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A Tasty Saturday

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A trip to the Farmer’s Market was just the beginning.     By Judi Gallagher   On Saturday I decided to take a stroll around the Farmer’s Market downtown. I parked down on Palm Avenue and walked up to get a little exercise. What I did not anticipate was the direction of the breeze that […]

March 12, 2007


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A trip to the Farmer’s Market was just the beginning.  
 
By Judi Gallagher
 
On Saturday I decided to take a stroll around the Farmer’s Market downtown. I parked down on Palm Avenue and walked up to get a little exercise. What I did not anticipate was the direction of the breeze that day. It caught me as I was walking, wafting the sweet smell of Italian sausages grilling beside a golden bed of sweet onions and green peppers. They had me at the first breeze! For $5, you can enjoy a sausage and pepper sandwich as good as the ones I used to enjoy on a July weekend at the Italian Fiesta in Gloucester, Ma. Feeling just a slight bit guilty, I inhaled it in three bites.


Scents of Italy: The sausage and peppers seduced me even before I saw them.
 
The find of the day was the abundance of fresh Brussels sprouts at one of the produce stands. When someone from out of town inquired why I was taking a picture of Brussels sprouts, I mentioned the obvious freshness evidenced by the closed leaves, the green color and the moistness of the baby cabbage stems. I guess I should have shared with him that I am a food writer, as he just scratched his head and moved on, still  not sure why I was wanting  to photograph a pile of vegetables.


Green scene: super-fresh Brussel sprouts at the Farmer’s Market.

 
Alas, I had built up an appetite again and decided to have lunch at Taste of Asia just a block away (1535 Main Street, 941-365-2728).


Asian delights: Adi at Taste of Asia

 

It was an absolute home run with my choice of bun pork and an order of three loves. The bun is a traditional Vietnamese dish with vermicelli mixed with shredded lettuce (in this case, fresh crisp Romaine) fresh mint, bean sprouts, cucumber, fried onion, scallions and roasted peanuts and served with a light fish sauce. What makes the Taste of Asia’s version stand out is the essence of fresh lemongrass married with the seasoned grilled pork. The three loves—and yes they are—include crispy duck, fried chicken breast and grilled jumbo shrimp on a bed of mixed vegetables with ginger sauce. It’s Asian cuisine perfected.
 
 Equally enjoyable was the fine service provided by Adi and great conversation with Taste of Asia regulars Judy and Jim Gore, who all seemed a little surprised at the amount of food I ordered for one. Thank goodness they didn’t know about the sausage and peppers!
 
Do you have a favorite booth or buy at the Farmer’s Market or other dining discovery to share with readers? Please post below, or e-mail me at judig@sarasotamagazine.com.