Enthusiastic eaters already know that Rogue Valley Growers & Crafters Market is the place to stock up on ingredients and inspiration for fresh meals.
But every market-goer can find something ready to eat Tuesdays at the Ashland armory. Street foods from around the world — tamales and burritos, pizzas and potpies, Middle Eastern snacks and all-American hamburgers — are served in the festive shopping atmosphere. Offerings change from week to week, depending on which businesses show up and what they've cooked.
Portuguese cuisine isn't as commonly translated into street food, but it's one of our staff favorites. John Soares of Roxy Ann Bakery often brings his special bean soup with kale, cabbage and potato, available in three sizes. There also are chicken-breast, pork-sirloin or pulled-pork sandwiches, spinach-and-cheese empanadas and green salad with grilled chicken breast. Early shoppers can grab his breakfast burritos or huevos rancheros.
Arriving early is the only hope for scoring some coveted treats, including Pennington Farms' more popular flavors of fruit turnovers, as well as its savory turnover stuffed with vegetables, cheese and brown rice. A portable and satisfying meal in a pastry crust, the turnovers come in several flavors that rotate weekly.
For those who prefer meat and vegetables cradled in corn, there are two tamale vendors — Katrina's or Rose Maria — and both can sell out on a busy day. The former also is known for salsas that appear on many local grocers' shelves. Katrina's delicate tamales have varied, trendier fillings such as spinach, mushroom and feta, red-chili chicken or pork and green chili with chicken or vegetables. Rose Maria sells hearty chicken and pork tamales topped with spicy salsas.
A different kind of spice can be had at Sultan's Delight, which sells lamb-and-beef gyros. This classic Greek dish consists of strips of broiled meat on pillowy pita bread, topped with red cabbage, creamy yogurt-cucumber tzatziki and a dash of hot sauce. Sultan's Delight also specializes in hummus, baba ganoush and baklava.
Compare Sultan's Delight with Walker Creek Farm to determine who makes the best baklava. The latter also uses mulitlayered phyllo pastry to make spanikopita, a Greek spinach-and-cheese pie, and meat pies filled with locally raised ground beef.
Grass-fed beef from Northern California is grilled into tasty burgers at Daddy's Donuts, which starts market days with fresh-fried doughnuts and percolated coffee before hawking its freshly made root beer, lemonade and watermelon juice on hot, summer days.
Price range: From $1 or less for small pastries to $8 or more for meaty sandwiches; compare pricing between vendors of similar items, although prices can be identical.
Extras: Come with cash; some individual vendors take credit and debit cards; market information booth swipes cards in exchange for wooden tokens to spend with any vendor; seating can be in short supply with many diners picking spots on a nearby curb.
Serving: From 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Nov. 20.
Info: 1420 E. Main St., Ashland; www.rvgrowersmarket.com.