Worth the Drive

Before last weekend, I had only been to Cleveland once before.  I vowed I would never go back.

I went my senior year of college for swim championships at Case Western.  It was bittersweet, because it was my last swim meet ever.  It was hella cold and hella grey.  It pretty much snowed non stop.  I had a wet head for about a week straight because I was constantly in the pool or cheering my team on and never had time to dry my hair.  I had a cold.  We almost got stuck in the airport because of a blizzard.  It just sucked, I was miserable and I swore up and down never to return.

Well, now that I live 2 hours away, I thought it might be time to reconsider.  Solomon has been to Cleveland for business, and we thought it might be a fun day trip for when his mom was in town.  Aside from going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, we also hit up the West Side Market, and I fell in love.

The West Side Market is Cleveland’s oldest publicly owned market.  There are a few different buildings, and we just wandered aimlessly.  First, we looked at all of the beautiful (inexpensive!) produce, much of it local.

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We actually didn’t end up getting a whole lot, just because it was early in the day, and we weren’t going to be heading home until late at night.  On the produce side we picked up half a dozen honey tangerines. None of use had ever seen these before, so we tried a few samples.  Out of this world!  These kicked the butts of any clementines ever, they were so delicious.  Sweet, but not tart and nice and juicy.  The only thing is they had a lot of seeds, but that’s OK!  Have you ever tried a honey tangerine?

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Solomon also snagged a kumquat, but neither of us have tried it yet.  The girl told us that some people actually have a kumquat a day because they are so packed with Vitamin C!  Look how tiny and cute it is!  Have you ever tried one of these little guys?
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We also picked up some of the best dried vegetables and dried fruit any of us has ever had.  I don’t know what they did to this stuff, but both are like crack!

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Dried kiwis and dried strawberries might be two of the most amazing tastes ever!

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This had so many amazing kinds of vegetables…there was dried squash in there, sweet potatoes, green beans, you name it.  I want to go back to this weekend just to get more!

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The other building (come to think of it, I think it was all one building, just laid out funny) had tons of food vendors of all types…meat, dairy, candies, bakery, sweets, herbs, pasta.  You name it, it was there!  There were also lots of ethnic vendors, many who offered yummy samples!

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Every kind of rice imaginable!
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We purchased some dipping oil from The Olive and The Grape, which was a delicious, fruit olive oil packed with different Italian seasonings.  We are going to use it for other things than dipping, I might make Solomon some chicken with it.

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I wish I had gotten more pictures, but I was just so awestruck looking around at everything!  It was 100% worth the drive, and I really recommend that anyone that can get there make the drive (I know Allison is a West Side Market fan!)

What’s your favorite farmer’s market find?  Do you like to wander aimlessly too and drool over all of the beautiful food?

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13 Responses

  1. that market looks AMAZING!

    i’m dying to try dried kiwis. i see them all over blogland, but never in real life! what gives?

  2. Everything looks so good! I’ve never really been to a Farmer’s Market.. I don’t know where they are around me, but maybe I’ll have to find out!

  3. I love dried fruit..it is crack! lol

  4. I love farmers markets! yummo!!

  5. That place looks amazing and I bet it was worth the drive. I would have been in heaven too. I love to look at everything and try new things. Looks like there was a lot of cool things to look at.

  6. I love my farmers market. It always makes my day when I go to it. Having been to some other farmers markets though I realize that you definitely cannot judge all by one…
    My favorite product at my farmers market is Quark (mmm… quark…) and from a specific creamery. We have two creameries that come to our market and I don’t much care for the quark at one and I adore the quark at the other. But my favorite part of the farmers market is just walking around and seeing everything – the produce, the colors, and the people – the children having fun, the dogs in the park, the vendors with the food at one end, running into people I know… It’s a true community experience and I adore it. I think it’s one of my favorite parts of the town I live in.

  7. That looks like a really cool place! And reminds me that I want to find a local market too.

  8. that sounds awesome! i live in columbus so i’m about 2 hours+ away from cleveland too!
    xoxo
    shelley
    http://findinghappinessandhealth.wordpress.com

  9. That market looks so awesome, I’m jealous!

  10. I love dried strawberries! I’ve only had them once before… but I NEED to try dried kiwis. They look so good!

  11. yay for the west side market – your pictures look FAB!!! ALSO – in ALL of my visits down there – I’ve totally missed those candy bars ,and I’m in love with the chili cherry flavor – so happy you snagged a picture – now I know ot look for them!:)

  12. Hi, your pictures are fabulous. As someone who makes a living at this Market, I am always pleased to see new visitors leave our Market with positive feelings about the place. Thanks for sharing.

  13. […] a year ago, I discovered the West Side Market in Cleveland.  Foodie paradise, […]

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