Like the sudden pullout of Delilah Winder from the Reading Terminal Market. Or the arrival of spring.
Officially, the market hopes to welcome back Delilah when her bankruptcy/financial issues are resolved. Market GM Paul Steinke would love to see Delilah back -- the bankruptcy court told him Delilah's could be re-open in just a few weeks -- given Delilah's high visibility through her Oprah connection and Food Network exposure. But he's got to be thinking of bringing in another soul food restauranteur if that doesn't happen.
Another change, this one no surprise: Flying Monkey Bakery moved to its new location in the former Spataro's spot this past week. Which reminds me: I neglected to pick up some whoopie pies this morning!
Flying Monkey's move clears the way for a faster pace of work on the remainder of the Avenue D improvement project at the market, especially the Rick Nichols Room, the multi-purpose room to be located behind the bakery's old spot and adjacent to La Cuchina at the Market, Anna Florio's institution of higher culinary education.
Work should begin next month on Wursthaus Schmitz in what's now seating space behind Flying Monkey, with opening hoped for before Memorial Day, the official start of grilling season. The connection? Bratwurst!
A bit later on the schedule will be Valley Shepherd Creamery, which will locate along Avenue D across from Molly Molloy's. They aim to open in late spring. Chief Shepherd Eran Wajswol and crew are busy right now with lambing. They expect 800 little ones to join the flock this spring.
Another sure sign of spring is the arrival of ramps. Iovine's had them today, $1.99 for a small bunch (enough for two servings as a flavor accompaniment to your eggs or just about anything other protein. Alas, they had traveled too far and were in less than pristine condition. I'll wait a few weeks.
|Greens and garlic await oven at Dinic's|
Bobby Fisher, chef at Molly Molloy's, has been missing in action due to surgery, according to Jim Iovine, proprietor. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Bobby.
Like J.P. Morgan's yacht, if you have to ask the price you probably can't afford it, but the jamón ibérico de bellota (Spanish acorn ham) at Jack Morgan's Downtown Cheese is like eating ham butter. It puts the best prosciutto to shame.
The American version of dry aged ham can be obtained at L. Halteman Family. It's also priced dearly (though not nearly as high as the Spanish pig). You can buy some of the Smithfield ham slices (vacuum packed on premises) for a bit over $5, enough to make three or four sandwiches. The Riehl family, operators of the stall, will be shifting their footprint closer to Avenue C next month, also part of the market's current improvement project.
Steinke will be off to Los Angeles late next week for the annual conference of National Association of Produce Market Managers, the professional association of managers of permanent wholesale produce markets, retail farmers' markets, and public markets. He'll make a presentation about the RTM's current Avenue D improvement project.