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STL Farmer’s Markets

One of my favorite things about summer is all of the fresh fruits and vegetables that are available. Why not turn your shopping trip into an experience by going to a local farmer’s market? Last weekend I chose to check out four farmer’s markets located around St. Louis. For more information about other markets in the St. Louis area, check out the Missouri Farmer’s Market Directory.

Tower Grove Farmer’s Market

IMG_1986The Tower Grove Farmer’s Market has something for everyone! Local vendors and several independently owned stores set up shop in the park making it a great way to not only pick up produce but also discover new stores located in your own backyard. Whether you want to participate in a free yoga class, enjoy breakfast from food truck while listening to live music, let your kids splash in the fountain, or walk you dog through the market, there is no way to come here and not have a good time.

When and Where: Operates Mid-April thru November on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Tower Grove Park at 4256 Magnolia Ave.

Best for: Those looking for an experience. The crowds made it tricky to quickly stop by so come down with a plan to spend the morning enjoying the whole event.

What they are selling: Produce, flowers, cheese, eggs, and meat products as well as food from locally owned restaurants, bakeries, specialty food shops, and food trucks such as Salume Bedu, Kakao, Companion Bakery, Traveling Tea, and LuLu’s.

My Finds: Fresh lemonade, peaches, and scones from Queen’s Cuisine

Midtown Farmer’s Market

 IMG_1980The Midtown Farmer’s Market, located in University City, is a hidden gem that has been around for years but has recently reinvented itself. The market operates out of several permanent stalls with additional tents set up on Saturday Mornings.

When and Where: Located in the Delmar Loop at 6655 Delmar Blvd behind Market Pub restaurant. Open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Best for: The shopper that means business. If you are looking for a variety of fresh produce without the bells and whistles, this spot is for you.

What they are selling: Produce from local farms, wood carvings, homemade skin care products, and coffee.

My Finds: Potato cucumbers grown by Elixer Farms, beautiful multi-colored Zephyr squash, and a box of cherry tomatoes that were so sweet they were eaten up before we made it to our next stop.

Soulard Farmer’s Market

IMG_2012When you think of a St. Louis farmer’s market, I would guess that Soulard Market is what comes to mind. The oldest market west of the Mississippi River has been operating for over 200 years. Soulard Market is unique because the indoor shops and large outdoor halls allow it to remain open throughout the entire year. Of all of the markets I visited, Soulard Market offered the cheapest and widest variety of products.

When and Where: Soulard Market, located at 730 Carroll Street,  is open Wednesday thru Saturday.

Best For: Tourists, people watching, and those looking for cheap or hard to find produce.

What they are selling: Produce from local farmers, meat, spices, clothing, health and beauty products, baked goods, flowers, and cocktails to be enjoyed while you shop.

My Finds: Bing cherries for $1.90/lb, Bloody Mary’s, Homemade Italian herb pasta

Who knew that they also make mini-donuts here?

 

Kirkwood Farmer’s Market

IMG_2031When I think of the words quaint and charming, Kirkwood is the first thing that pops into my head. Located in the center of this tight knit community is a walkable downtown with a train station, locally owned shops and restaurants, and a Farmer’s Market. Whether you live in the community and can walk to the market to pick up your produce or you visit only on occasion, this market’s homey vibe makes you feel like you are part of the Kirkwood community.

When and Where: The Kirkwood Farmer’s Market can be found at 150 E Argonne Drive. The market is open daily from April 4 to Sept 27. Visit the market in October for the pumpkin patch and in November and December for the Christmas market.

Best for: With easy accessibility and parking, a wide variety of items for sale, and snow cones to keep kids entertained, this market has something to offer for just about anyone.

What they are selling: Produce from local farmers as well as large companies such as Driscoll’s and Chiquita, baked goods, meats, cheeses, plants, BBQ, kettle corn, and Tropical Moose snow cones. Be warned though, produce at this stop was the most expensive out of all of the markets that I visited.

