5 reasons to visit the Dallas Farmers Market

When thinking of Texas, the first thing that pops in your mind would probably not be a farmers market. If you are like me, you’d likely be thinking more about BBQ, tacos, Tex-Mex, and well… generally meat. But let me tell you, there’s more to Texas than this!

On the fantastic road trip that my sister and I took across Texas a few weeks ago, we spent a couple of days in Dallas. On a leisurely Sunday midday, after the mandatory visit to the 6th-floor Museum from where the bullets that killed Kennedy were fired back in the 60s (a definite must on any itinerary that includes a stop in Dallas), my sister and I went to check out the Dallas Farmers Market. And we were in for a treat!

The market is in fact split into two – a covered area, probably an old warehouse, filled with shops and stalls that one would not necessarily associate with a traditional market (more on that later), and a semi-covered area outside lined with stalls resembling a lot more a regular market.

Here’s a list of my highlights, although limiting the number to just five turned out to be a challenge. Let me start with…

The Meat

It wouldn’t be Texas otherwise. Meat is almost sacred around here. As someone who has substantially cut down on meat consumption since the beginning of 2018 (after the unintentional overload of meat during my Cuba trip, just because it was so hard to find vegetables there), I nevertheless indulged. When in Rome… right?

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But it’s not that you HAVE TO eat meat, not at all. The meat is just really really good! Throughout the trip, I had a number of firsts – brisket and bison meat, for example. I had a fantastic steak, some pretty good chicken tacos and of course BBQ sausages. I’d happily refrain from meat altogether if I’d get one week a year of carnivore indulgence like that.

In the indoor part of the market a number of mouth-watering stalls, not for the faint-hearted, were lined up. But I must say, they were rather neat and really just stalls, not the hard core butchery displays one often associates with raw meat.

Let’s move on to…

The merchandise

These types of stalls seemed at first sight to be targeting tourists. But I don’t think they were in fact. They were just proud Texan.

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And not yourt typical $3-souvenirs, they were actually quite special and subtly, or not so subtly, all revolved around the love for Texas as inspiration for art and creativity.

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While some went a bit too far for my small-country mentality to accommodate…

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Others were just really cool designs. I am in love with tote bags, and this one won me over instantly.

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But this is a market, right? So where’s the…

Vegetables and other curiosities

The outdoor tented part of the market was enormous. Lines of stalls were selling all kinds of stuff. From actual vegetables, to home-made pickle jars, jams, hand-crafted chips, fresh herbs in a pot, and the list goes on and on.

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And what are these curiosities I’m talking about? Let me just say it’s not just the stuff for sale that’s interesting. The people were quite so, too. Take a look at this guy who, as we were passing by and he saw me with the camera hanging on my neck, raised his hand in a gesture saying ‘wait’, grabbed two tomatoes and a bean and… posed for a picture! 🙂

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Here I MUST mention the other curiosity of the day – have you heard of ‘goat yoga’? I hadn’t ever and was all of a sudden confronted with the live view of such a session, out in the open, for everyone to see, a bunch of ladies in yoga pants, stretching on mats and… baby goats running around all over the place! To this day I am not sure what the appeal is but let me tell you, it’s a thing. My sister said, out of own experience, it can get pretty smelly in there. I take her word for it.

But we were getting hungry and it was time to eat….

Food stalls

As you can imagine, the options were plentiful. And there were lines everywhere.

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We did a tour of the stalls to take our pick. I was particularly enticed by one of the taco stands and the shiny “golden” heap of nachos luring us for a meal and a bottle of cOROna.

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But as we were completing the tour of the stalls, my sister spotted a more interesting offer…

Specialty beer

I’m not sure what it says about us that we decided to postpone lunch in order to try out specialty beers but… we did. The local Noble Rey Brewing Company had a “taproom” stall at the market and we went for curiously named homemade beers. My sister’s Steam Punk and my Sex in a Canoe didn’t disappoint.

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The company has a regular venue in the city with live music and other local brews – something on the to-do list for next time.

All in all, a vibrant place and a great way to spend a Sunday with the sis. And I am pretty sure that on your (next) visit, you’d find at least five other highlights worth seeing/eating/drinking/stretching on a mat with. Share your experiences and curiosities right here in the comments!

 


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