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“A Perfect Day at the Margate Farmers’ Market”

A Perfect Day
at the Margate Farmers’ Market
  from www.ediblecommunities.com/jersey/

Thursday, July 14, 2011
By John Howard-Fusco

Take a moment and try to picture a perfect day. What would all of the elements consist of if you could snatch them down from the shelves of The Perfect Day Store? I know how I would like to spend a part of that day: strolling casually through the Margate Farmer’s Market on a glorious July morning – warm enough to remind you that summer is here, but with a cool, gentle breeze off of the bay to take the sting out of the heat.

A farmer’s market? Really?

Seriously.

Located in the parking lot of Steve & Cookie’s By The Bay, the market is right across the street from the marinas that line the body of water called Beach Thorofare (aka “The Bay”). At first glance, the market looks a bit on the small side, but as you slowly wander in, you realize that there is much more going on. Formica Bros. Bakery, the famous one from Atlantic City, is here. Organic produce from JAH’s Creation Organic Farm is here. And also…

Tony Boloney’s is here! Of course, there is no actual Tony Boloney, but there is Michael Hauke, the man who created the pizzeria in Atlantic City that is developing quite a reputation. At his Tony’s Farm Table stand, you won’t find any pizza, but you will find homemade mozzarella, breads and pretzels, and sauces. Taking a brief break from explaining the different offerings (which he is more thanhappy to do), Michael told me that his experience at this farmers’ market has been wonderful. He was clearly having a good time, even when one of his customers was nagging him to move his mozzarella out of the direct sun into the shade. And yes, he did move them.

Fresh seafood is here! The beauty of a farmers’ market close to water is that you get to have seafood vendors as well. You like clams? Clam Daddy’s out of Brigantine raises  hard clams in their own hatchery and offer easy instructions and recipes for steaming and grilling them. I wanted to grab a bag of 50 and shuck ‘em and eat ‘em raw right then and there. I also wanted to grill up some of that sea bass caught by Patrick Irwin of Patcong Seafood Company. But if I wanted stone crabs, I was out of luck: he was already sold out of them (make a mental note: get there extra early for crabs!).

You know what else is here? Lots and lots of happy people shopping. For a Thursday morning, the place was packed with locals and summer vacationers alike. Ah, a nice haul of fresh produce and seafood, some time to lay out by the water, then a soul soothing meal made from the aforementioned items – wait a minute! That’s not just part of a perfect day; that IS a perfect day!

— John Howard-Fusco

Weekly Market: Thursdays, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
9700 Amherst Ave. (corner of Amherst & Monroe Aves. Steve & Cookie’s By the Bay parking lot)
Open through September 1st