Friday, May 7, 2010

Local Heritage Pork at West Side Market!!!

Seems these days everyone is learning that the West Side Market has some very redeeming qualities. Something that's always been missing for me has been local, sustainable, and high quality beef and pork options. That's changing.

This weekend Foster's Meats will be selling pork from a heritage hog lovingly raised in Chardon by New Creations Farm. New Creations is run by great people, and their pork is beyond reproach. It's regularly featured on the menu at the Flying Fig, and if you know of a chef who demands higher quality sustainably sourced ingredients than Karen Small let me know (there are other places in the CLE using great stuff, I'm just sayin' I don't believe anyone is using anything better). The pork is unlike anything that's been available at the Market as long as I've been in town.

The idea is that if a vendor carries a super high quality product, and it sells, other vendors will do the same. Brian, the butcher at Foster's, was one of the only vendors even willing to take a chance in carrying something other than the Daisyfield pork that fills the Market. It sounds crazy--who wouldn't want to carry a superior product--but the Market has been a place of habit. Now things are changing.

While at the Market you may want to check out Ohio City Pasta. Gary, the owner, was an essential party in bringing in this new (for the Market) product, and is a champion for positive change at the Market. Also, I heart Kate's Fish, for some of the highest quality fish I've seen anywhere (i.e. even compared to big cities that we Clevelanders like to make ourselves feel second rate to). And as far as veggies go, I had some great Basketeria OH grown asparagus last night. They're tucked away in the semi-outdoor part of the Market and have a great organic/local focused stand.

Also, next up is grassfed beef. On the weekend of May 21, Foster's will be carrying Aaron Miller's highly touted beef. It's featured at the Fig too, and is used prominently by Doug Katz at Fire, the East side's answer to Ms. Small. It's on the Greenhouse Tavern's menu as well.

So here's hoping for a renaissance at the Market. There's just so much potential. And now there's top rate pork with grassfed beef to come. If we purchase these quality products we're looking at a much improved Market that will offer one stop shopping for even the pickiest of palates. I hope anyone reading this will help change the Market for the better by picking up some pork this week, and beef in another two.

Edited to add that due to a sanfu that pork will be there throughout this coming week--it wasn't available on Saturday. So if you're in the neighborhood . . . .

6 comments:

steve said...

I have been buying lamb from Brian for few years as he was suggested by Kate,so I suppose I will be getting some other meats from him. Hope you had a good time in the windy city.

The CFT said...

Hi Steve. His lamb is nice. I'm just hoping to see an improvement of the stuff at the Mkt. Also wouldn't mind skipping the drive to Shaker every Sat. Chicago, as it always is, was a good time. Avec (always Avec), Big Star Tacos (not bad, but it's no taqqueria), New Haven style pizza, pretty good espresso, and some great wine.

DianeS said...

Wow, what great news. Thanks for sharing the info on Foster's. Let's hope that this is only the start of more local products at the WSM!

The CFT said...

I'm with you Diane. If people buy the good stuff we'll only see more of it.

steve said...

Hey Tomato, Got some of the pork on Saturday, thanks for the tip. Even posted it on the Food Forum just to drum up business for Brian. Apparently beef to be there in about three weeks.

The CFT said...

Thanks Steve. Last I heard beef would be there on the 20th, but if 3 weeks is what Brian said that's likely the case. I'm excited to try the Miller beef.

Hope other people stopped by at the WSM and bought some stuff. New Creations is top quality for me, but those vendors just don't seem to into change or learning about new things. I haven't given up on the Market yet.