Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Farmers Market Day Out

This morning James and I ventured off towards the north for a few hours, gorgeous day, top down in the Mustang. We drove to Decatur to the famous Your Dekalb Farmers Market (yes, sounds weird grammatically but that's the actual name). It's an enormous indoor farmers market- 140,000 square feet to be exact. I just had to go after several folks mentioned it to me. Sounds silly to drive 50 miles to buy some fresh produce, but hey, it was Saturday and we wanted something fun to do. It was well worth the drive, I can't even explain how cool it was there.

We started off by having lunch there, at a small cafeteria that sold food by the pound! Mac & cheese and lasagna were side by side with couscous and samosas. This place is extremely international, in fact I felt like a foreigner inside the market. After lunch we moved down to the fresh pastries and coffee counter. I had perhaps the best cheese danish I have ever tasted in my entire life!

Maneuvering a shopping cart in the place was like dodging rush hour traffic, it was insane, there were SSSSSOOOOO many people there. I would walk down an aisle and be at the other end, only to turn around and find James still waiting with the cart to squeeze onto the aisle. It was mobbed. Everything was as fresh as food from a backyard garden. They had produce there I had never even heard of, much less ever seen, and I'm pretty food savvy with my cookbook addiction and Food Network devotion.

One huge section of fresh herbs and spices, fresh beans and legumes, organic everything under the sun, imported chocolates, a bakery with bread made on site, a fresh flower shop, seafood that was still swimming alive in tanks, every type of red meat imaginable, fresh cheeses. Oh my, it was just the most amazing thing. Maybe in New York City something like this would be common, but for us, it was an experience.

I have to say, we loaded our cart with lots and lots of produce (like chinese eggplant and whole pineapples), some baked goods, cheeses (including my favorite- goat), a container of whole nutmeg for me, and even a big pot of wheatgrass for the kitties to nibble on. In fact, we got 27 different items for only a total of a little over $40! Choke on that, Wal-Mart!! Then we blew the budget and splurged on two fresh cut steaks (at about 1 1/2 lbs each!) to throw on the grill tomorrow afternoon. We went up there without any real agenda, but we couldn't help ourselves, once we saw the vibrant colors of the veggies.

We unplugged the GPS and meandered back home through Atlanta. We stopped to have a late afternoon snack at the Varsity, but when we walked in and saw about 500 people (NO exaggeration) in line at the counter, we decided we'd come back on another day. After all, a Braves game was starting in about two hours, and I'm sure they were packed because of that. Although I think the Varsity is always packed, it is such a famous landmark. Me, I didn't want to stand in line for an hour for a hot dog!

Unfortunately I don't have photos to post of the farmers market, because at the front door there is a huge warning that there is NO photography allowed and buddy, they mean it. I watched as a woman walked towards the entrance with a camera in her hand and a security guard on a golf cart zoomed up quickly to deny her entry. Wow! So, I can only share the photo of James as we started off the day. Look at that clear blue sky! It was only about 70 degrees at 11am, so we had to feel that cool wind in our hair.

Everyone have a great weekend!


  1. Sounds marvelous, Sandy. Where is it exactly? In downtown area Atlanta??? OR --on the north side somewhere? I despise going through Atlanta --and we'll usually do anything to keep form going through there --although I do have a good friend who lives in Chamblee.

    I've been to the Varsity before... Great tradition--but I wouldn't stand in line for a long time for any hot dog. ha....

    Have a great Sunday.

  2. It's located in Decatur, not far off I285. I definitely want to go again, we came home through downtown Decatur and it was simply gorgeous- lots of restaurants and stores. My kind of downtown! The farmers market was incredible, their website says they have 100,000 customers a week! I think they were ALL there on Saturday afternoon! I saw people of every nationality in there, and I heard so many different accents, it was such a treat. I told James it was worth the long drive, just for the electric atmosphere in there.

  3. That farmers market sounds wonderful. We don't have anything like that here - at least that I know of! The FM that we do have doesn't operate during this time of year. Too hot! We're cracking 114 degrees today.... But when it's open we can find some great bargain on produce. Just not all the other wonderful stuff you mentioned. Can I go with you next time?? ;)

  4. Then you would love this place. Completely indoors. And because there was so much fresh produce and seafood and meat- the building must have been 50 degrees inside, maybe cooler. I was freezing in there!!

  5. Sounds wonderful. I wish you could have taken photos to share. Can't help but wonder why.

  6. I couldn't figure it out, either, just a lot of corn and squash and shrimp sitting around! Not sure why they have the no photograph policy. There are photos on their website, though.