We stopped off last Saturday at the Portland Farmers Market. If there is a better farmers market anywhere in the world, it’s hard to imagine what it would be like, except that maybe it would have a wider range of Asian street food.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate our Seattle markets, but they’re simply great places to shop. I’d like to live at the Portland market. We hung out there for hours without getting bored. Aside from tons of great produce, there’s Fred Carlo’s Italian sausage sandwich stand; Ken’s Artisan Bakery (the Northwest’s best bread); a pirate-themed tamale stand making great chicken tamales with homemade salsa (Iris devoured one); lamb pitas; and Hot Lips Pizza. This time I found a woman selling homemade Thai curry paste, and I bought the green paste and later turned it into a great broccoli-shrimp curry.
Part of the reason Portland’s market is so great it that it’s held in the downtown Park Blocks, which means lots of great places to sit. But another reason, I realized, is that Portland doesn’t have Pike Place Market. If there were no Pike Place Market and Seattle put on a weekly downtown farmers market, we’d probably find a way to make it almost as good as Portland’s. As it is, Organic Wednesday at Pike Place is pretty close, and it has the advantage of offering non-local produce (lemons!) from the high stalls. In fact, I’m heading over there now for some berries and a bag of som tam. What? No som tam? This sucks.