Friday, July 6, 2007

Restaurant Review - Fairgrounds Farmer's Market

OK, technically not a restaurant review, but a farmer's market review. I think I've made a few references to this place before, and have once heard it described as a "foodtopia" and I really can't disagree.

I sortof discovered this place a couple of years ago, although it's been around for a while. Not really different than your typical farmer's market, except that there's not also a lot of cheap junk being hawked - no flea market to go with it.

They've got no less then 4 of each of the following - produce stands, meat markets, and delis. There's a fancy schmancy cheese place, a Greek market, seafood, a couple of soft pretzel stands, hot sauce stand, an awesome bakery, and an ice cream shop.

But, I'm here to talk about the "restaurants" - which in a place like this are really prepared food vendors, but still, we go there for dinner or lunch regularly, as we did tonight. I had jambalaya and crab corn chowder from Dixie Kitchen, and the Red Head had fish n chips from Adelphia Cafe. One of these days, I'll have the guts to take my camera in there and photo what we eat.

The crab corn chowder was fantastic. Creamy, but not heavy - a little bit cheesy, with a little bite to it. But full of lump crab meat and just the right amount of sweet corn. Really, it was one of the tastiest soups I've ever had, and easily the best seafood oriented soup I've had outside of a beach or bay town. This is something I'll order again for sure.

The jambalaya was good, but a bit of a disappointment considering Dixie Kitchen bills itself as a Cajun place. It had some flavor and spice, the rice was cooked nicely, but the chicken was a little dry and it really didn't have much andouille sausage. Probably not going to make it into my regular fairgrounds rotation.

The RH's fish n chips on the other hand were/are excellent. We've had these before, and will keep going back. It's not a beer batter, but whatever they use is light and fluffy, and when fried up, not greasy at all. They use haddock here, which seems to be more common than cod - which is my favorite choice. They could use some improvement on the fries, but really with 2 big piping hot pieces of fried fish for $5.95, who can complain? I really wish Adelphia would open more of these little shops.

I know not everyone reading this will find their way to the Reading Fairgrounds Farmer's Market, but I encourage anyone to patronize their local farmer's markets and co-ops. The produce and meat are always much fresher and often less expensive than the super market. There's always good food to be had and lot's of friendly vendors preparing it - true congregation of mom-and pop shops.

1 comment:

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