New Market Finds
As you know, I’m always on the look out for new restaurants, gourmet food shops or foodie markets. The Washingtonian magazine is one of my go-to resources for restaurant and food reviews, new chefs in town, and all other foodie updates for the DC area. The most recent issue featured a short blurb on a new gourmet market in NE DC – Union Market. It opened sometime in mid September of this year and is a revitalized version of an old school food market – Centre Market – from 1871.
In 1931 Centre market was torn down so that the National Archives could be built. Shortly after, the vendors re-built their beloved market in February and renamed it Union Terminal Market – featuring over 700 vendors selling fresh produce, local meats, dairy products, baked goods and more. The market moved completely indoors in 1962 when the sale of meat, eggs and dairy was banned from outdoor locations. Today the market has been recently revitalized in the same large warehouse building in NE DC and contains over 40 food and gourmet vendors. The owners hope to once again establish this historic market as the culinary epicenter of Washington, DC.
As I scanned over the website, I only had to take a quick look over the list of vendors before I was hooked – fresh produce, locally baked breads and pastries, a gourmet espresso bar, beautiful floral arrangements, local oysters and other seafood, an old fashioned soda fountain, a creamery, artisan cheese stand and tons of ethnic food stands. My husband, a close friend and I all headed out to check out this new market and all of its tasty treats. And let me tell you…I was more than happily surprised to find a host of super unique items and tasty food.
We started out with finding a place to grab lunch. We ended up choosing (after much debate) a small stall named Neopol – A Savory Smokery. This tiny corner stand had all smoked foods – multiple flavors of smoked salmon, smoked hummus, smoked crab cakes, whole smoked white fish and to my tongues delight – smoked roasted garlic. Holy moly, I didn’t think roasted garlic could get any better. But it can! I bought two heads of this garlic – still sweet from the roasting, but with a slight smokiness. I’ll have to let you know what I use it with – I need to do some serious research on this one! But back to lunch – I got a smoked salmon salad BLT (see above) on freshly baked sunflower flax bread and local thick cut bacon (yea yea I skipped out on the vegetarian stuff today). But wow, this sandwich was a treat!
Next we decided to walk off our lunch and tour the rest of the market. I didn’t get far before finding something else fun that caught my attention – eggs! And no, not just any eggs. The above picture doesn’t do them justice (but what do you expect with a phone camera?), but they are dark brown, white, light tan AND….a very light turquoise! Yes, turquoise eggs. Crazy right? Turquoise eggs just come from another breed of hen – Araucana hens. Nutritionally speaking they are the same as your plain old grocery store white egg, just a lot prettier. I’ll have to let you know how they taste – breakfast tomorrow!
Lastly… after a big breakfast and being up late the night before, I was feeling the need for a hot caffeinated beverage. We stopped at Perregrine Espresso and order some lattes. As we waited for our order to come up, I noticed the barista making swirls in the drinks as she added the hot steamed milk. As she set down our drinks, I realized she was making different designs with the cream (see above picture)! Each of our coffees had a different little design sitting atop a steaming hot latte. I was super impressed! If I wasn’t so sleepy I would have enjoyed the artwork slightly longer. However, once I had the first sip, I couldn’t stop sipping! I think it was probably the BEST latte I have ever had in my life. Not that I’ve had many truly gourmet coffee drinks. But I didn’t need to add sugar or anything. It was absolutely perfect – just like our entire trip to this great new market. If you live in this area, or ever come visit, I really encourage you to check this place out. Support our local farms, artisans and historic DC culture. I truly had a great time eating, shopping and being a part of this historic DC market.