Smile Politely

Talking breakfast at the Market

You rolled out of bed and made it to the market in time to get your berries and your greens. Unfortunately, getting to the market early meant skipping breakfast and now, you are starving. By the time you get home and cook up your haul, you’ll be ready to gnaw off your own arm.

But, don’t undo all of your efforts to eat locally by hitting the drive-thru at the Golden Arches, not when there are better options just steps away.

With a name like Fryer Tuck’s you might expect the white vending trailer on the southeast corner of the market to be selling funnel cakes or mini doughnuts. But Fryer Tuck’s cooks up egg sandwiches made with local sausage from Triple S farms and English muffins from Dan and Paula Erwin. You’ll likely have to stand behind several of the market’s farmers to get yours, but it’s worth the wait. And for just $3, it’s hard to beat this breakfast to go.

If you’re in the mood to take a load off after shopping, head for the opposite end of the market where Harold Allston and his crew have turned The Great Impasta into C-U’s newest breakfast destination.

“Because of our proximity to the market, serving breakfast just seemed like the natural thing to do,” says Allston. In fact, if you are at the market around 7 a.m., you’ll likely see Allston pushing a restaurant cart through the market buying ingredients for the morning’s meal.

While this makes for a rather hectic schedule as the menu is literally set by 7:30 a.m., menus printed by 7:45 a.m., and the first coffee poured at 8:00 a.m., Allston wouldn’t have it any other way. “For years we’ve been having farmers deliver to our door. Now we can go to their doors,” says Allston, adding that shopping at the market allows him to work with even more local farmers.

Allston says he’s been consistently surprised with the offerings of the market’s vendors. So far The Great Impasta’s breakfast offerings have featured local eggs, cheeses, bacon, sausage, Swiss chard, asparagus, kale, mixed greens, strawberries, rhubarb, and even hydroponic tomatoes. Omelets, frittatas, and quiches are staples of the breakfast menu, as local eggs are prevalent and easy to build around, says Allston. “We also serve eggs benedict made with English muffins from Dan and Paula Erwin who are sharing our kitchen to make their breads and other baked goods for the market.”

Allston says he plans to serve breakfast throughout the market season. “It’s becoming very popular and the kitchen is enjoying getting to learn a new form of cookery. Breakfast is different than lunch or dinner, especially when you are cooking with eggs. It’s also been interesting to have guests come in and ask, ‘Where did you get the lamb sausage? So we’re getting to educate people about what all the market has to offer, which is an unexpected bonus.”

The Great Impasta serves breakfast until 11 am when the restaurant switches to its lunch menu.

Photo by Lisa Bralts-Kelly

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