So by now, I think it’s pretty obvious how much I love food markets (check out my post about Haymarket here). So I was really excited when I heard that the Boston Public Market opened up a little less than two weeks ago! I had to get down there to check it out!
Apparently the BPM had been in the works for the last 15 years however with 9/11 and the economy taking a ginormous dump, the progress was pretty much halted. The BPM is a year-round indoor market that runs Wednesday through Sundays from 8am to 8pm. It’s conveniently located in the same building as the Haymarket T stop which is a connection for the green and orange lines. For those of you who are familiar with, or read my post about the open air market I referenced above, it’s literally at the same location so you’d get a TON of variety in products on Fridays and Saturdays.
As well as being accessible by the T, you can also drive and park in the garage directly above the market. This garage (called Parcel 7) is validated by the front desk in the market for up to 3 hours! Each hour only costs a dollar so it’s probably the best kept short term parking secret in the city. However, the entrance is near impossible to find… I can attest to that from personal experience. I read all the reviews on Yelp and thought I had obtained the address that would lead me to the entrance of the building but it turns out I parked in a different parking garage… and ended up paying $24 for an hour and a half! EEK!!! But thankfully, it’s so close to many of Boston’s attractions (Fanueil Hall, the State House, Boston Commons/Gardens, etc) so you can make a day out of it!
The Boston Public Market has permanent food vendors in the building as well as a giant kitchen that will be used to host cooking class and demonstrations with talent from America’s Test Kitchen (where I used to work!) as well as some random yoga and fitness classes in there as well to utilize that amazing space.
Walking into the market, I was so incredibly impressed. The space was well thought out and totally modern in style. Everything was so clean and organized- I loved it! All of the stands there were either representatives from local farms or small businesses. I love shopping local and try to do that as often as I can to support the local economy.
I purposely didn’t eat breakfast before I went so I could grab a donut from Union Square Donuts (some might argue that they are the BEST donuts in the city) when we got there. I ordered the Hazelnut Crunch Donut ($3) and a half dozen glazed donut holes ($2.50). HOLY WOW YUM WHAT A GREAT DECISION. We then chatted up the girl working the counter for the next couple of minutes discussing how we had been looking forward to donuts all morning and how they’re also working hand in hand with Shake Shack for their concrete of the month since my roommate Allie works there! (Stay tuned for an interview with Allie about her job at Shack Shake, coming soon!)
While we munched our donuts, we wanted to take a spin around the building to sight see and figure out what we wanted to buy and from where. In addition to just food stands, there were also two stands that focuses on handmade plate and utensil wear! I wanted to buy it all but I haven’t hit the lottery yet, unfortunately. We were also really admiring a stand selling fresh cut flowers! So pretty!
I also noticed that the market had a couple community tables where you can sit and eat or chat with some of the workers/other market-goers. It really brought a sense of community to the establishment. However, I think my favorite idea was a wall that was entirely dedicated to a “Cookbook Exchange”. Similar to the idea of Leave a Penny, Take a Penny, you could bring old cookbooks with different notes or ideas written in it, and exchange it for another cookbook. I love love LOVE this idea. There’s nothing more inspiring to me than fostering a community around the love of food.
While not every single stand is completely up and running just yet since it only opened two weeks ago, it’s probably running at about 80% capacity right now. While looking at a couple fresh produce stands, we learned that one of the farms harvest the food only a day or two in advance before it comes to the market and is packed every day at 3am to be driven a hour to the market! Talk about fresh! Another stand was from Vermont and also brought local cheeses, eggs and dairy to sell. You could even watch fresh cider donuts being made! DROOL.
My favorite part of the day had to be when we visited a cheese stand and tasted four different products while discussing their qualities with a cheese monger. Free samples galore! I bought a quarter pound of cheese called Moses Sleeper which was basically a super flavorful brie. We also tried another cheese called Winnemere that tasted smoky with hints of bacon. There was one particular cheese I didn’t enjoy that tasted like mushrooms and smoke but I really am not a fan of mushrooms so that’ll explain it.
I left the Market with a boule of sourdough bread, a quarter pound of Moses Sleeper cheese, a whole bunch of pamphlets and recipes, and a stomach full of donuts. BEST. MORNING. EVER. Afterwards, Allie and I went to go sit in the park for about an hour to eat our bread and cheese and soak up the sun! Such a perfect day. I would HIGHLY recommend making a trip to go see the Boston Public Market! It’s only going to get better and better over the next couple weeks as more stands open! Who knows, maybe I’ll be there too!
Hope you enjoyed Food for Thought Thursday! Check back on Tuesday for another infamous OkCupid/dating life update! Why do I always get the weird messages!?
What’s your favorite part about food markets? Share your experience with me! Enjoy your weekend!