Monday, February 14, 2011

PLACES THAT DON'T SUCK: The Original Los Angeles Farmer's Market

We've all been there.  Take time to travel to a far away, famous destination and then find out it doesn't live up to just sucks.

Today, we're going to start an occasional series here on The World on Wheels called "Places That Don't Suck."  This is for well known tourist attractions and destinations that actually live up to their billing...places that won't waste your precious travel time.

Tim loves Bob's Donuts at the Market

We'll start with one that is fairly local to me, the Original Los Angeles Farmer's Market, located at 3rd and Fairfax, just south of Hollywood.  The Original is added to the name to distinguish it from the Hollywood Famer's Market, which is a weekly market held each Sunday in Hollywood.

This market is open everyday.

The market got it's start back in the depression when Arthur Gilmore allowed farmers to gather on his land and sell produce out of the back of their trucks.  It was a hit and the market grew into more or less permanent stalls.  

Gilmore, who had struck it rich earlier when he tapped into the huge oil deposit underneath his land, never let an opportunity pass.  He had also built a racetrack, baseball stadium, and performance auditorium on his property, attracting people by the horde.

Located near to Hollywood and next door to a busy TV studio, the market and its shops have always attracted a fair share of celebrities and outright stars.  It's one of the best places in L.A. for stargazing, we have never gone there and not seen at least one person who we've seen on the screen.

Most of the produce stands are gone now, two remain.  Two of L.A.'s best butchers still set up shop here, along with two poultry shops, a fishmonger, and a French market.  There are a lot of great places to eat here, with just about any ethnic variety you can think of...there's also a couple of not so great places too (I'm looking at you, Gumbo Pot).

Next door is one of the area's poshest malls, The Grove of L.A.  You can take a wheelchair accessible double-decker street car from the back of the Farmer's Market to the other end of The Grove.  2 hours of free parking are available with validation, but you want to get here early before it gets full.

We come at least twice a year to buy a freezer's worth of meat from the great butchers and Puritan Poultry.  While we're here, we'll spend a few hours just exploring and enjoying the market.  

Here is the rest of the tour...
There are plenty of places to just relax and chill here at the market.  Tim and I are hanging out at the edge, on the border of The Grove, which is on the right of the picture.  To the left is the Farmer's Market.
Patsy's is L.A.'s oldest pizza place.  Tim enjoys a slice.  It's decent, better that Pizza Hut or Domino's, but you can still find better.

Huntington Meat Market, they make their own outstanding sausages plus sell a large variety of Prime meat.
At the counter of Monsieur Marcel's wine counter, with Moishe's Jewish restaurant across the way.
At Puritan Poultry, where we buy all things bird...chicken, duck...and rabbit too.  Rene is the de-boning artist here.  One time, we had a big order to fill and we let George Segal go ahead of us because he only wanted to buy one chicken.  He was very nice and thankful for it.

Tim eyes the pastries at T&Y Bakery while we pick out our poultry across the way.
Can you do this at your supermarket?  While Rene is preparing our poultry order, we hop across the way for some wine and beer while we wait.

With everything The Original Farmer's Market offers, I don't know why anyone would shop at that store across the street.

Watch for some more about the Farmer's Market later this week when we do another video report.

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