The Market: The Farmers' Market at ASU
The Hours: From 9 a.m. til 2 p.m. every other Tuesday (Feb. 28, Mar. 13 and 27, April 10)
The Location: Just west of the Memorial Union and south of the Hayden Library on ASU's Tempe Campus.
The Parking: There are bike racks galore, but most all campus parking requires a pass, and outlying streets obey strict metered parking - though luckily you can be in and out this market in around 10 minutes if you so desired and knew what you were looking for.
The Vendors: You could seriously underestimate the effect that a farmers market has on the average college student. The fresh produce - the apples, bananas, oranges and avocados that used to go bad in fruit bowls during their high school years are now little beacons of hope, reminding them that lunch doesn't consist only of taco meat and chicken fingers, and dinner isn't just a burrito handed to you in a tin foil wrapper.
The vendors at the ASU Farmers' Market are fairly straightforward, and more importantly are located right by the Memorial Union in the center of campus so the students can't miss it.
Lunch vendors are a huge draw for that market that starts at nine and goes til' two. Most are happy to pass up on a meal at the food courts for a pulled pork sandwich from Pork On A Fork that will stack up a line during lunch hours, or Raimondos who make excellent eggplant parmigiana, Italian beef, and sausage and peppers that can be served to you in a take-away container or right then and there, laid down the center of a split sub roll.
For dessert we love Torched Goodness and their freshly fired creme brulee (vanilla, caramel sea salt, chocolate, etc.) for just four bucks a pop.
The only produce vendor is Taste of Paradise Farms who carry the most common items, and earn major kudos for providing recipe ideas posted on cards near their respective fruits and vegetables (i.e. mock mashed potatoes creates from smashed cauliflower and butter or tuna salad stuffed tomatoes). They give the encouragement of knowledge to novice cooks looking to spice up their kitchen lives. And that's just for the students lucky enough to have kitchens; you remember dorm life - microwaves and micro fridges. But even the simplest set-
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up can store a couple loaves from the break basket that you can be spread with prickly pear fruit jelly from the Cahill tent next door.
And you can do a great deal with the honey from The Health Foodie, to sweeten up yogurt or tea made in the microwave, or (sold at the same stand) poured over Premium Granola's blend of oats, wheat germ, almonds, sunflower seeds, vanilla, and maple syrup.
Best Tastes: Raimondos, Torched Goodness, Cahill, and The Health Foodie (all mentioned above) serve excellent flights of samples, no doubt so you can try the lot, pick your favorite, and tell your friends.