Markets haven't been discovered by the hordes yet and are not nearly as busy but offer the same range of products-parking is never an issue...not yet anyway.

          6 Replies
            1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

              I just returned from the Mt Kisco farmers market, and what a relief it was. No crowds, but enough traffic that it didn't feel lonely. The farmers there were really grateful for the business since it's been kind of slow. There was a good selection of bread (Bread Alone and Orwashers as well as Merediths), cheese, Indian food, plants, wine, meat, nuts, pickles, and produce. I'll absolutely be going there instead of Briarcliff from now on. I imagine the situation is similar up at John Jay--any reports?

              1. re: spa

                Can you pls tell me where the MK market is? Is it only on Sats? Time?
                Thanks!

                  1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                    The Boys and Girls Club is a great location. Plenty of parking, and Flying Pig has a cafe there, so you can get a cup of coffee or something there after shopping.

                    1. re: spa

                      We went to Briarcliff today, and while there was no Bread Alone (and we weren't in the market for fish, so I didn't even look), we got the salad greens, cheese and pies (on sale!) that we craved, so it is what you make of it (like life...)

          1. I don't know if it was the cold, but yesterday was not nearly as bad as it has been the past few weeks. I got everything I needed (and then some!) except for my Cowberry Crossing fix. It seems like they've been alternating weeks, perhaps? I had some pork chops from there a few weeks ago and they were unbelievable.

            While I am definitely going to check out Mt. Kisco, it's a huge difference in terms of time commitment for me-- Briarcliff is 5 minutes away from me, and I've been in and out in under a half hour each time, whereas I'd have to drive 20 minutes each way to Mt. Kisco... so I'll suck it up and just go to Briarcliff.

            3 Replies
            1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

              Cowberry Crossing said he'd be there only every other week for a while.

              1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                Cowberry Crossing is so amazing and I am sooo happy we have them at this market. Their pork is unlike any pork I've ever had-- it needs NOTHING other than salt and pepper. We got spare ribs this week and I can't wait to devour them with some Guyank Tange BBQ sauce!

              2. Anyone know if the market is open today??

                3 Replies
                1. re: Marge

                  Probably too late now, but yes, they are open. I was going to email the organizer yesterday with the same question but she sent out an email to the mailing list saying they would indeed be open. A few vendors were missing, but most were there, and there were only about 10 customers there at opening time. If only it were like that every week!

                  1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                    Thank you, I did get over there and pick up some of my beautiful sea scallops. And a Meredith's pie (Dutch Dessert weren't there this week).

                    1. re: Marge

                      I loved the Irish soda bread from Bread Alone. And all those amazing mushrooms!

                2. So has it still been nuts in the last few weeks? I confess I quit going after my last outing in early february when it was such a zoo. I'm thinking of trying again this coming Saturday.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: DGresh

                    We went last week after being out of town for three week, about 10:30. It was not a zoo, but it was busy. Got awesome cheddar cheese, some fanastic leeks and shitakes (went into a risotto), some pork chops (haven't done them yet). Was a good visit.

                    I think they are closed one Saturday this month, so check the website for which day that is so you are not dissapointed.

                    1. re: Nancy C

                      I went this morning, arrived just before 10. Got a spot in the parking lot so that was a good start. Since they've moved the fish over to the far corner it's a lot more sane (there was a line there of about 5 people, but I was happy to get some skate--my favorite). It was ridiculous the way it was before having two popular stands (fish and the greens) directly opposite one another. Overall a LOT more pleasant than the previoius times I've gone.

                      1. re: DGresh

                        Yep, a bit of civil engineering to handle the foot traffic helped A LOT

                        1. re: Nancy C

                          well this past weekend the fish stand was back in its old place (and started very late, close to 10 I think) so it was again a crazy zoo trying to get some skate. Sigh.

                  2. Just a reminder--the Briarcliff indoor farmers market will NOT be open this coming Saturday (April 24)

                    1. I went to the Mt. Kisco winter market yesterday since Briarcliff was closed due to a rummage sale in the church. What a world of difference! Since it is outside, it is spacious, uncrowded, and relaxing to walk around. Many of our favorite vendors were there, along with a few different ones like John Boy's, which I remember from Muscoot last year, along with Orwasher's, which I've never seen before, but looked extremely popular judging from the line. It was such a nice change from the hectic Briarcliff market, though I'm too attached to Bobolink, Pura Vida, and Cowberry Crossing to make it my regular market.

                      -----
                      Orwasher's
                      308 E 78th St, New York, NY 10075

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                        This is an excerpt from Boblink's most recent newsletter:
                        Briarcliff Farmer's Market
                        We will not attend the Briarcliff indoor market this weekend, due to work on projects related to our move.
                        We plan to attend the Briarcliff market one more time, on Saturday, May 15.
                        We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
                        We plan to attend the Pleasantville farmer's market every week, beginning Saturday, May 29.

                        1. re: chowdom

                          Thanks for posting this-- I wish I had seen this before I went. My mom LOVES their stuff so I was going to get it to serve for Mother's Day, and when I realized they weren't there, I was realllllllllllly disappointed. I think we're gonna go check out Fairway, though, so hopefully I'll find some good cheese there!

                          1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                            Me too...fortunately my dinner guests are coming from Grand Central and just informed me they will bring some cheeses from Murray's--I was hoping to have Bobolink bread, though...

                            1. re: Marge

                              I just picked up some fiddleheads there this morning-- have never cooked them before. Will do something together with some of those great musrooms they have there.

                              1. re: DGresh

                                Aren't those mushrooms GORGEOUS today--I got a fabulous assortment for tonight's grilled steak dinner...I also got Pura Vida scallops, clams and a piece of monkfish liver to try. And of course fresh asparagus and cowberry crossings eggs for breakfast!

                                1. re: Marge

                                  just wonder if you were the woman in front of me getting her special selection :)

                                  1. re: DGresh

                                    Could have been, haha...interested in knowing your feedback re: the fiddleheads, I've never cooked (or eaten them) before. Enjoy the weekend!

                      2. I am sorry I didn't post this earlier, I didn't open the email until this morning. For anyone who is so inclined ( or has company coming from that part of New Jersey), the farm will be open tomorrow, I would imagine the farm store will be open as well, it normally is on Sunday. phone: 973-764-4888
                        http://www.cowsoutside.com/

                        1. I am so excited that this market will be ending soon and the outdoor ones beginning! The crowds this past week were really overwhelming. I am looking forward to the return of space and civility and fresh air! Only 19 days...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                            We just got word that the Croton-on-Hudson farmers' market will reopen on June 2. That's Wednesday afternoons, and if the hours are the same as last year, it is from 2 to 7 p.m. right by the Rte. 129 exit off Rte. 9.

                          2. So.... I've been getting to the market at around 10 and there seems to be a little lull after the early birds (I can't motivate myself to get there at opening time in this weather). I miss Bobolink, but love that Cowberry Crossing is there with pork, beef and lamb (chickens soon)... Kiernan with beef, honey, syrup... Featherridge with eggs... produce is very limited and a little pricey from the guys from Riverhead, but I'll take it over Stop and Shop.

                            That said, I just found the Chappaqua's market website (unaffiliated with Community Markets) and was wondering who has been! It sounds great and I wonder if it's in a larger space that might be a little less crazy.

                            http://chappaquafarmersmarket.org/