If I had a private chef at home, I'd want them to cook for me like the food at The Market. Fresh. Beautiful. Abundant. Clean. Accessible.
Located in a former gas station lovingly restored is this mini eatery where most of the dining tables are scattered across the lawn and backyard patio. Step up to the chin-high refrigerated case and select your dinner. The hand-chalked menus are hanging high overhead and difficult to read in the 30-seconds you have to make a decision while cyclists and locals pile in behind you. Being a regular here really helps. I like to select a large salad and put a piece of grilled fish on top. This isn't a menu option and while they will do it, explaining it to them and then being charged for it is always challenging. They also serve wine and micro-brews here in addition to yuppie soft drinks, espresso drinks and luscious pastries and cakes.
I would go here nearly every night based on food and casual ambiance except for these three reasons. I hope the owners are listening:
a. The prices are very high for the portion size, service level, and preparation/cleanup required.
b. The kids behind the counter, while perfectly cast for this trendy, yuppie den, are so indifferent that at times they come across as hostile. Everything is a huge effort for them. They rarely acknowledge that they understood your request and never take the time to ask if you want something heated or to explain that they charge you next, put in your order and then bring it to you in the garden. Its all a big unsettling guess for the customer.
c. When they pour you their $9/glass house red wine, chilled almost to the point of freezing in their refrigerator, the pour is so meager as to barely wet the inside of the glass. If you are going for a neighborhood casual backyard vibe, give a generous pour.
These criticisms are not based on one experience. We have eaten here at least four times as we live within walking distance to it. We would love to go here 3 times per week because the food is that appealing to us. But these three factors keep us from coming back more regularly.
Pluses, they are open very late. It's casual. Okay to come in sneaks, shorts, yoga clothes, whatever. The food options are plentiful and beautifully appealing. The outdoor dining is really pleasant. There is a take-out hamburger shack immediately next door with picnic tables so if you have kids with you, they can do fries and burgers while you opt for something more healthy. Very popular amongst the 9W cyclist set so elbowing in during weekend brunch hours is really challenging but amusing.
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