Sunday, October 31st: BOO!!! How About Some Market Treats!

I spent Saturday afternoon partying with Dante Rivera, his staff and his friends, family and fans to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Dante's Inferno Dogs. In fact, Dante's is the same age as your Ballard Farmers Market. We both were born in the summer of 2000 here on the mean streets of Ballard. One could say we grew up together. In fact, Ballard Farmers Market has nurtured, or incubated, a number of businesses over the years. Indeed, it is one of its roles. Today, let's take a look at our five prepared food vendors, four of which developed their businesses by vending at Ballard Farmers Market to the point where they now have storefronts. And vending at Ballard Farmers Market seems to give our vendors a unique sense of community that they carry with them as they grow, as evidenced by Dante's support of other Market vendors in his business, and the party he threw today. Thanks, Dante!

Patty Pan Grill is another one of our bedrock vendors. You may be one of the throngs of people who enjoy one of their veggie quesadillas every Sunday, but you may not realize that Devra gets most of those veggies directly from our many farmers each week. You should just see her load up on boxes of veggies at the end of the Market each Sunday. And if you can't wait to get your weekly fix, you'll be excited to learn that Patty Pan Grill just opened, last week, a new storefront at 23rd & Madison in the Central District, just a short distance from our sister Madrona Farmers Market. The menu there will change daily and will be seasonally based, using ingredients from our Market farmers and other local farms.

Veraci Pizza is another Market vendor that now has a storefront -- theirs at 5th & Market here in Ballard. From Veraci's humble beginnings with its pizza oven wagons in our market system, Veraci Pizza has expanded to operating multiple wagons throughout the Seattle area on any given day, as well as doing so in Portland and Spokane, too. So great has the legend of Veraci grown that Food Network Canada interviewed owner Marshall Jett at Ballard Farmers Market earlier this year for a series they are doing on great street food in North America, due to air in the next year.

Market Mini Donuts is our most recent addition. It is a sibling business to Ballard Farmers Market's founding farm, Anselmo's. These little suckers are nothing short of addictive, and since they're small, you don't have to feel as guilty about polishing off a dozen of them! They actually were slinging their donuts at Dante's party yesterday afternoon. Their chocolate coated donuts, if you ever get a chance to try them, are outrageously good. I finally forced myself to stop eating them when, well, they ran out.

You may wonder why I don't have a lovely, close up photo of Anita's Crepes, our fifth prepared food vendor, that also now has a storefront of its own, on Leary Way across from Hales Brewery in Frelard. Well, the simple answer is that the line at Anita's is always so long, it is hard for me to get close enough to get such a photo. You see that black canopy on the left in the photo above? That's Anita's. Now, you see that sea of humanity stacked up in cue for Anita's Crepes -- that wall of people? They wait patiently for a long time to get their crepes. I am not going to risk my life by trying to barge into that line, or get inside their booth and slow them down, lest that mob becomes unruly!

Hey, there's lots of other deliciousness to be had amongst the many tables of your Ballard Farmers Market. Bluebird Grain Farms is here today, but then they'll be gone for a couple of weeks, so stock up on grains and flours now. Today will likely be the last for corn, peas, tomatoes and many other sensitive summer crops, so grab them while you can. Mind you, it is the last day of October. In a normal weather year, these crops would have come and gone weeks ago! Autumn Martin returns with her Hot Cakes! today. Yunmers! These little cakes that you take home and pop in your oven that come out all molten chocolate are to die for! And you'll find lots of great fall crops, from apples and pears to winter squash, sunchokes and Brussels sprouts.

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check the What’s Fresh Now! listings in the upper right-hand corner of this page for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now!