With the holidays fast approaching, I thought this week would be a good time to share with you my all-time favorite place to shop for food (ready-to-eat meals and individual ingredients): the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market. It is 90,000 square feet of some of the highest quality, freshest food around and has an old-world-style that I love.
My trips there have a set pattern. I park smack dab in the middle of the lot, head inside and wind my way past 65 merchant stands, always stopping at my favorite three.
First would be Dan's Bar-B-Que. Dan's chicken is delicious, but their roasted carrots and potatoes are even better. Why? Because they're roasted under the chicken rotisserie and the flavor can't be beat. I also recommend their ribs. Whenever I stop there for lunch, I get picked on at the office cause their portions are enormous!
My second favorite is Charlie K's Pizza. I usually buy a do-it-yourself kit: three shells, sauce and cheese (I ALWAYS buy extra cheese). The shells are good, but I think it is the sauce that makes the pie. They make for a quick and easy meal.
The last of the "must" stops is the Hot Bagels & Deli merchant. Here you can get 24 varieties of bagels and several flavors of cream cheese, among other things. My only problem with the bagel guy is that most of the time he is not in the stand! Although I have to hunt him down almost every time, he is well worth the wait.
What are your favorite merchants at the Market?
One last thing: Plan to arrive at 4 p.m. on a Saturday to experience their auction-style market, and don't forget about their extended hours during the holiday season.