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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Michigan Lady Food Bloggers Go to the Eastern Market

I've only been to the Eastern Market in Detroit twice, both in the spring for buying a bunch of flowers and vegetable plants for my garden. I hate having to water plants every morning before work and getting my sandaled feet all wet in the morning dew.. but still, I water every morning, filling and toting a watering can because we don't have a hose hooked up in the back. The garden still does poorly, (maybe because I also hate to weed?) and on top of that I'm afraid to eat any vegetables because now we get the lawn fertilized and I always picture some poison floating over into the garden. I am OK with not being a huge gardener.. it was a nice idea, but I think I'll stick to the kitchen. I am downsizing my annual flowers that I'm going to buy this year and totally nixxing the veggie garden ... I think I will just throw a bunch of sunflower seeds there and see if they grow. Anyway, instead of growing my own crappy veggies, (maybe I'll have a tomato or pepper pot on my deck but that's IT), why not leave it up to the wonderful farmer's markets? I hope to visit the Eastern Market or maybe the Royal Oak Market, which I've never been to, more frequently this summer and get inspired by fresh veggies to make some tasty foods for The Husband and I.

March 27th was my first food-centric trip to the Eastern Market and I was lucky enough to be going with two fellow Michigan Lady Food Bloggers - Noelle of Simmer Down! and Amy of Runs With Spatula who were already pros at exploring the Eastern Market and they made for great tour guides to me, the newbie!

We started off our morning at the Russell Street Deli, which was totally awesome.  I didn't take a picture but I had a mouth watering "scramble" and since it was the special scramble of the day, I don't remember exactly was in it, but I think porcini mushrooms and shaved reggiano-like cheese and some tasty veggies.. all served with a side of flavorful fried potatoes and I had the cranberry nut bread from Avalon bakery. I would definitely go here again for breakfast, and everyone else has the same idea - I think the line is usually out the door but I think it's worth it - especially if you get there early! I'd love to go back to try some of their awesome homemade soups. Everything there is fresh, homemade and unique. I was really excited to see a breakfast meat option was Kopitko's (in Hamtramck) smoked sausage which is the "coobassa" sausage my family will drive 60 miles to get a few times a year, and have for decades.

Next we hit up Rocky's which has some bulk spices, dried fruits, and other random goods and I got several items- some madjool dates for my mom (only $3.99 a pound compared to $7.99 at Nino's!), some bulk ground cumin, and some additional Carolina Classic BBQ (Sticky Fingers) which we were out of. Next we hit up J.R. Hirt across the way which is a store with tons of interesting foods and related products. I got an oven mit that has the map of the lower peninsula on one side and the upper peninsula on the other, love it!

We stopped at a lebanese store looking for an ingredient for Amy, and then we started hitting up the market sheds and see what the vendors had in store for us. Some of my favorite finds were Kenzoil - a delicious and zesty herbed olive oil great for dipping crusty bread, such as from the Avalon bakery. I got two loaves from Avalon - one of raisin cinnamon which made some kick-butt french toast and one long baguette which didn't last long with Kenzoil!


I also stopped at McClure's pickles, which I saw featured on the Food Networks "Best Thing I Ever Ate" - they were unique in flavor and I still haven't opened my jar at home, but I look forward to eating this Detroit/New York specialty. Even though my Michigan Lady Food Bloggers tote bag was getting heavy, that didn't stop me - I got a dozen of fresh Amish eggs as well as a batch of totally killer chocolate chunk cookies from Traffic Jam and Snug. I've been to Traffic Jam for drinks and dinner before, and I didn't know they would have a cheese and cookie display at the market, and those cookies were just absolutely to die for.

I also stopped at the Spice Misers who had lots of spices for sale but I particularly liked their wide selection of $0.99 packs, or 6/$5 so I grabbed 6 that I thought sounded good or unusual to share with my mom. I like that you can try out an herb/spice before investing in a huge amount. We also picked up some blueberries and strawberries which were cheap. There was lots of produce that looked interesting though obviously it wasn't local!

Noelle was on the lookout for some goat so we went into this meat market that I never would've ventured in by myself. They had halves of pigs and such hanging behind the counter and it turns out they the GOAT Noelle was looking for! So this is where you can get your goat!

She wanted some bone-in goat pieces and the butcher guy obliged and chopped off part of the half of goat and she was pretty pleased with her find. With the goat, Noelle was successful in making her Aloo Gosht which looks like it turned out totally delicious in her post here.

So after a few hours and with a heavy tote bag, we finished up our Saturday morning visit of Detroit Eastern Market. I am looking forward to going back and thank Noelle and Amy for the fun! It was so nice to hang out with people with the same interests as me, and they also had their cameras with them (even bigger and fancier than mine!) so for once I did not feel like a freak documenting my foodie adventures!

3 comments:

  1. I am a slacker, I still haven't gotten a chance to post about this, I'm glad you did though! Glad you had fun, I did too. I'm up for the next foodie adventure anytime- I think Vietnamese food in Madison Heights was discussed?

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  2. I am so bummed that I missed this! I hope we can have another meet-up like this. My first trip to Eastern Market was on a cold, rainy day so I'd kinda like to go again!

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  3. Oh Eastern Market. I so love it especially in the spring when I'm flower shopping. My daughter got married last year and she's going for flowers with me for the first time for her own home. I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!

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