Saturday, July 14, 2012

Eastern Market For Real

As I mentioned before, Eastern Market in Detroit is open on Tuesdays during the summer starting in July. I just happened to have the majority of this previous Tuesday off, so my boyfriend Greg and I headed over. It took is about two hours to get there because I didn't have my GPS, Greg hasn't printed out directions, and he refused to stop and ask somewhere. I eventually used Google maps on my phone and found the nearest highway interchange to the market, which was enough for Greg to get us there at last. (My phone is very slow and not terribly sophisticated, and Google maps insists on treating it like a computer, so the phone generally ends up freezing whenever I try to use the maps for directions. It is incredibly frustrating. Getting directions is one of the main reasons I even have internet on my phone!)

Usually, Eastern Market is huge and spreads across a large area beneath six what they call sheds. The sheds are basically large coverings without walls so the stalls and tables are in the shade. On Tuesdays, only one shed is used, but the market is still bustling. Before we arrived, Greg had expressed disappointment that Eastern Market isn't exclusively Michigan produce and products, but Tuesday seems to be local day since everything I saw was labeled “Michigan grown” and “made in Michigan.”

There was a stall selling a really tasty barbecue sauce that I might have bought had I actually had any money, a few jam and jelly places, tons of fresh produce, including cabbages bigger than my head and plus-sized baby bok choy. The plethora of kale was supremely tempting. The table selling all grass-fed cow's cheeses was not so tempting. I feel bad saying this, but I do not like grass fed cow's cheese. It tastes funny to me. There is a grass-fed organic New Zealand cheddar at work that I just cannot eat. This particular booth specialized in gouda, which was even worse. The texture was creamy and wonderful, but the taste... I just don't like grass-fed cheeses.

Parked along the outer edge of the shed were food trucks, trolleys, and tables. My favorite crepes place, Good Girls Go To Paris, located by the Detroit Institute of Art, was represented, as well as a pirogi place, a Mexican truck, and a tiny trolley specializing in mac 'n cheese and french fries called the Mac Shack. Greg and I decided on mac 'n cheese for lunch. He ordered something that involved bacon, and mine was called the I-80, mac 'n cheese covered in gravy, sauteed mushrooms and onions, and a fried egg. It was delicious! I tried, but could not finish it all, so I took half home for leftovers. (My poor fridge is filled with leftovers.) I washed it down with a can of Faygo red pop, probably the official Detroit beverage. (Faygo is, anyway. Not necessarily their red pop.)
After lunch, we headed over to the shops that surround the market and are located in permanent buildings. First was Greg's favorite, the Rocky Peanut Company. They sell lots of bulk items from candy to spices. Up front by the counter were those horrible suckers with real bugs inside. I have nothing against eating bugs, but I don't want their little legs and wings getting caught in my intestines, as I have been repeatedly told is a distinct possibility and can cause problems. I have enough food problems. Next, we headed next door to a place Greg had never been, but they promised us chocolate, so we had to check it out. It was small, and their popcorn was okay, but other than that, nothing caught our eyes.

I would liketo return to the Eastern Market when all of its sheds are jampacked with stuff, but I have no idea when that will be possible. Not this year, most assuredly, with my new work schedule between my two jobs. It's supposed to be a fairly active place with different themes on different days, so maybe I can make it back again on a weekday when something else is going on. (And maybe pigs will grow wings and circle the moon. Eh bien.)

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