Gaslight Square -- on the southeast corner of Indian School and 36th Street -- has become a hub for culinary delights, with Crudo, Beckett's Table, and Nook located in the same plaza. Recently, Jennifer's Catering opened a brick-and-mortar location in the southwest corner of the plaza to add to the options for dining in Arcadia. With grab-and-go options for breakfast and dinner, an array of olives and brined veggies, freshly baked pastries, and separate lunch and dinner menus, The Market by Jennifer's has a lot to offer for diners and on-the-go eaters, if you're willing to fork out the money for it.
Walking in for the first time, The Market seems to fit right into the other restaurants in the area. It's a beautiful space with crystal chandeliers, rustic woodblock counters and food prominently displayed throughout the dining area. There are menus on the wall when you first enter for lunch, dinner, dessert, nosh boards, and even a kids menu. However, you can also choose to just grab a cheese and raspberry jam Danish, get curbside catering, or try out one of their pre-made meal options for the road.
The continental breakfast bags ($8) come in two varieties, one with a focus on the pastry and the other with cheese, meat and eggs. Heat and serve dinners, like roasted chicken ($12), grilled salmon ($14), chicken mole enchiladas ($12), and baked ziti ($9) are also a good quick option for eating on the go, keeping in the catering tradition.
We stopped in for lunch expecting a $8 to $10 price point, which seems to be standard for upscale lunch joints. However, the lunch entrée options all range between $11 and $13. Opting for the chicken schnitzel sandwich ($12), we were asked if we wanted a side, which are $4 or $5 extra depending on what you get. We got the herbed fries ($4) and an iced tea to accompany our schnitzel sandwich, amounting to a $20 lunch not including tip.
The chicken schnitzel was a delicious, crispy alternative to your typical fried chicken sandwich on a buttery brioche bun with grain mustard, julienned potatoes and bread and butter pickles. While those components were delicious together, half of the sandwich was a huge wedge of iceberg lettuce, which did little more for the dish than make it unwieldy. The fries were crunchy and golden, but $4 is a lot for fries, unless they're fried in duck fat.
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We also nibbled on the roasted cherry tomato salad with little mozzarella balls and basil on a mini brioche. While the flavor was there in the light, fresh dish, the tiny portion didn't warrant the $8 price tag. The butternut squash soup was velvety, smooth, creamy, flavorful, and most deserving of its price, though $7 is still a bit steep for a bowl of soup.
Overall, the food at The Market is no disappointment, we just can't see becoming regulars at their current pricing. Twenty dollars for a chicken sandwich, fries, and an ice tea is a little outrageous, though we will likely be back for the rustic pastries and quick meal options. We're certain that the new staff will also grow to be more comfortable and quick in service over time, so our only qualm with The Market is just those prices. Bring them down $2 or $3 in most cases, and we'll be sold.