Like a food-vending phoenix, Eastern Market rises today from the fire that ravaged the historic hall two years ago. Take chef Peter Smith’s advice on filling your basket in the newly renovated space.
One Brine Day
To put a pucker in your pout, don’t miss In a Pickle. The vendor has vats of pickled veggies, but the best are marinated mushrooms and sour pickles (though you can find half sour, too).
“Once, I bought a half pound of mushrooms, stored them at work, then ate the whole thing on my ride home.”
Real chefs eat before shopping (and during and after). Smith starts with breakfast at Market Lunch, the retro diner serving tastes of nostalgia at a communal table.
“I always order the blueberry pancakes.”
Bowers Fancy Dairy Products is not to be missed. The award-winning curdsmen and -women stock international cheeses alongside hand-dipped Cherry Glen chevre and Meadow Creek Dairy’s Grayson.
“For years, it was the only place chefs would go to stock up on cheese. They have everything.”
Go Whole Hog
Jowls, knuckles, ass, bacon. Oh, sweet music to your ears. Canales Quality Meats cooks and carves porkers from head to tail (and other meats, too, if that matters).
“When I first came across [them], I fell in love. They smoke the whole pig.”
You’ve got 30 minutes to put together a meal on the fly. Ready? Go. Start with Smith’s favorites (shave cheese on the marinated mushrooms, couple with smoked pig), then pick up whole fish from Southern Maryland Seafood’s fishmonger and collards to sauté from a vendor outside.
“You could easily put together a meal for 100 people if you wanted.”
Eastern Market, 7th Street, at North Carolina Avenue SE (easternmarketdc.com). Ribbon cutting today at 10:30 a.m.