Today was the final Saturday Market of the season at Boylan Heights’ Rebus Works. Boo.
But what a market it was …
I took my bag because I need a selection of root veggies to cook for Thanksgiving, but funnily (and unusually) enough the market was veggie free! However, plenty of the types of vendors that make the Saturday Market my favorite were on hand — and there was a small food truck rodeo, to boot.
Okay, I have a confession to make. If I’m not careful, I’m well on my way to greatly reducing my “I’m-a-98-percent-pescatarian” claim. In fact, I might already have dropped to 96 or 97 percent. And it’s not even lamb that’s my been my undoing — it’s sausage. I’ve been craving it, and I’m not exactly sure why.
Perhaps it’s due to the recent rise in popularity of local artisanal sausage-making. (I already waxed eloquent about J. Betski’s spicy kielbasa. If your only experience with this type of sausage is from Hillshire Farms, foreswear it forever and run, don’t walk, to J. Betski’s.)
I’ve always loved good (read: real, authentic) German-style bratwurst. But until not too long ago, the most readily available sausages were commercial, nationwide brands. No appeal there for me, so it was easy to eschew charcuterie.
But now that good, handmade sausages are more prevalent, I’m hooked. What flavor! And I feel better about eating sausages made from local, grass-fed animals raised humanely and without hormones, antibiotics and etc.
So, now on to what I enjoyed at the market. (Enough foreshadowing for you?!)
I was leaning toward a smoky polish sausage sandwich from Farmhand Foods’ Sausage Wagon, but went with the spicy Italian based on several market-goers’ rhapsodic comments and the wagon guy’s recommendation. It was served in a fantastic Guglhupf roll and topped with an awesome, bright fennel chow chow and spicy mustard. Holy moly, it was good.
Paired with a cup of Fullsteam brewery’s Working Man’s Lunch stout (is there anything better than a midday beer? I think not), it made my solo meal one of those “golden moments.” The sky was bright blue, the air crisp but warmed by the winter sunshine, and the sounds of passing trains and a small crowd cheering for wrestlers was just perfect.
Wrestlers, you ask? In honor of the last market day, Gouge (Gimmicks Only Underground Grappling Entertainment) Wrestling was on hand. After I ate, I took in a couple of hilarious, over-the-top bouts. Stragglers from the just-ended Raleigh Christmas parade wearing things like Santa hats and a Dickensian velvet cape (someone in the parade, I’m guessing) made the whole affair quite entertaining and surreal.
I also sampled and then purchased a jar of Bill’s Lemon Tahini dressing/sauce. (Have any of you been around Raleigh long enough to remember the now-defunct Rathskeller Restaurant on Hillsborough Street? Well, the lemon tahini was well-loved, and Bill was the kitchen manager. I’m sure he, too, was well-loved!)
And I brought home a chocolate cherry scone from Sweets, which I’m saving for later. Probably much later, with Saturday Night Live on the TV and me wrapped in a blanket on the couch.