There are so many things I love about living in St. Petersburg: the beaches, the downtown waterfront, the restaurants, the seafood, the near-constant sunshine, the arts scene. There are so many things to do here, no matter the time of year.
One of the things that took some getting used to when I first moved here was that the seasons often seemed all turned around to me. The idea of staying inside away from the elements suddenly applied to the heat and rain of the summer, not the cold and snow of winter. And, our best farmers’ markets didn’t start for the season until October.
The Saturday Morning Market in downtown St. Pete is one of those magical sorts of places. The weather is (almost) always gorgeous, the weekend is just beginning, there are fun and friendly vendors, live music, and a true sense of community.
I love to go stock up on staples, and you never know what extras you’ll be able to take home with you. This weekend we walked away with some chipotle hummus, fresh pineapple, fish spread, Wood Fired Pizza, arepas, and peanut butter fudge (weird combo of items, perhaps, but delicious all the same). Oh, and tickets to one of next weekend’s Enjoy Arts & Tastes events (20% off, baby!).
My favorite vendors that I hit every single time are The Cheese Lodge (discounted prices on great cheese + free samples!), Empanada World (I’m looking at you, sausage and egg breakfast empanada), and Rudy’s Fresh Market. (I wish I could link to more vendors here, but I can’t seem to find good websites for them).
If you’ve ever been to the Saturday Morning Market, you know Rudy’s Fresh Market. They have a huge, beautiful selection of interesting produce, homemade treats like hummus and tabouleh, and they squeeze fresh orange and sugar cane juice right beside the stand where they peel and dice fresh pineapple.
Oh, and they sing.
Seriously, it’s like you walked into a delicious, heart-warming cartoon. I can’t say enough good things about them. In the years that I’ve been going to the market, I’ve seen three of the family’s six kids man this pineapple station, and I’m happy that most of the people waiting in line know that one of them is currently working towards med school.
Even my husband was inspired by some of our market finds this week. He experimented with four different kinds of shrimp: basil oil + Emeril’s fish rub, salsa verde + seafood dipping sauce, cocktail sauce + Sriracha, and fresh pineapple + lime juice. They were all really good, but the basil oil-fish rub shrimp were my favorite.
Do you like the four-compartment baking sheet I created for him? 🙂 And, can you tell I forgot to take a picture when they first came out of the oven?
I hope you had a great weekend, too!