Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bordentown City Farmers Market

Well, last night brought the 3rd week for the Bordentown Farmers Market, and once again, it did not disappoint.  As usual, it was a nice stop for some fresh local produce and other goods, as well as our dinner destination for the evening.

As I have said before, Bordentown City is a charming little town located in Central NJ, just minutes off of the NJ Turnpike, 295, Route 130, or Route 206.  It is a great, historic old city with a ton of charm.  So when Zelda got home from work, we took a drive over to Bordentown, and were greeted by many familiar faces.

The farmers were out with their fresh produce as usual, but we weren't thre for produce tonight as we had our pickup at the CSA last night.  Our first stop was the Busy Bee Farm tent where we picked up some fresh, local apple mint jelly.  This was very tasty when we tried it last week, and makes a nice addition to the pantry, right next to their wildflower and lavender honey that I picked up at week one of the Farmers Market.

Our next stop was at the tent set up right next to Busy Bee’s for some fresh cheese, hosted by the Cherry Grove Farm  located in Lawrenceville, NJ.  Cherry Grove Farm is a certified organic farm that raises and sells anything from raw milk cheeses made from grass fed cows, to beef and lamb, beef and lamb sausage, whey fed pork, and eggs from free range chickens.  Today, they had a gentleman letting people taste the different cheeses that they were offering, and we absolutely loved the peppercorn jack that we sampled, so we picked up a block, as well as some brie.  They also had some nice meats, and I think that I just might have to pick up a brisket from them in the future to throw in the smoker.

The next stop was the bakery from Pennsauken, who always has some great baked goods and pasties.  Tonight I was very pleased to see the return of the stuffed breads, and I picked up a cheese and pepperoni bread for myself, and a broccoli and cheese stuffed bread for Zelda.  At a price of 2 for $10, can you really beat that?  I don’t think so!

Our final stop tonight was Oliver-A Bistro’s booth for some of Big Matt’s Burrito’s for dinner.  This week, we both opted for the chicken, which is nicely braised and pulled in house.  First Matt threw our flour tortillas on the grill t warm them up, and then started filling them with deliciousness.  First was a nice heaping helping of chicken, and in all actuality, I could have used less chicken, but who am I to complain!  Next, the rice and beans were added, although I opted for rice only as I am not a big fan of refried beans.  Next, lettuce, pico de gallo, cheese, guacamole, and some mild salsa were added, and we bagged them up along with an order of guacamole and chips, and headed towards our bistro for dinner.  Still warm when we got home, these were once again delicious!

What is there to say other than a great night in little old Bordentown City.  We always enjoy our visits to Bordentown as we see so many familiar faces.  Last night we were greeted by Deputy Mayor Cheesman, Jim Brimmer, and Larry Denney who were working the table when you walk in.  They were selling environmentally friendly reusable bags with the Bordentown Farmer’s Market logo on them, and these are perfect for carrying all of your goodies home.  Buy one and reuse it on each visit!  These are similar to the bags that you can purchase at your local grocery store.  Larry was also handing out some great vegetable recipes to give people ideas for their newly purchased veggies.  We also ran into Jeff Tober who is the farm manager at our CSA, Fernbrook Farms.  I wonder if someday Fernbrook will have a booth set up here.  I sure hope so!

Other than that, we saw many friends and neighbors, and it was just a nice night, inus the heat, for Bordentown.  I think that the city commissioners are really leading the charge to make the farmers market awesome, and they are doing a great job bringing in vendors, and letting the local area know what it going on.  Big kudos to Deputy Mayor Cheesman for leading this charge!

What I would really like to see is this turn into a great Wednesday night gathering!  Bring in more vendors, and especially bring in more of the restaurants around town.  If each restaurant in town came out with 1-3 dishes, this could be an awesome resource!  Do this every week, and not only will it drawn in the out of town clientele, but it will also give people a chance to try the different restaurants in town.  Why not turn this into a HUGE culinary festival?  Why not make it so that the entire town can have a “dinner out” night once a week?  Not that there is anything wrong with the Farmers Market now.

The restaurants that are already participating:
Oliver – A Bistro – they are already there with Big Matt’s Burrito’s, guacamole, and salsa
Beanwood Coffee Shop/Latin Bistro – they were there last night with their mango ice tea, and I don’t know if they had food or not.

The restaurants that could participate:
The Farnsworth House – come on Fatih, you guys are right there!  Bust out the grill and sell your “Street Fair Chicken Sandwich,” kebabs, hummus, or even falafel if you can get a deep fryer out there.

Toscano – they could serve their signature calamari, or sausage and pepper sandwiches, meatball sandwiches, etc.

The Hob Tavern – OK Mary, bust out the grill and do some burgers, dogs, etc!  This would be awesome!

Marcello’s – Vinny knows pizza, and does it well.  This would be great too!

Jesters Café – OK Mike, how about some of your vodka rig, and other stuffed breads and sandwiches you do at the street fair….and don’t forget the crab cakes.

Under the Moon – OK Momma, Luigi, Santi, and Silvi, bring on the empanadas and some other stuff!

Tsukasa – I’m not sure what the sushi place could do, but I am sure there is something, and a good way to keep it cold.  How about tempura?

The Old Park Street Café – I know there is a new place in this location, and it is a woman’s name, but I can’t remember what it is called.  Regardless, I am sure they could do something good.

Huang’s Garden – I know, I have never even eaten at this place, but I know it is there.  Would it be hard to get a wok out there for some fried rice and egg rolls?

I am sure there are other places that I am missing, so feel free to chime in here on other places you would like to see!

Next, how about a monthly beer garden out there?  I am sure there is some kind of permit that the city would need to get, but I know this has been done before in the town center, and they even had some live music out there.  How awesome would that be to break up the week, and have live music and great beer on tap, to socialize with friends?  I know that the Farnsworth House has really stepped up their beer selection, adding a new beer tower, and featuring 22 different craft beers now on tap.  This would be awesome!  Cordon off an area, and let’s make it happen!   This could truly rock!

So for anyone else familiar with Bordentown City, what are some of your local suggestions?  I am sure there are many that people can think of, and it would be an awesome draw for in and out of towners!

In short, that is my vision to help market both Bordentown City, as well as the Farmer’s Market.  Maybe it is because I have my marketing hat on, and I am a marketing guy by trade, but this could really be benficial for the city!  God knows everyone likes to eat in a "carnival like" atmosphere with the rest of the "carnies" out there!

All in all, another fantastic night at the Farmer’s Market, and I look forward to seeing this awesome resource becoming something much bigger!  What are your thoughts?  Please leave your comments here!  Cheers!  -F. Scott


Heather said...

A great commentary and very much appreciated. Love the ideas and I hope to see more volunteers come forward and help with the planning. This Wednesday we will have a live band(lets hope for good weather). I would love to see a mini micro-brew beer garden too.

See you Wednesday.

NJFoodies said...

Heather: let us know if you need any help in the planning or logistics here. We are both marketing savvy, and would love to really turn this into something awesome! Truly looking forward to it! Cheers!