In case you missed out on the celebration of spring at the Farmers' Market this weekend, here's a tasty list of highlights and reasons to make your way to the newly renovated Market Hall--soon and often:
1. Fleur de Lis Flavors: Tanisha and Brian Hall's New Orleans-style snowball store is not like anything else in town. Forget about those paper cones filled with crunchy ball bearings of ice and sticky syrup--Fleur de Lis serves fluffy drifts of snow topped with vibrant rich flavors such as wedding cake and strawberries and cream. Of the seven varieties I tried, my favorite was coconut syrup with sweetened condensed milk, but Slow Food maven Robin Riddell was speechless over something that appeared to be mango, so I've gotta go back and keep working down the list.
2. B&C Market BBQ: Placed strategically at the front door, B&C caught me both coming and going with their tiny little sliders topped with pickles. Even after all those snowballs, I picked up a sandwich for the road.
3. Chef's Stage: During our visit, spicy Julia Helton was manning the Jenn-Air stove, serving up sauteed kale, slow-cooked pork and rabbit with homemade mole. The inside joke: Mole is made with chocolate, so it was a chocolate bunny! Good one, Jules. You want to know an even funnier joke? I told my kids it was chicken. Different chefs will host the market stage every Saturday.
4. Nooley's Shrimp Po'boy: Ever since Nooley's moved to its new spot across from Swett's, the New Orleans-style restaurant has had a range hood, which means it can deep-fry stuff. Market man Jeff Themm said the shrimp po'boy was the best thing this side of the beach.
5. Swagruha: A plate of chicken curry and rice at this Southern Indian buffet is striking spicy--no wussy seasoning to the least common denominator here. It's also surprisingly inexpensive, with all-you-can-eat clocking in at seven bucks.
For more information about the newly revamped market Hall, visit the Farmers' Market website, where you can sign up for a newsletter, listen to podcasts from chefs or follow the Market's Twitter feed.