Wednesday, August 6, 2014

To Market, To Market

"To market, to market to buy a fat pig..." might not have been our primary intention, but we certainly left with a pound of bacon... along with a good buzz and full stomachs. And which market, you may be wondering? Why, Union Market in Washington D.C. (1309 5th Street NE, 20002) to be exact, with hours on Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
My friends (MMM and D "Navarro" M) have great taste when it comes to eating and drinking, so whenever and wherever I visit them, I know that I am destined to have a positive experience. Union Market happened to be yet another one of their solid picks, and I will speak highly about this destination to anyone in earshot; Union Market takes the concept of a traditional market house and delivers something fresher and more tailored to the needs of foodies/localvores. It's part market, part boutique, part eatery, part drinkery, and very much part awesome.

After a lap, we decided that our first stop would be the Rappahannock Oyster Bar for a light snack and drinks. It proved to be an excellent decision, as each item was delicious and quite perfect for a warm, humid D.C. afternoon. Our soups were on point with mine tasting as pretty as it looked (I would have thrown it back if it weren't terrible etiquette to do so) and MMM's having larges chunks of both oysters and bacon with each spoonful (although it did need a dash of pepper); D "Navarro" M swears that his oysters were the best Virginia ones he's had to date (to quote him, "not briny like the others that he has tried"). Drinks were an appropriate summer "kick!"

TaKorean on Urbanspoon
White Gazpacho ($8, white grape, cucumber, marcona almond) and Barcat Oyster Chowder ($8, Benton's bacon)
Rappahannock River Oysters ($2 each, sweet and buttery from Topping, VA)
Air Mail ($10, aged rum, honey, lemon, sparkling wine) and Expats Only ($11, Green Hat Summer Gin, creme de pamplemousse, lime, angostura bitters)
After that, we couldn't resist some tacos from TaKorean. These too were excellent and a great afternoon snack! We tried chicken, pork, and steak with a variety of slaw and sauce combinations. I am not sure that we could have gone wrong with anything.

TaKorean on Urbanspoon
Our tacos (along with some steamed pork buns from Toki Underground and treats from Salt & Sundry)
We ended our Union Market afternoon with purchases of cheeses from Righteous Cheese and breads (challah and cheddar buns) from Lyon Bakery, both of which were to complement our evening beverages; and of course, we couldn't pass up some unreal bacon from Harvey's Market. The cheeses and breads didn't last long into the evening as they seemed to go very well with all alcohol, and we used the bacon as the protein in a brunch strata (see recipe below).

Yup. Union Market. If you in D.C. and you are anything like me, go there.

PSB's Christmas Morning (Or Any Morning Of The Year) Strata

  • 1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 8 eggs
  • 10 sliced of bread, cubed
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms
  • 1 lb. fresh spinach, cooked and drained
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

The night before you plan to eat this delightful dish:

  • Grease 13X9 baking dish.
  • Beat eggs in large bowl.
  • Add other ingredients; mix well.
  • Spoon into baking dish.
  • Cover; refrigerate overnight. 

The morning you plan to eat this delightful dish:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bake dish for 60 minutes.
  • Insert knife into center; if clean, it is done.