Robert and I took a trip to the Ballard Farmers Market last Sunday. Our Capitol Hill Farmers Market opens this coming weekend, and, although I’m super excited about it, it really can’t hold a candle to the Ballard Farmers Market. The Capitol Hill market is very small with only a handful of farmers selling their produce and an even smaller number of vendors offering baked goods or other prepared foods. The Ballard Farmers Market, on the other hand, has everything! Organic meats, fresh shellfish, tons of cheese vendors, pizza fresh from Veraci’s mobile pizza oven, live music, you name it. I’m so jealous that it isn’t in my neighborhood. I’m hopeful that our little farmers market will begin to catch on and grow a bit over the next few years (it’s still pretty new.)

Aside from the fact that a trip to the farmers market is generally a fun way to spend the morning, our main reason for going was to get our hands on some tamales from the Patty Pan Grill stand! The last time we visited the market, back in early April, we had just eaten breakfast so we weren’t in the mood to eat anything more. But, after catching a whiff of the grilled onions and veggies coming from the Patty Pan Grill stand, we made a pact to come back as soon as possible. All of the tamales at Patty Pan Grill are vegetarian, and you can order them solo or with a side of their delicious grilled vegetables. The grilled veggies – that day a mix of cabbage, kale, gai lan, and onions – are cooked on a large cast-iron griddle with ground cumin and chili powder. The aroma coming off that griddle is amazing. We ordered a tamale and a grilled vegetable quesadilla (pictured.) The tamale and quesadilla were both good, but it was the grilled veggies that really did it for me!

Robert decided to pick up a 3-pack of tamales to take home and have as his Cinco de Mayo lunch the next day. We also bought a poppy seed-filled bread and a raspberry strudel from the Little Prague Bakery, a half loaf of Tall Grass Bakery’s awesome pumpernickel-dried cherry bread, a small wedge of “Tipsy Cow,” a cabernet-washed cow’s milk cheese from River Valley Ranch (which went beautifully on the pumpernickel-cherry bread) and some baby carrots and rapini which Robert used in a delicious noodle stir-fry for dinner Sunday evening. Hooray for the farmers market!

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