Tuesday, June 28, 2011

MIXing It Up, Pt. 2: Best Market Meals

This month's issue of MIX magazine is jam-packed with lists of don't-miss summer pleasures, from the 50 Best Summer Drinks to PDX's best ice cream scoops to sussing out the hot spots of Vancouver and McMinnville.

It's also got a list of the 10 best farmers' market meals, which is helpful if you're like me and the sight of all that great food (not to mention the aromas drifting over the aisles) makes your stomach growl. The best part of these market meals? Despite the fact that they're as good or better than you'll pay for in a sit-down restaurant, they won't make a big dent in your budget.

Outtakes from my contributions to the Big Ten:
  • Ate-Oh-Ate: Ben Dyer's satellite version of his East Burnside restaurant features authentic Hawaiian-style grub like the Loco Moco (top photo), a pile o' pleasure with fried rice, a seared hamburger patty, shiitake mushroom gravy and two eggs over easy. Hollywood Farmers' Market.
  • Bingo Sandwiches: Portlanders won't be surprised that King of Brine David Barber's BLT of the Week isn't your usual bacon sandwich. Look for market-fresh meats, veggies, Picklopolis Pickles and even an egg to make an appearance. Portland Farmers' Market at PSU.
  • Domo Domo: Sidney Ayers (above left) brand new biz plan is to take over the world with a Japanese pancake called okonomiyaki. Plate-sized, its flour and egg batter's secret ingredient is grated nagaimo, a Japanese yam, and comes topped with bacon or veggies for just $6. Interstate Farmers' Market.
  • Feastworks Sausage Sandwich: Ethan Bisagna, formerly head butcher at Clyde Common, and his lady-love, chef Ashley Brown, are deeply committed to each other and the quality of their homemade meats and sausages, which you can buy direct or eat on the spot in their sandwiches, including the Choripan, made with their Chistorra sausage wrapped in crusty French bread drizzled with chimichurri sauce. Sandwiches and meats at the NW Portland Farmers' Market and Woodstock Farmers' Market; meats only at the Beaverton Farmers' Market.
  • Gloria's Secret Tamales: This outpost of Gloria Vargas' teeny Beaverton café offers her lighter-than-air tamales wrapped in the traditional Salvadoran banana leaves rather than corn husks. Filled with hearty chicken or pork, there's also a vegetarian version. All come with a salad of shaved cabbage and fruit and a kickin' salsa. Beaverton Farmers' Market.
  • Thai Mama: Look for market-fresh curries, pad Thai, crab wontons and chicken satay flying out of Lisa Barber's market stand, but it's her legendary homemade egg rolls that make for long lines of salivating customers here. Choose from traditional pork or portabella mushroom and tofu. Montavilla Farmers' Market.
  • Savory et Sweet Crêpes: The French came up with the original "wrap," and you can always find an eclectic yet solid variety on Chris Douglas' menu. Check out the Scary Good, softly scrambled eggs, bacon, blue cheese, avocado, tomatoes and spinach, or the Menagerie Plate, a sampler of delicious bites—usually nuts, cheese, fruit and a slice of bread slathered with hummus finished off with a mini sweet crêpe on the side. Lloyd Farmers' Market, Oregon City Farmers' Market and Hillsdale Farmers' Market.
Get the full text plus additional reviews of Tastebud, Verde Cocina and Enchanted Sun Breakfast Burritos in the current issue. Find the complete schedule of Portland-area farmers' markets with maps and links on the GoodStuffNW Oregon Farmers' Markets page.

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