Monday, June 13, 2016
A Look At Boston Public Market
It was an overcast Friday afternoon, the end of a holiday week and the early June tourist season in flux. Colleges are out but not High Schools. It's an affordable time of year for the euro visitors who often make up a good half of our readers. A lot of people took the week off.
The food tables at Boston Public Market were fairly busy, not anywhere near the thriving, pushy mob at Fanueil Hall, which we visited later, rife with German and British accents and Prep School boys with no need to work summer jobs, plates piled high with chicken parm sandwiches and fried rice, or persons of every conceivable age and ethnicity waiting in the long line for the Uniqlo dressing rooms.
They have wine here, lots of good wine, actually and people who know all about their wines waiting to talk with you. And waiting.
The lines here, however, seemed to be focused on Union Square Donuts. If they sold stock I'd buy it because people cannot get enough and appear to be willing to pay any price for a moment of bacon and glazed yeasty goodness. The attraction borders on addiction. Said preppy boys here have even better haircuts and shinier looks and appear more in-the-know. Chicken parm? Fried rice? No, thank you.
The idea seemed to be to bring a quality Farmer's Market to a permanent space in the city. There's a demand for it, they said. Yet, it seems to be a food court for wealthy suburbanites who are not really buying but doing a lot of looking. Harlow's Vermont Farmstand, purveying the utmost quality produce and cheeses was bereft of buyers. Why?
At Red's Best they were longingly looking for a scant customer. I've been to their warehouse, met their fishermen and bought their seafood. You cannot get anything fresher or more sustainable in this city. Maybe we just hit the place at a bad time.
The ghost pepper jelly sign was almost haunting. Why are the farm stands more like pretty ghost towns?
We join the lunch crowd with a Ham and Cheese Croissant from swissbakers. It was, as expected, fresh and delicious.
Meanwhile, out the door and a few steps away Haymarket was mobbed. Six peaches for a dollar. Watermelon. Bananas galore. All probably tasteless and woody and none of it in season. I couldn't find the leeks I wanted for my risotto and salmon dish of the weekend. The cash was flowing like it was Las Vegas. And I just wandered around asking: why?
Yet, we got the leeks at Roche Bros., Downtown Crossing, $2.99 a pound. Not the best but, then again, not really is season, either.