Saturday, September 01, 2007

Figs and Pig

Those figs purchased last week at Fair Food made a great dinner (photo above) when served with some of Northland Dairy's Bergeré Bleu from Upstate New York, Faragallo's sesame seed bread, olive oil and Hermann Wiemer's dry riesling. I didn't spot any figs today at Fair Food, but they still had plenty of Mirai corn.

Pennsylvania General Store now offers two, count 'em, two different potato chips fried in lard: 18-ounce bags of Diffenbach's for $3.99 and 12-ounce bags of Good's for $2.99.

Benuel Kauffman had added help at his produce stand today:

That's Emma Rose, Ben's eighth grandchild, six months old, posed here with mom Mary and the head of the clan. In chatting with Benuel today he says his craft items designed for the convention/tourist market and jarred and dry goods have been selling quite well ). He used to close during the winter when he started at the market 15 years ago, but about half a dozen years ago started experimenting with winter hours. The first couple of seasons went slowly, but business is solid now, he reports. As for the produce end of his stall, Benuel has pretty much given up growing his own fruits and vegetables for sale and instead relies on other Lancaster County growers. He tries not to buy from "farmers who grow everything" but instead source his produce from those who specialize on just a couple of products. For example, his supplier of white corn is just about done for the season in order to move on to his pumpkin and squash crops. So Benuel will be turning for his corn supply to his bi-color supplier. (Still no unpasteurized apple sider, but Benuel says it will arrive "anytime soon".)

Rieker's German-style cold cuts, sausages and other products will be added to the mix at Dutch Country Meats soon. Although the former owner of DCM added some German-style products after Siegfried's closed, the new owner eliminated those items. Shoppers asking him for the products convinced him they would be worthwhile adding. (L. Halteman's also offers some similar German style products.) Rieker's Prime Meats is located in the far, far Northeast, practically Fox Chase (where Oxford meets Rhawn). I've only been there once, but the selection is astounding and it's well worth the trip. But the convenience of getting at least some of their wursts at the RTM is most welcome.

Joe Nicolosi of DiNic's reports that among customers asking for greens on their sandwich, slightly more go for broccoli rabe than spinach. Until recently, only spinach was available at the roast pork sandwich mecca. (Pork mecca? Something's wrong with that.)

There's a sign hanging in the former Foster's saying it will be occupied soon. RTM GM Paul Steinke says he's close to a deal that will bring a kitchen hardgoods merchant to the space (no, not Kitchen Kapers). As for the demonstration kitchen in the rear, Steinke says that will remain completely separate from the store and will be operated independently. With space for about two dozen students, he hopes to resume cooking classes after the store is up and running, which should be by the end of October.

There's another large vacancy: Natural Connection/Juice Connection, which went out of business Friday. No tenant, but Steinke hopes to sign a retailer selling groceries (canned goods, dry food goods, etc.) and environmentally-friendly household cleaning products. Steinke said the latter is a small but growing segment nationwide. Traditional grocery sellers who concentrate on canned and box goods haven't done well at the market -- that's one of the reasons why Nell Margerum closed her store in the same space about a half dozen years ago. The thinking, yet to be proved, is that there will be enough demand for the "natural" household items that it would support the grocery end of the business. It would also give RTM shoppers one less reason to patronize Whole Foods.

One other significant vacancy remains at the market: the former LeBus stall near the 12th and Filbert. Nothing brewing for that space yet. It's also likely that L. Halteman, under the terms of its new lease, would absorb what's currently a display area for historic photos of the market.

The Parking Authority has adopted the new regulations for the south side of Arch Street and will put them into effect soon. That means it will be truck-loading only from 5 a.m. to 12 noon weekdays; 30-minute max meters from noon to 8 p.m. weekdays, with a 30-minute limit on weekends, too.

There's a trade magazine for everything: the August issue of Sign Builders Illustrated featured photos and an article on the restored RTM neon sign at 12th & Filbert.

A postcard promotional mailing to go out later this month, targetted to the residents of all the new center city condos, will feature this year's Harvest Festival. It's on the RTM calendar for Saturday, Oct. 13.

RTM traffic is up eight percent for the year, notching 3,446,196 through Aug. 12. For the week ending Aug. 12, traffic was 126,563 vs. 111,670 the previous year (no conventions either week).

Delmonico steaks
Turkey bacon

IOVINE $1.00

Honeydew melon (half)
Bell pepper

Sugar Baby watermelon
Mirai corn
Cubanelle peppers
Angus burger




LE BUS $3.75



Anonymous said...

I was volunteering at the Fair Food Farmstand Friday morning, when Becky delivered more figs, and -- in reference to your previous post on them, I think Emily the Farmstand manager said they were 'Wild Turkey' variety.

-- Joanna (Farm to City)

Anonymous said...

I use to love Natural Connection what happen to the young black male? He will always so very helpful

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