Monday, May 23, 2011

Nashville Farmer's Market

  Cole and I work downtown, right on 4th and Church, and while there are plenty of amazing restaurants in downtown Nashville, lunch options can become a bit tedious to say the least. With the weather getting warmer and bathing suit season creeping closer and closer, we decided to try the Nashville Farmer's Market for a fresh alternative.

 Let me start by debunking any myths, as The Nashville’s Farmer Market is not like any other farmer’s markets I have been to. It is a hub of hot spot restaurants, with vendors that bring to the table different, inspired options that are always made fresh and from the finest ingredients. With every option from Jamaican fare to Artisan Marshmallows and New Orleans style Snowballs, the Nashville Farmer’s Market can cover anyone’s tastes.

  Cole’s face lit up the second he saw Swagruha Indian cuisine, and realized he was actually going to get to eat Indian food without feeling guilty that there was nothing on the menu for me. Cole ordered a mix of the Buttered Chicken and Chicken Curry with Basmati Rice ($6). The chicken was very tender and the meal was evenly spiced and Cole liked it enough to eat every bite with just a little rice left over. I finished it for him as my plain taste buds love white rice with a little but of the curry sauce and I thought it was just the perfect spicy for someone who shies away from overpowering flavors.

  I went the Mexican route at El Burrito Mexicano and had one Chicken and one Beef taco for $1.75 each. While the shells were corn tortilla which most people love, I found them to be a little bland and ended up eating the chicken and beef out with a fork, sans the shells. The chicken and beef were both the best quality meats I have ever had in tacos and while I should have ordered some tortilla chips to scoop it up with, I was very happy with my meal.

   Now comes the best part; all of the sweets we tried after our meal. Our first stop was the Bang Candy Co. “trailer”. This is the cutest food stand I have ever seen that serves gourmet marshmallows and homemade flavored sodas. Cole tried the Toasted Coconut Marshmallow ($5 for 4) that was not only gorgeous but also delicious and huge! These marshmallows would also be the perfect favor for a Nashville themed wedding or as gifts to send out to of towners.

  As we continued walking, we were offered a sample of a homemade cookie from Dozen A Nashville Sweet Shop and after one taste, we bought a chocolate chip cookie for each of us to take home. These large cookies are made with all local and organic ingredients, with big chocolate chips that were to die for after about 20 seconds in the microwave.

Last, but definitely not least, we had an outstanding strawberry shortcake made by Katy of Foxy Baking Co. These shortcakes were fresh biscuits that had the moist taste and consistency of Angel food cake with the crunch and taste of a breakfast scone. She piled on the fresh strawberry confection right before our eyes and then topped it off with a whipped cream that I am positive she made herself as well. This treat did not make it home and while sinfully delicious it was also surprisingly light.

  There are so many options at the Farmers Market that this is going to have to be a multi trip project for us to even begin to try all of what it has to offer (for a list of all of the vendors, click here). I also don’t want to leave out all of the beautiful, locally gown veggies and fruits for sale as well as the goods market on the opposite side. One of my closest friends Tess (who just got engaged to an amazing man, Congrats!) just moved to Nashville from New Orleans this month, so we have planned another trip to take her and Matt to specifically try the Fleur de Lis New Orleans style gourmet snowballs, which I have heard nothing but amazing things about.

  The Nashville Farmer’s Market is often forgotten in the conversation of great places to eat and visit while in Music City but it definitely shouldn’t be. They even feature special events such as the Night Market and Education classes. It’s the perfect place to get a real feel of what Nashville is about, a place to escape from the hustle of working downtown, and a great option for couples that do not necessarily always enjoy the same flavors but don’t want to eat at separate restaurants.

Ratings for Nashville Farmer's Market: (Scale 1-10)

Happy Hour - Individual Specials Vary
Taste - 8.5
Ambiance - 6.5
Overall - 7

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