A roving food fest that spans close to 50 stalls, one should approach the Taste of the Farmers Market with the precision of a military campaign. Fire away at starters, appetizers, a main course, dessert, and maybe even a couple of alcoholic drinks, all while you walk the stalls. Of course, there will be the occasional line to contend with, but since your magic wristband allows you to sample everything, you end up wandering around, your belt straining, vowing to try just one more place, or go back to the one you missed.
The best advice is to come hungry and arrive early -- the event runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. -- and help celebrate the Farmers Market's 79th birthday. You might try showing up first at newbie stall Zia Valentina, where you can get one of their Sicilian ice cream / Slurpee concoctions (also known as a Granita) as a starter.
If you're a meat or fish lover, you can indulge in some generous portions at two of the market's oldest tenants: Tusquellas Fish & Oyster Bar is sure to provide mouthfuls of wild jumbo shrimp with cocktail sauce and some French fries, while family-owned Marconda's Meats might offer a juicy pinch (or two, if you're polite) of their Wagyu Top Sirloin.
The Gumbo Ya Ya at the Gumbo Pot is a winner for almost everyone -- regular or rookie -- but not everything at Taste of the Farmers Market is carnivore heaven. The Veggie Grill has kale Caesar salad, and The Village might cook up a batch of spinach and cheese boreka. There are even doggie treats for four-legged visitors at The Three Dog Bakery.
Alternatively, you could spend the night basking in the bad-but-good stuff: Nutella crêpes at the French Crêpe Co, buttermilk donut holes at Bob's Coffee and Donuts and mini-scoops of ice cream at Bennett's next door. Expect a chocolate fondue bar from Dylan's Candy Bar, a cherry dollop from Pinkberry, and some good old English toffee at the Magic Nut & Candy Co. to round out the event. Plus Loteria Grill, Du-Par's, Moishe's -- the list is nearly endless.
Looking for any final tips before you make plans to be at Taste of the Farmers Market on July 16th? Slow and steady wins the race. Stop for regular refreshment (you'll find juices and sodas available, in addition to the two bars), and if you stay until the end, try making one last round to make sure there's nothing you missed.