Monday, 27 October 2014

La Marqueta - Spanish Harlem Renaissance

This is the outdoor section of the market
Yesterday, I found myself with some unexpected free time, so I trudged (pre-cofee) over to a local cafe, where I ran into a good friend on her way to a food truck fest in Spanish Harlem. Now, I live on the edges of this area but when she said that she wanted to walk up to 115th and Park, I was skeptical.

However, La Marqueta turned out to be the most awesome discovery of the weekend. It's reminiscent of Borough Market, under London Bridge, or the historic Charleston City Market on King St., with the whole thing built under the train tracks, half indoors, and half out-of-doors for the food trucks that rotate through. While 'under the train tracks' doesn't sound appealing, this burgeoning market (literally translates to La Marqueta) is home to a bevy of promising food trucks and locally grown businesses.

Two of my favorites were Snowday, a Maple Syrup laden Drive Change food truck that uses "locally sourced food...[and] hire[s], teach[es] and empower[s] formerly incarcerated youth," and the Hot Bread Kitchen (indoor section), which "enables immigrant women to leverage skill, passion, and traditional bread-making knowledge to become professional bakers and food business owners." *After 2pm on the weekends, you can get up to $10 worth of bread for whatever you feel like donating.

Maple cupcake and cotton candy from Snowday - amazing sugar rush!
These social justice oriented enterprises not only combine my two favorite things: cooking and social activism, they also serve as part of the movement to revitalize this market and bring more people into the area. With everything from Maple cotton candy and cupcakes, to Korean fare, empanadas, fresh baked bread, and fried plantains, this is the perfect place to chow down on the weekend or grab a beer and hang out while the band plays.

Check it out!

Indoor market hours - go see the Hot Bread Kitchen!

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