Thursday, June 08, 2006

Market Food

It didn't take us long to make it to the West Side Market. First weekend without the kids and we were there. Parking was hard, but not impossible and we were soon strolling through the semi-outdoor produce section, one short and one long side of the building. The market is in what looks like an old train station, with a gallery above where people sit and enjoy their snacks and people-watch. We hadn't eaten breakfast, so after we picked up some Lithuanian sausage, we were on the lookout for something good to eat. We'd each had a vanilla latté but were ready for something not sweet. We found it in a booth of English foods. Since we couldn't decide between a Cornish pasty and a breakfast pie filled with sausage and eggs, we got both. Turns out we should have gotten a couple more pasties instead of the pie. The pastry on the pie was delightful and we probably would have loved it, if we'd not had the pasty for comparison. However, we did and it was delicious! J wished we had another almost immediately. When we finally went back, the booth had closed for the day. I'll have to surprise her with some soon.

We found a number of wonderful things to buy, a couple of filets for dinner, cheeses, spices, pico de gallo, bread, and lots of produce. Baby artichokes, $2 for a pound and a half. Raspberries at $2.50 a pint. We also found a number of things we'll buy entire booth with nothing but pierogies, another selling gorgeous peach pies, a collection of huge brown eggs, numerous varieties of enchilada.

Once our groceries were safely stashed in the fridge at home, I packed up a picnic basket and some beach gear & stowed it in the trunk for J's surprise picnic at the lake. As we dozed & read with the waves rhythmically rushing in, we snacked on sun-warmed Stilton studded with strawberries, soft pillows of ciabatta, pepitas, cashews, and enormous, sweet red raspberries.

On the way home from the beach, I had a notion to get some ice cream. I was interested in trying something distinctively Cleveland, so I disappointed J, who requested Coldstone Creamery. I love that, but we had been able to get it in Dayton. So, I drove to Mitchell's, to try what is rumored to be Cleveland's best ice cream. It's all handmade, in small batches. I don't yet know if it's Cleveland's best, but it's fabulous! J's disappointment over skipping the mix-ins at Coldstone was short-lived. She got peanut butter chocolate chip on a sugar cone, while I chose mint chip to grace my cone. We stuck to one scoop and that's really all we needed. J said while we were eating, "This sure beats Young's!" No news to me, since I have never understood the fuss about Young's Jersey ice cream. It's fine, but no great shakes in my opinion, despite the repeated national press over the years. For me, the charm of Young's was always that they were open 24 hours & were thus convenient for all night coffee and conversation jags. My old friend Mark and I used to ride up there at 3 a.m. on his motorcycle & talk until the sun came up. Now that they close at 11 or 12, forget it.

We had more market food for dinner. J made the filets she had picked up, with a prime rib rub from the spice stand. I found my piece to be somewhat tough for filet, although tasty. J loved hers, though. Perhaps I was having one of those nights when nothing is quite right. J cooked up a bunch of onions and garlic in sherry to top her steak, while I added Maytag blue cheese to mine. We had asparagus with lemon butter along with the steak.

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