Jan. 21, 2012 1:29 pm
Updated: Feb. 27, 2012 9:24 am
Today was a rare day in our household. No obligations whatsoever. Very seldom do we get a day where there is nothing to do. What would you do on a day like that? We decided to head up to Cleveland and visit the West Side Market. We've been there a
few times and after each visit we pick up a few more tips on how to make the visit a success. The most important thing is be sure to take a few bags along to carry all your purchases in. Most places take credit/debit cards, but be sure to have plenty of
cash as well. Get there early to get a good parking space. Take along a big cooler to keep things cool-the market isn't the only stop when heading to the West Side. Don't be afraid to talk to the vendors; ask them about their products. Often times they
are more than willing to let you sample something, or they throw in a few "extras". All that said - I'll move on to our Fun Saturday!
What is the West Side Market some might ask. It is a huge market - row upon row of vendors selling everything from produce to pasta. The prices are pretty good on most things as well and you can find about anything related to food; all kinds of meat, spices,
coffees, bakery, fruit, vegetables, juice, seafood, you get the idea.... Anyways...
We got there about 10:00 am and already the place was hopping but we did manage to get a parking spot not too far away. Our first stops were down the produce aisle. I was able to get a nice, big pineapple for only $2, grapefruits, mangoes, avocadoes, brussels
sprouts, tomatoes, clementines, and more. I bought a blood orange to try. I have never tried one before and I decided for .50 I'd give it a try. I also got some fresh parsley and cilantro. I have plans to make some delicious guacamole with my avocadoes,
tomatoes and cilantro. I also got some limes and lemons. We bought a huge container of dried fruits. There is a vendor up there that sells some awesome dried fruit - the strawberries are the best! We made a trip to the car with our produce, then headed back
in for the rest of the market.
We picked up 2 rib steaks for the grill for tonight. They are about a pound each and cost $7 a piece. They look fantastic! We also got 2 dozen oysters. The young girl said she didn't know if they were from Chincoteague, but they were definitely East Coast.
Good enough for me! Some of these little guys are going to find themselves in the bottom of a shot glass covered in vodka and hot sauce! Next to the seafood vendor was a vendor selling herbs and spices. I got myself a tiny jar of saffron threads. I can't wait
to try it as I've never used it before since it is so expensive. This jar was $6, there isn't much in it, but I hear you don't need to use much at a time. Paella is going to be on the menu very soon at my house.
We perused the many bakery vendors. Oh. My. Gosh. I knew I wanted some bread. Ok. But now I had to choose just which bread? I finally settled on a rosemary and olive oil round loaf of bread and a loaf of farm bread. I'd never heard of farm bread. The young
man behind the counter said it's a mix of sourdough, whole wheat and cracked wheat flour. It looked pretty so I bought one.
Then we decided we should pick out our dessert for tonight, too. We finally settled on a slice (they call it a slice; I called it a hunk of the pie!) strawberry cheesecake. The pie our slice came out of is in the picture of the bakery counter, lower shelf
second from the left.
The next stop at the market was at a cheese counter. Hubby never leaves there without a good-sized chunk of gorgonzola blue cheese. This particular vendor ages his own and I'll take Jon's word that it's delicious. I just never have liked the taste of blue cheese.
I picked out a chunk of parmegiano/regiano (never could spell those words!!) cheese.
A pound of jerky and we were out the door. At some point during our shopping I got a phone call from Steve. If you've read my last blog you know he's in South Dakota trying for a job and staying with my sister and brother-in-law. Last weekend was a stress-filled
couple of days while he made his way halfway across the country by Greyhound Bus. This call was to tell me they were going shopping and he was going to pick up a pair of "decent" khakis and a shirt since he was going on a "ride-along" in a police cruiser
on Monday. I should have known. Steve doesn't call just to chat. After a few syllables the real reason for this enlightening call - he needed money transferred from my account to his account so he could pay for these clothes.
We were finished with our shopping just in time to make our next stop - for lunch. No trip is complete without lunch at The Great Lakes Brewing Company! Jon had the Blackout Stout - a stout beer aged in bourbon barrels and I had the Belgian Tripel Dog Dare
- a very tasty, lighter Belgian beer with a "fruity" taste to it. For lunch Jon had his usual sausage and pierogi platter and I had a brewhouse burger with mushrooms and pepperjack cheese with pub fries. After a lunch like that we'll be grilling our steaks
for a fashionably late dinner tonight.
If ever you are in Cleveland, I highly recommend a visit to the West Side Market. So much to see - from all of the vendors and what they have to offer to all the people there are to watch.
That's me with the white bag, making selections of what to buy next!
I bought 2 loaves of this bread!
It was tough to choose from this counter!
A view from the balcony area.
Belgian Tripel Dog Dare Beer at Great Lakes Brewing Company