A sure sign that the weather has turned for the better in Edmonton, is when our seasonal markets start welcoming the crowds. Today saw the gates open on the City Market Downtown, and I don’t think there could have been a more perfect day.
Thinking the crowds might be anxious after winter’s slumber, I arrived well before opening and had a good chance take in the sights. My description of the market might not do it justice, so I’ll just pass along what the non-profit organization has already put in stone – The City Market Downtown on 104th has been a part of Edmonton’s downtown culture for more than a century. Renowned for our unparalleled selection of farm-fresh produce, dairy, meat, eggs and cheese, we also offer an eclectic mix of handcrafted jewellery, delectable baking, unique fashions & accessories, original artwork and stylish home décor. Today, the City Market attracts thousands of visitors from across Edmonton and surrounding communities each weekend – people like you who are drawn by the quality of our vendors and our hip, friendly, urban atmosphere. Come for a visit – getting here is easy.
A beautiful day was developing by the minute, and before I knew it, familiar faces were popping up. From the always lovely Sharon and Mack, to Kevin, to Valerie, and a new face for me, Maria, the conversations were just as good as the food it seemed. Speaking of food, it seemed the hot commodity on this day was the seasons first asparagus crop, which created a lineup well before the opening bell.
With food stalls offering everything from corn to hot dogs, baked potatoes to Mexican, I decided to stop by Fili Stix. Stationed downtown during the week, and the market on Saturdays, this little stall has decided to change things up this year. Instead of a focus on meat skewers, they are putting their attention on slow cooked meats like pulled pork and beef.
I decided to go with the pork belly bun and it didn’t disappoint. A toasted bun encased a fantastic mix of fillings. Shredded cabbage and hoisin sat below the pork, while an addictive pineapple salsa sat on top, along with a few slices of cucumber, cilantro and scallion. Combine all those distinct flavours with fatty and lean pieces of belly and you have one delicious bite after another. I think it’s always interesting for food stalls to move from their original focus, but with offerings like this, it’s clear they know what they are doing.
For a better look at the market, slide over to Mack’s Flickr feed, or just head down next Saturday and discover things for yourself!