I went to the Underground Market last Friday and was wondering if any hounds were there and have recos to share. We enjoyed most of what we tried but missed a lot. Crowds were off-putting and the scene skewed towards a 20 something see and and be seen vibe. But there was some good chow. We really enjoyed the raclette because we haven't seen an authentic one around here before. Pulled pork sandwich, salsa, chipotle jerkey, sasparilla, and the sticky buns were great. Mac & cheese stand was average and not worth fighting the crowds. What else did people like?
re: Shane Greenwood
I got there around 5:30 and was able to make a couple of rounds in the market before the crowds built up. I liked the first pulled pork sandwich (I believe the one with drunk whisky sauce?), the margherita pizza created in a cut-out Weber grill, and of course the sticky buns. I wanted to go back in to get a list of the vendors I liked, but by then the lines had gotten so insanely long that I left. I'm surprised that the website doesn't post a list of vendors so we can go back and sample their wares after the event. All in all, I'd return, although I'd definitely make sure to show up early and leave early like I did this time around.
Here's a link to some great shots of this month's event - it's the only way I was able to find out who made those lovely sticky buns. :)
I got there at lunchtime and didn't do anything as useful as take notes on exactly who was selling what. But a few things stood out.
The vegan + mac & cheese hot lunch stand food was tasty, basic, cosy, warming. Agree that the other mac & cheese appeared underwhelming, although I'll confess I didn't try it because I felt I had to look too hard to see actual cheese on the mac...
Jams at the entrance were the best thing. Cherry ancho was fabulous -- not too runny or sweet with a delicious warm chilli aftertaste.
Carrot jam at the other end of the hall was good too. Finely shredded carrots with a golden glow.
Dried agar candies were interesting - - the peppermint by far the best as the liqueur flavors in some of the others didn't seem to survive the "aging" process enough to have any noticeable flavor. But the texture and appearance of all were pretty awesome -- a light crunch on the outside and a soft and slightly sticky paste inside. They all looked like weathered colored glass. Quite stunning. I hesitated and didn't buy the peppermint and kind of wish I had. If I were the guy who makes them I'd add more peppermint and go all out on minty intensity.
Was sadly a little disappointed in the lemon macaron as it was rather sweet with a LOT of filling. But all flavors looked beautiful.
Didn't try the various jerkys or tapenades or candies or the ($8/lb!) foraged greens.
Crowd was small and mellow, mostly 20sish, some strollers and slightly older folk too. Candies were not getting much attention at all, maybe because it was a main meal time of day.
It sounds like lunch is the time to go if you want to avoid crowds. Some of the vendors changed from lunch to evening. Sounded like the Raclette lady was only there in the evening, same for the pizza guy. I tried the chipotle jerkey (way in the back) and the flavor was great, but the texture was a little soft for me, I like a chewier jerkey.
I went to one in May or April, and there were bbq pork sliders that were out of this world. Also some amazing raw food creations in savory cones -- I had one with "raw polenta" and mushroom topping. Crazy good. If you see that guy vending at the next market, try a cone!
I finally got to check one out today- down in Public Works.
My husband and I loved these savory cones! We tried the Spicy Thai one- great flavors, textures! And filling. There is a ruben one that looked interesting.
Other favorites: a rugola maker (Chinobe Kitchen) offered some with Nutella. I liked the apricot/walnut ones best. Nicaraguan stand with fried, hot empanadas. Chile verde stand.
It sort of makes me nuts the vendors change for the evening phase, so we will have to return. Very fun lunch, and shopping for basic foods. (Picked up mustards, bbq sauce today.)
They go until 2am tonight for the evening phase!