Let's Eat: Richland Farmers Market covers meals and treats – Main Street Nashville

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Cocorico’s ham, butter and brie baguette can be found at Richland Farmers Market.

Cocorico’s ham, butter and brie baguette can be found at Richland Farmers Market.
• Richland Farmers Market, 4711 Charlotte Ave., Nashville.
It’s getting cooler and going to a farmers market may not be at the top of your list. But this is prime time. There are still late summer vegetables like tomatoes and peppers and now those cold-weather crops like broccoli and cauliflower are coming in.
This is where I take a hard left. Vegetables are fine. I endorse them. But at the Richland Farmers Market, 4711 Charlotte Ave., there are an equal number of prepared food purveyors that offer one-of-a-kind foods ready to eat on the spot or take home for later.
I have my favorites – way too many. Here are my top picks.
Cocorico: This French bakery produces the most delectable baguette ever. You can buy them naked or go for one of their sandwiches. My go-to is the ham, butter and brie baguette. So simple, yet so complex with really good ham, quality butter and creamy brie. Cocorico also makes a mean quiche, French chocolate cake and croutons from those fabulous baguettes.
Reel ‘Em In Seafood: Seafood is pricey these days, sad to say. Reel ‘Em In sells shrimp, scallops and other seafood and it will cost you. Quality does that. But cut a bit of a corner and opt for the Maryland Crab Dip. The dip has that signature Old Bay seasoning vibe and the chunks of crab are ample. Eat it with crackers or make a crab melt situation by piling it on a piece of toasted baguette and melting a slice of Swiss cheese on top. Reel ‘Em In also has dips with smoked tuna, shrimp and salmon.
Caitypies: It’s all about the lard, baby. Caitypies makes the crust for its pastries from lard and butter, producing an ultra-flaky rich pie crust. The fillings are both sweet and savory and truly original. The flavors rotate so you might find whiskey sweet potato and apple pear chai one day and blueberry lemon the next. The hand pies are perfect for noshing as you stroll from stall to stall at the market.
Jim’s Spaghetti Sauce: It’s not like any other sauce you’ve ever had. Meaty, but slightly sweet and spicy. It originated at a famous restaurant in Huntington, W.Va. and now it’s here in Nashville, made in small batches. It’s perfect on pasta, of course, but it also makes a lovely base for a shepherd’s pie or a topping for chili dogs.
Mama Yang and Daughter Dumplings: Who doesn’t love a good dumpling? Mama Yang’s have a supple homemade wrapper with super savory fillings of pork and cabbage, chicken and mushrooms and pork and corn. They come frozen with very detailed heating instructions and include an umami bomb of a sauce for dipping.
Fat Belly Pretzels: These soft and chewy pretzels literally have a fat belly at the bottom of the twist. Imminently dippable in sauces that include sharp cheddar, whipped pimento cheese and horseradish mustard. Fat Belly’s cookies, including a deep chocolate one, have bits of crispy pretzels throughout.
The Salty Cubana: Cuba comes to Nashville with bright flavors in the empanadas with picadillo (ground beef and lamb with veggies, raisins and capers), coconut creamed corn, and collards and cheese. The ham croquettes are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Don’t leave without a sweet treat of puff pastry filled with guava and cream cheese.
The Horn Coffee & Chai: Try a chai, but don’t miss the traditional Ethiopian sambusas. The pastry is delicate and crispy. The fillings include beef with spicy serrano peppers and onions, chicken with potatoes and vegetarian with carrots, peas and green beans.
Catherine Mayhew is a former restaurant critic for The Charlotte Observer, cookbook author and master BBQ judge. Follow her @thesouthinmymouth on Instagram to see what she’s eating and email her at [email protected] with suggestions on your favorite restaurants and food trucks.
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