Don’t forget there are two more days to enter my Baby of a Giveaway contest!
As I mentioned earlier this week, Saturday Beloved and I made the 45-minute drive up to Cleveland to visit the historic West Side Market. It is Cleveland’s largest publicly owned market, which technically puts it under the purview of the Parks and Recreation division of the city. And for someone like myself, recreation it is.
Reminiscent of a European market, West Side Market is home to over 120 tenants selling produce, meats, baked goods, fish, spices, sauces, and even some prepared foods. The ninety-seven year old bazaar consists of an indoor market, selling mostly meat, bakery and dairy goods and an adjacent semi-enclosed “outdoor” market, filled with produce, grain, and fresh flower vendors. Originally created as a neighborhood ethnic market, it still fulfills that function – we purchased such diverse items as black sticky rice, chorizo and medjool dates (to say nothing of the first real brisket I’ve seen since moving to Ohio, which we immediately smoked the next day. Oh. My. GAWD.).
We went to the West Side Market in the first place because I had a yearning to visit a real “gourmet” type grocery store, which were abundant in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area (oh, Central Market how I miss you!) but are sadly lacking in Podunk. Nor was I disappointed, for we left with things like white truffle oil, fleur de sel, pomegranates and fingerling potatoes. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the area surrounding the market, either, which consists of additional ethnic food markets, ethnic restaurants, and a brewery – there were even street performers, if you can classify a classical clarinetist and cellist as “street performers.” It was all quite charming and I can’t wait to go back and explore the surrounding area some more.
If you’re ever in the Cleveland area – and certainly if you live somewhere within driving distance – the West Side Market is more than worth a visit. Hours are Mondays and Wednesdays, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. They are open year-round.
For more fun places to visit, head on over to Pseudonymous High School Teacher and read all of the Travel Tip Thursday posts!