It was a grand opening day at the new Boston Public Market, the indoor farmers market of locally sourced foods that replaces the Haymarket stalls of yesteryear in an exciting new venue. Granted, it is not the same as the cranky vendors you had to watch carefully to make sure they bagged the same produce you pointed to instead of grabbing something slightly less perfect from under the table ... and it is certainly pricier than the Haymarket I remember, but the array of beautifully displayed wares is a delight for the senses. After entering with the throngs of people milling around at the prime lunch time hour, we sampled gourmet stone ground chocolate at Taza, fresh fruit vinegars at Mange`,
salty sweet nuts at Q's Nuts, and cider donuts at Red Apple Farm as we shuffled along with the crowd. The atmosphere was festive; Siena Farm, with their lavish produce displays including the tiniest baby eggplants, was giving away sunflowers. Beautiful flowers, fresh produce, gourmet honey, organic meats and fish, fresh pasta, and glorious cheeses abounded alongside a variety of baked goods, lunch foods, beverage vendors, and sweets.
After a complete walk thru we decided to divide and conquer for lunch fare - vendors were pleasant and friendly, if a bit overwhelmed by the onslaught. Lines were quite long, but the grilled cheese sandwich from Jasper Hill was worth the wait and we were equally tempted by the other options of mac and cheese and racelettes (potatoes topped with the melted artisanal cheese). A sample of their blue cheese was melt-in-your-mouth buttery, tangy perfection. We also sampled the Vietnamese sandwich along with an outstanding ginger lemonade from Bon Me which was delicious and quite efficient despite the long lines, and an excellent falafel pita sandwich from Inna's Kitchen. Disappointingly, the Noodle Lab was sold out from the initial lunch rush, but we'll try that next time - along with the luscious looking pastrami sandwiches from the Beantown Pastrami Company. As we left, we investigated the ginger ice cream from Crescent Ridge Farm and took a bag of those aforementioned irresistible cider donuts from Red Apple Farm to eat on the way home.
All in all a terrific opening day and an exciting new high quality market worth the visit if you are in the city.