Hi there sports fans. More cheap eats feature in this entry, though be warned it does involve leaving the house before midday on a weekend…
A very strange thing has been happening to me lately. I think I might be growing up. Until recently Saturday mornings were reserved exclusively for lying on the couch watching crap telly, feeling awful and trying to reconstruct the events of the night before from whatever hazy memories I had managed to retain. Yet for some unfathomable reason this no longer seems appealing to me and I’ve been exercising some foreign concepts like “restrain” and “moderation” when partaking of a few end-of-the-week beverages. Consequently I’ve had a whole new world of possibilities opened up to me when Saturday rolls around. Free from the curse of a stomach that feels like I’ve swallowed a blender and a mouth that tastes like I’ve been licking asphalt for hours I’ve been able to leave the house and function like a normal human being. Last Saturday I took full advantage of this fact and accepted an invitation to join some friends on a trip to the Subiaco Farmer’s Markets, and I have to say it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while.
From the moment you arrive you’re surrounded by a world of interesting sights, colours and smells. There are stands selling produce, foodstuffs and goods of many wonderful and varied types and, most importantly in my book, some amazing food. Being quite hungry and confronted with a plethora of appealing eating options I did have a little trouble making up my mind as to what I wanted, but as soon as I laid eyes upon it I was lead into temptation by Diablo’s Oven; a stall offering three different types of breakfast calzone. That’s right folks, I’ll say it again, breakfast calzone. This ingenious blend of Italian cooking and Anglo-style breakfast food sounded too good to resist and before I knew it I was at the front of the queue and pleading for a Benediction (free range smoked ham & eggs with market fresh spinach and truffle hollandaise sauce, $12). However, I was obviously not the only one that liked the sound of it and their poor little wood fired oven was working at capacity and had a 20 minute wait for food. This, however, was no problem at all as I was able to simply pop next door for some Greek Delights From Tom the Greek (that’s literally the name of the stall) to tide me over till it arrived. Rocking an impressive moustache and thick accent, Tom provided me with some delicious spanakopita ($6) from his selection of home baked Hellenic treats and it was exactly what the doctor ordered. Grabbing a delicious coffee (made with Pound Coffee beans) we found a seat beneath a shady tree and commenced eating.
When it finally arrived my Eggs Benedict calzone was everything I’d hoped for and more. The salty ham and runny egg yolks combined perfectly in the crusty pastry case with the wilted spinach and decadent-but-not-too-rich hollandaise. Total finger lickin’ breakfast fusion genius. The beauty of eating at this kind of market is that everyone is free to have whatever they want, so others in our gang went for the Moroccan breakfast (which I have to say did look damn fine and I was close to getting) while a couple of the girls listened to their sweet tooth and had a crepe. Now while I didn’t get to taste everything myself, I was assured that it was all top notch, and judging by the way that everyone hoed in to their chosen breakfast fare I have absolutely no trouble believing them.
Feeling in the mood to properly pig out, I got another coffee and accompanied it with some macarons from the Maison Saint-Honore stall (6 assorted flavours for $10) and some kolokithopita (a sticky, sweet pumpkin and pastry dessert, $5) from Tom and his marvellous Greek moustache. I did share these sweet treats with the whole class by the way, so you can all stop judging me now thanks very much!
Mammoth eating session over, I thought I better take advantage of the excellent produce and other foodstuffs on offer (seeing as it was a market after all) and got some great Swiss brown mushrooms ($6 a bag) and a couple of loaves of bread (a light rye with pumpkin seeds on the outside and an awesomely dense fruit loaf). Seeing as I’d waited till just before the end of the morning the bakery was doing a two-for-one deal and I got both loaves for $7.50. Score!
Beyond the fantastic food and great produce for relatively low prices, farmer’s markets like this are just a really nice place to be in general. It has live music, is held in the shady grounds of a primary school, there’s a great buzz as people and families stroll about and this particular one even has an open Ukulele jam session where anyone can bring their uke and join in the fun. Now maybe it’s because I’m getting on a bit, but I definitely found it to be far more enjoyable than lying in a dark room smelling like a brewery and wondering why reality hurts so much. If I’m not careful I’ll turn in to a morning person. Yuk!