Monday, May 25, 2009

Farmers' Market at the Metreon

The Sony Metreon is going through a transformation, probably dropping the Sony name soon since it's been taken over by the Westfield shopping empire (they already operate the San Francisco Centre on Market Street). And one of the latest additions to fill up the empty spaces while the "real" transformation occurs is a daily farmers' market in the old Discovery Store spot, called the Island Earth Farmers Market.

One thing nice about a farmers' market that's opened every day is that you can even visit it on a holiday, like today when I went on Memorial Day after spending the day at AT&T Park watching the Giants finally get their bats swinging to beat the Braves. So I went to celebrate over some fresh fruits and vegetables.

The market has a mix of local farmers, food vendors and arts and crafts booths. And since it's opened into the evening (for those after-work food shopping errands), the produce selection can be plentiful or waning depending on the time of day.

See what I mean? These tomatoes actually look like a work of art to me, but it's probably because the vendor didn't have a lot of supply or it's the end of the day and he/she's running out. It'll probably take some time for the collection of farmers to gauge the supply and demand.

When you walk through the front entrance of the market, there are a few food vendors and it actually makes it smell good. I did try this great dessert empanada from a vendor called El Porteno, and it was made with banana and dulce de leche (he's from Argentina). I really liked the crust and the filling was tasty but not overly sweet. And it was just $1.50. (He sold savory empanadas for $3 each.)

You can tell there's still challenges to the market, like the odd layout that gets squeezed in the center, making it difficult to walk if the place is crowded, and the weird flourescent lighting that gives the place a dingy feel. It's not like this is the only market that's indoor (the popular Vancouver market is indoors and still do well), but it just needs to adjust the look so it doesn't look tired when it's only a week old. Still, I do like the daily hours, giving people in SOMA a place to get farmer fresh produce every day.


foodhoe said...

Interesting venue to have a farmers' market, it kind of looks like a demonstration market in a convention hall... but since I love farmers markets, I will have to check it out. Is the Imax theatre still there? Hmmm movie and then produce shopping...

Cookie said...

I had no idea that the Metreon has been taken over by Westfield! I swear they're taking over the world! I like the Farmer's Market idea though since we won't be slaves to junk food at the movies anymore!

Carolyn Jung said...

I can't wait to check out this new farmers market. Over the weekend, I wrote a story in the Chronicle about Tru Gourmet ( opening up a stand at that farmers market. They specialize in organic dim sum. Nice to know I don't have to go quite so far to get it now, since they only sold at Marin County farmers' markets before.

Bonnibella said...

Interesting, I didn't know they had a farmer's market. Thanks for the tip.

Single Guy Ben said...

Foodhoe, I think the IMAX theater is still operating, so yeah, get some fresh fruits for the movie or afterwards!

Cookie, I'm sure popcorn will still be popular for the movies. But how about kettle corn! Now that'll be a big seller if they had that at the market.

Carolyn, I saw the organic dim sum. It looked ok, not necessarily really enticing. But I ended up with the empanada!