My Finds: Snow cones from Tropical Moose, blackberries, heirloom tomatoes

 

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Strange Donuts

Oh, how a donut shop can bring such a smile to my face! You are not going to find your average glazed donuts or long johns here, though. This is Strange Donuts, where anything you can imagine has probably been made into a donut. This small shop is located in MaplewStrange Donutsood, MO and they are open every day from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 9 a.m. until Midnight (or until they run out). Be sure to set your alarm to go off early on weekend mornings because they do sell out!

The line of patrons hoping to try these crazy creations is often out the door but the line moves quickly. Once inside, you have a few minutes to decide between the ever changing menu of donuts. I have been able to sample flavors such as rice pudding, French toast, Samoa, Mexican hot chocolate, campfire (chocolate donut with a toasted marshmallow on top), and wasabi pea (that’s right, I said wasabi pea!). Strange Donuts has also been known to partner with chefs from local restaurants such as Pappy’s Barbeque and Quincy Street Bistro to make meat filled concoctions. The donuts definitely have a dense, cake texture to them and while I am normally a bigger fan of light, fluffy donuts, you just can’t help but love these strange creations (pun intended).

There is no seating in the shop so all of the orders are made to-go. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of milk, chocolate milk or Strange Donut Brew by Kuva Coffee while you are there to wash down your delicious treat. I dare you to make it all the way home without trying a bite!

 

Strange Donuts is located at 2709 Sutton Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63143


I am always looking for new spots to try so let me know your favorites in the suggestions section or on Twitter at @myweeklybite.

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The Mud House

This morning, my husband and I went in search of a new weekend brunch spot and happened to come across The Mud House located on Cherokee Street. I had not yet been to this part of town that is known for its antique shops, art galleries, and cafes. I have been hearing a lot of talk about St. Louis’s up and coming coffee scene and this was one of the names that has been mentioned. However, I had no idea about their creative breakfast and lunch menu that are both served throughout the day.

Rosemary latte
Rosemary latte

We arrived around 11a.m. and since it was getting crowded, I stood in line to order at the counter while my husband found a table. Little did he know, he was about to be the recipient of a lavender mocha that was recommended by the barista. While I was a little nervous about choosing this for him, we were both pleasantly surprised. In fact it was so delicious, he uncharacteristically ordered a second drink for the road. I took a chance by ordering a rosemary latte which was also unexpectedly good. You could smell a hint of rosemary as soon as you brought the mug to your mouth but the taste was very subtle.

While waiting for our order, we had a chance to take in the restaurant. The décor complemented the artsy feel of the neighborhood in that everything was so mismatched, that it matched perfectly. The floors were a rustic wood, menus were written on chalk boards and rolls of paper towels, and the walls were covered in vintage shop finds. The restaurant was filled families having breakfast, students studying on their laptops, and groups of friends having coffee. It had such warm, cozy feel that I wanted to love it the minute I stepped in the door.

After about 15 minutes, the food arrived at our table. While there are a la cart menu items, this is not a place that you go for your typical eggs, bacon, and hash browns. I chose to go with The Breslin made with curried lentils, two sunny-side up eggs, cilantro, plain Greek yogurt, and two pieces of grilled bread. The portions and presentation were perfect and the combination of eggs and lentils was something that I have never seen before. However, the Greek yogurt didn’t add much to the dish and I probably could have done without it. My husband went for the Mud Slinger made with two sunny-side up eggs over black bean chili, roasted potatoes, red onion, and toast. We both loved this dish but thought that the eggs could have used another minute on the skillet.

After finishing our breakfast, we stayed just a bit longer before deciding to check out some of the shops next door. We made it a few blocks before deciding that a cold Sunday with snow packed sidewalks was not making for the best shopping and settled on coming back when it is warmer out. For anyone looking for a new brunch or coffee spot, I would definitely recommend The Mud House.

For more info check out themudhousestl.com

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