subject: Market Street Market
take-out vehicle: plastic boxes
Like many of my fellow downtown-most-of-the-timers, I've been anxiously awaiting the opening of the Market Street Market for some time now. Actually, to be completely honest, I've sort of been stalking the place. Not in a super creepy way (I hope), but definitely often enough to closely follow its progress. It took a couple of weeks longer than I wanted it to, but finally, as of Saturday, the mall had a proper market.
I knew I was getting dinner there later that evening, but I was so excited that I went in for a preview during my lunch break on Monday, and I have to say, it made a very good first impression. Yes, the fresh fruits and veggies were nice, the layout was good, and the selection was impressive, but there was one thing that really made my day: the six-pack of Festie in the cooler.
I love that stuff. Local or not, it's my favorite seasonal brew. As soon as I saw it, I knew my dinner was going to be that much better. Fate, however, apparently owed me a punch to the gut—by the time I returned, the six-pack was gone.
Despite that blow,* I remained steadfast. I was there, after all, for the food, and so I chose three things: a mint lamb kabob with curry yogurt sauce, tabouli salad, and grilled Mexican corn with parmigiano-reggiano.
You know something's good when you take your first bite, chew once, stop, then say out loud, "Whoa." You know that same item is really good when the only person you have to tell is your cat, but you can't help but do it anyway.
That's what happened when I bit into the corn. My cat didn't really seem to care, but had my wife been there and not at a meeting, she would have flipped out. She loves corn on the cob, and this was some of the best I've ever had. I have no idea what it was coated in, but it was thick and buttery and sweet, and it made me think I was eating creamed corn the cob. The smoky grilled flavor came through in each bite, and the cheese added just a hint of richness and salt. If this corn were a cookie, it'd be a double-stuf oreo...and that's a strong statement coming from me.
The tabouli salad was also very good. The predominant flavor was lemon, but it was mellowed nicely by the other ingredients, especially the mint and cracked wheat. I could have eaten much more than I bought (I always buy too little when I purchase things by weight).
The lamb, though satisfying, was my least favorite item of the three. Being impatient, I ate it cold (actually, I ate everything cold), so perhaps this would have been better warm. Still, the meat was tender, though I would have preferred it slightly less cooked. The sauce could have been curry-er, but possessed enough flavor to accent the lamb. These nitpicks, however, were relatively minor, and I did enjoy the dish.
Needless to say, I reaffirmed my membership in the "Clean Plate Club," save for the mangled cob, and food aside, I was pretty pleased with myself. I just can't imagine that I'd get this same quality food in a sit-down restaurant for less than $9, and if there's one thing I love about eating, it's finding really good food for really pretty cheap.
Based on this dinner, the Market Street Market was definitely worth the wait.
* Up yours, Fate. I went to Beer Run and got my Festie there, plus some yummy pumpkin ales. So ha! I win!