While the City Market is my go-to destination for seasonal produce and other groceries, the 124 Street Grand Market is a great mid-week destination for a fun evening out. In its first year, it did a great job highlighting the fact that a market isn’t just a shopping hub, but also a place for people to meet, eat, and linger. Their “food truck alley” encouraged patrons to expect great dinner options, and an expanse of tables to enjoy supper al fresco. The musical buskers were a bonus, and created a lovely atmosphere in which to drink in long summer nights.
The 2013 season for the 124 Street Grand Market kicked off this evening. The skies threatened rain, but this didn’t deter the modest crowds from celebrating the market’s return.
124 Street Grand Market
Four trucks offered plenty of options, and included Drift, Nomad, Little Village and Sailin’ On. My sister and I took this opportunity to give Sailin On’s vegan dishes a spin, and ordered the BLT ($8), containing coconut bacon, lettuce, tomato, carrot, and a homemade garlic vegan mayo.
We weren’t sure what to expect from the coconut bacon, but after trying it, were shocked at how the texture and taste so closely mimicked meat bacon. We learned that the coconut bacon was comprised of roasted coconut flavoured with spices, but besides a hint of coconut, it was a pretty impressive stand-in!
Felicia was almost fooled!
We also indulged in an ice cream sandwich from Cookie Love. Over the weekend, they picked up their bicycle-powered cart from Portland, and though it isn’t quite finished (awaiting decals and an umbrella), it was ready for its first trial run at the market.
Mike from Cookie Love
I bought an ice cream sandwich ($5), made up of a double chocolate chip cookie, regular chocolate chip cookie and vanilla ice cream. The cookies were thin enough to make it easy to eat, and were as soft as they could be having come out of a freezer. It was a nice treat on a warm night.
Ice cream sandwich
It was great to see some new vendors out as well, including Duchess. Giselle explained that although the shop was quite busy on market nights, it made sense to have an actual presence at the market. To sweeten the deal for shoppers, Duchess developed specific products that are exclusive to the market, such as marshmallow macarons and a line of bottled drinks. As you can expect from Duchess, everything was beautifully-packaged and gift ready!
Duchess iced teas and lemonades
This market is also a great place to find funky treasures and gifts. Tonight, we stumbled upon Kristine MacDonald’s “yeglaces”, silver/copper charms in the shape of our fair city, with a river etched through it.
Although I don’t (yet) own a bike, it was such a novel idea to have a bike repair specialist on-site. Instead of park and ride, how about a tune-up and dinner?
Congrats to Krista and her team on a great first day!
124 Street Grand Market
108 Avenue & 124 Street
Every Thursday evening from 4-8pm until October 3, 2013