Sunday, September 2, 2007
Downtown Phoenix Public Market...or is it?
Maybe I'm jaded having lived in Philadelphia for over 30 years where there are two markets: the Philadelphia 9th St. Italian Market and the Reading Terminal Market. I've also had the opportunity to visit markets in other big cities like Pike's Place Market in Seattle. These are what I think of when you say "Farmer's Market." They are full of vendors selling fresh produce, meats, cheeses and even seafood. In my opinion the Downtown Phoenix Public Market doesn't even come close to offering the things you'd expect to find at a farmer's market. On the Saturday that I visited the Phoenix market it looked to me like there were about 40 or so vendors with only a handful that sold fresh produce. The vendors that did have vegetables had a very limited selection. Mostly peppers, okra and some tomatoes. There was only one vendor that had a few other items like lettuce, carrots, and some fruits. Forget the meats, and cheeses no-one was selling them. I understand that it's an outdoor market and that it can be over 100 on any given day but that's not an excuse for the lack of produce. As for seafood there was a vendor selling cans of tuna. Although it might be delicious it's not what I would expect at a farmer's market. To the market's credit there was a nice selection of fresh breads, pastas and dates. I did see some homemade pita chips and BBQ sauce. The rest of the market was pretty much taken up with vendors selling plants and crafts. Maybe it's not the season or maybe I'm expecting to much but the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables at what is suppose to be a farmer's market was very discouraging to me. Will I go again...probably at some point to see if things are any different but I won't be rushing back any time soon.