After 15 years of being sqeezed into the narrow streets behind City Hall, the West Palm Beach Greenmarket has moved to a spacious new location: the new city waterfront, located in the triangle created by North and South Clematis Streets and Flagler Drive, where the old city library once stood.
There are now over 70 vendors at the Saturday market, making it large enough to need a map, which you can pick up at the information booth at the west end of the Nancy Graham Centennial Fountain. The map shows where each vendor is located, as well as describing the public areas of the $30 million waterfront space, which opened in February.
Many of the market veterans have returned, some of them taking double-space booths: Siggy’s Cheese Shoppe, in the familiar tidy green truck, is back with their selection of fine European fromage, Renaissance Bakery, with their rustic breads, Stephen’s Produce, and several local restaurants, including Havana and Leila. But there are quite a few new neighbors on the market block this year:
Ellen Mudrick used to work in the corporate side of the automotive world. Now she is The Gourmet Pickle Peddler (561-309-6750, Greenmarket availability only at this time; no website), and she offers a pickle whose taste you not only remember, you crave hours later. A mix of tangy, spicy and sweet, she provides a taste on a cracker spread with a dab of cream cheese. It’s not so spicy that you need a drink, yet not so sweet as to taste like dessert. She recommends them as a sandwich topping (think about all that leftover turkey next week) or paired with cheese.
How about carrot cake baked by a theology/political science major? Exceptionally Carrot Cake Company’s James Francis Birney majored in both subjects, but baked carrot cakes along the way and gave them to his professors while studying in Spain. The profs loved them, and Birney graduated from theology and politics to carrot cake. And what a cake! Dense and moist, with a cream cheese frosting that gives new definition to “icing on the cake.” He makes cupcakes, too, and will do specialty carrot cakes for any occasion (561-346-9410, email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
DB’s Batter UP Cookie Dough, “For the Non-So-Suzy-Homemaker”, is currently based in Lantana (but moving to Jupiter shortly), and makes the art of the cookie easy for everyone. Five cookie dough flavors (chocolate mocha chip, macaroon, mint chip, oatmeal raisin and peanut butter) are packed in individual tubs. Each tub makes three dozen regular size or 15 dozen mini cookies. Partners Cathy Beck and Denise Garling use no preservatives in their batter, which means the product will only last a month in the refrigerator, but cookies this good are not meant to stay around. They don’t taste overly sweet, which means you taste the ingredients, not merely sugar. (561-281-3496 or 888-307-5665 or their website: http://www.batterupcookiedough.com/ ). And their product is making a national impression: check out this month’s issue of Real Simple magazine for a feature about the company.
Some things to know about the market before you go:
- The Banyan Street parking garage is still free for market attendees until 1 p.m.
- There are now tables, chairs and umbrellas set up on the plaza, so you can sit and enjoy the food and the view.
- There is a small play area for children.
- The market stalls are set up on three different levels, accessible by a few steps. Wheelchair accessibility is available on flat walking paths around the park.
There’s a greater variety of food to choose from at this new venue. Tea, smoothies, seafood, sorbets, organic salads, raw foods, cider doughnuts and of course, there is that million-dollar view of the Intracoastal and Palm Beach. And no matter what you purchase at the market, the view is yours for free.
West Palm Beach Greenmarket, Clematis Street and Flagler Drive at the waterfront, West Palm Beach. Open Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through April 23, 2011. Cal 561-822-1515 for more information.