Anyone else here go to Cleveland's Westside Market?
I love going there whether I'm picking up some wonderful (many times new) foods as well as eating from certain places there such as Steve's Gyros. For those that have already visited there, what is your take on it & what do you do/get from there? As for those of you who haven't yet been there, I highly recommend it.
Love the WSM! And I highly recommend this book, if you are a fan of the Market, the photography is gorgeous and there is a lot of great information also: http://www.uakron.edu/uapress/browse-....
Last December, I bought a large order of short rib from Vince's Meats, and got to see the underworld of the market when Vince and I went downstairs so he could finish slicing them (on a 55 year old bandsaw; priceless!)
As for Steve's Gyro, I hate to tell you that their cone is among the cheapest food service brands out there (Olympia's); I snapped a photo of a box going by with it the one time I waited in their line. Frozen, MSG, Tricalcuim Phosphate, Soy Protein Concentrate - yuck.
Kate's Fish has the best fish/seafood in Cleveland.
The Ohio City Pasta stand sells items you can't get at other retail outlets that sell some of their products.
Also, there is a new produce stand that features locally grown and sourced items; I believe they are called "Rooted in Cleveland"; we need to support them!
I often get the Gyros with my Dad & have almost always noticed Kate's Fish. The past few times I've been waiting in line for my Gyro, I'd ask Dad to stay around the area so that I could check Kate's Fish out & there usually are a few interesting things there. I've been to (& fished in) Florida quite often, so I've been known to somewhat turn down a few Fish for their freshness factor. Florida's freshness aside, I'd still like to try out a few of their things the next time I'm in there. The only reason(s) I've never really bought anything from them is that I usually go to the Mall or somewhere else after leaving the Market with our Gyros. Gyros can handle the Mall practically forever after leaving the Market, yet (fresh) Fish more often than not won't make it, ya see? Oh well…some day.
I don't visit it much, I try hard not to buy factory-farmed meat and can get most of the other things closer to home; I have a great baker nearby who doesn't use trans fats, have lots of places to buy spices, can get Ohio City pasta at Heinen's, etc. And as has been pointed out, it's not a place to buy produce, especially if you are looking for organic. Basketeria sells organic but their selection is fairly small.
It's pretty and historical and all that, but generally not a place I go out of my way to go anymore.
Produce outside mostly comes from same/similar cold or dry storage warehouses in the city.Go at closing time to get a better deal.A lot of the produce is grade B or less and wont have much shelf life.
Inside I like the Brat stand and Steves.The Mediteranean store next to the brat stand has good prices on pantry items.I stay away from the beef stands as most of it isnt choice or prime so it will taste like liver or shoe leather.Chicen,pork,sausages are all worthwhile.
Around the corner is Farkas pastry shop.Fabulous.If you remember when Mr Farkas was still the main owner/baker and the store was around the corner,there was no greater cultural experience than opening the door to the non descript storefront and you found yourself standing right in the backroom where the baking took place.Mr Farkas greeted you and showed you around.Anyway,get some fabulous napoleons and the raspberry hazelnut linzer sheet cake.Oh my my.
The poultry coup that finally closed over 10 yrs ago right behind the outdoor produce stand brought you back over a hundred years ago into the past.A cultural shopping experience of epic proportions that coup was.
I live in northwest ohio, but we do make our way to Cleveland and the market at least a few times a year. Absolutely love it.
As you said Steve's gyros are unreal.
The jerky from czuchraj meats is also outstanding. Love the bakery that has the booth right next to czuchraj as well.
Pierogie palace is awesome.
Other than those ones we have a tendency to just browse and buy what looks good. The fiancée loves the cupcakes from the one place but I don't remember the name.