At The Del Ray, Old Town & West End Markets August 29 & 30, 2009


 Once again, I may just have bought way too much at the markets this weekend. I’m trying to be better-I know my addiction/obsession always leaves me yearning for more, and the urge is so very hard to deny when summer is coming to an end, and food looks this damn good.

Hoarding. That’s what it must be. I know that soon I’ll be staring down tubers and brassicas, thinking of braises and soups. So, now I’m trying to squeeze in all the summer produce that I can before it disappears for another year, during which time I yearn for fresh corn on the cob, yet succumb to shoe peg kernels in a bag from the frozen section.

Some highlights from this weekend’s sojourn into locavore world were:

Vera’s Bakery at the Del Ray market has delicious sweets, and now also offers tamales too.


Figs from a farm near Reva, VA. Boxes of figs sold for $4 and yielded well over a dozen-quite a good buy at Del Ray.


Toigo, also at the Del Ray market finally had corn-mirai corn, I believe. This corn yields densely-packed cobs full of plump, juicy yellow kernels that are not overwhelmed with sugar-rather, the corn tastes like, well, corn. And their peaches-I think that Toigo’s are among the best around. The time to strike for this and more is right now.


 At the Old Town market, I always look to Big Riggs for excellent produce at good prices. For $3.50, you can pick from a veritable mound of multi-colored mini bell peppers and fill a box for yourself.


The Alexandria West End market has some of the best prices around. Here, you’ll find tomatoes for $2 a pound, which can be half (or more than half) of the cost at other markets. Look at these beauties!


If you haven’t been to the West End market, do make a visit if you’re in the area. This market is in its third year, I believe. I like how it seems to be evolving into one of the most divers, interesting, affordable and relaxed markets in the area. This weekend, I was pleasantly surprised to see Satay Sarinah had a booth set up. This Indonesian restaurant is located only minutes away, and offered quick “street foods”, such as chicken satay. Delicious chicken satay at that.

Other finds in this quaint market include On the Gourmet, musical performers, yarn spinners, coffees, teas, pastries, breads, local produce, local chocolates and flowers. Bring your dog, and go hungry. Chances are, you’ll both find something tasty!


Until the next At The Market, eat and buy local when you can.


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5 Responses to “At The Del Ray, Old Town & West End Markets August 29 & 30, 2009”

  1. Oh, I just knew figs would finally turn up when I left town, but they were even at Del Ray? Cruel.

    Glad to hear there’s a new addition at West End — and a prepared food vendor, at that. Last time I went I was disappointed that they seemed to have lost several of the vendors who began the season there.

  2. Hi Colleen-the West End market seems to be in flux a bit, doesn’t it? I think they’re finding an identity, which for now, means a pretty interesting mix. I found these figs in Del Ray-the producer is the first on the left as you enter (car entrance) the parking lot. There’s a gentleman always there-in an electric wheelchair. Very nice folks–I try to patronize them for sure.

  3. Figs! It seems like I always miss them too. Ah, well. Thanks for sharing all your great produce.

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