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Aug 27, 2010 11:59 AM

MRKT more show than substance

Lunch at MRKT, the new cafe opened by Carla Alexander of Soul Soup, was a little disappointing. The place looks great and has a great vibe, but the food is a little one dimensional and lacks any layering of flavours. The food is not bad by any means, but there is no "yum" factor. The sandwiches at the Elm Cafe are soooo much better.

The soups are familiar to anyone who has taken out from Soul Soup. Not bad but an excessive use of celery as filler that dominates everything else.

Really too bad about MRKT's wine selections. The typical boring, generic, uninspired wines you see at so many places in the city. Quite a disconnect from what they are holding themselves out to be. Really...Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc as a feature??? Can we get more generic and commercial? How about supporting some small independent wineries instead?

And what's with the ripple chips with the sandwiches. I love ripple chips as much as the next person, but isn't "MRKT" supposed to portray some degree of freshness and healthiness. Wouldn't making your own beet chips or assorted veggie chips be more consistent with the message. For a place that is claiming to be "fresh", seems like it is more packaging than substance...much like Carla's mentor Brad Lazarenko.

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      1. re: cleopatra999

        Thanks. Culinary Crusader, please understand that this is a regional board and it is very helpful to specify- or at least to allude- to the city (and the address, website, any other identifying information) in your reviews. Thank you.

        1. re: John Manzo

          I was wondering the same thing. I had to do some digging - found this foodosophy review:

    1. I had a sandwich at MRKT and thought there was definite yum factor in it. It was a little overpriced for my preference, but I thought they did a good job. If you order the soup and sandwich combo instead of the regular sandwich plate, you won't get chips. Problem solved. ;) I can't comment about the wines because I do not have enough wine knowledge to adequately judge the selection. Photos and descriptions on

      (And yes I have been to Elm Cafe and liked his sandwiches too, but I haven't written about it yet. MRKT's was a little bigger due to a larger amount of filling.)