The Spot: Tempe Farmers Market, open Sunday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. until 12 a.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. until 1 a.m.
See Also: - New India Bazaar in Phoenix: What We Bought, What We Skipped, and What We're Still Lusting Over - 10 Best Restaurants Near ASU Downtown Phoenix: Chow Bella's Back to School Guide - Chefs, What Are Your Three Favorite Local Products Right Now?
What We Bought: Somewhere between Gentle Strength Co-op being torn down and a new Walmart going in on the ASU campus, a small, scrappy food market cropped up featuring local produce and wares along with a decent ethnic selection. While the produce ch-ch-ch-changes with the seasons, our visit revealed some great deals. Local spaghetti squash ($2.99 per pound), Bartlett pears (39 cents each), local pesticide-free okra ($2.99 per pound) and sun jewel melons ($1.99 each) were all must-grab items from the produce aisle. We also picked up some Hungarian wax peppers from Maya's Farm, which are pretty much free per tiny pepper, since they're only $4.99 for a whole pound.
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Adorable local quail eggs at 49 cents each sit in a basket displayed between the much larger chicken and duck eggs. Farmers market favorites like Dr. Hummus brand hummus ($4.99) and pita chips ($8.99), Stone Grindz raw organic cookie dough bars ($5.99) and Crow's Dairy goat cheese ($5.99) are all available daily at TFM. Plus, if you're too lazy to walk 50 feet, whole bean Cartel Coffee is offered at $15 per pack.
What We Skipped: Weird stuff in cans are almost always subject to the skip list and canned herring fillets ($2.49) certainly make the cut this week. Not to be outdone in grossness, Sera's packaged stuffed eggplant ($3.79) promise "instant flavor" on the packaging, but we assume we're more likely to become instantly ill. Nothing like slimey, packaged eggplant full of God knows what. Our final skip this week was almost a grab due to cute packaging, but a small package of $6.49 chicken and cranberry dog treats from Tame That Tail was just too pricey for our pooch.
What We're Still Lusting Over: Very rarely do we get vegan envy, but the selection at Tempe Farmer's Market is pretty stellar for the meat-and-dairy-less crowd. Some of the best vegan cheese on the market, Daiya, is offered at $5.79 per wedge in a jack style flavor. TFM also has Field Roast mock sausages ($7.29) in Italian and Mexican chorizo styles, which could make a stellar pasta dish along with Victoria Vegan artichoke alfredo sauce ($8.79). One completely not vegan item that we know we'll be grabbing later is Crockett's local bee pollen ($24.99). One the wildflowers start blooming after monsoon season, this potent pollen might be our only defense against an intense allergy season.