The food-cart craze has hit the Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market, where you can find everything from grilled cheeses to gourmet steaks to authentic Thai food.
Food carts are exactly what they sound like — tiny, gourmet restaurants-on-the-roll. If you have only a short break for lunch, why kill time at a sit-down restaurant? Food trucks are not only fast and delicious but also offer the benefit of fresh air and an eclectic crowd for people-watching.
The growers market, once home to just a couple of food shacks, now has a multitude of mobile food trucks and stands. The shining silver trucks, brandishing their logos like battle scars from a war to win your attention (and money), line the asphalt roads at the Ashland Armory, where the market appears every Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
You can find something for every tastebud. Try a beef-and-lamb gyro, dripping with exotic spices and as colorful as a multicultural rainbow, swaddled in a dense yet fluffy pita, from Sultan's Delight. Or check out Fulcrum Dining's breakfast sandwich, a poached egg perching between two slices of multigrain bread and local cheese, with the thickest, most melt-on-your-tongue bacon you've ever had. The tantalizing scents of meat that fill the air when you walk by certain vendors can be enough to make even the most hard-core animal lover take just one little nibble of a freshly cooked pork shoulder.
Shane Holliday, 26, works at Katrina's Salsa, a popular tamale and salsa spot. He says the people are his favorite part of the market.
"All the market people are super nice, and business is increasing," Holliday says. "People come here just for lunch. Also, I love how the Growers and Crafters Market is outside. It's nice."
The growers market is open from March 12 to Nov. 26 at the National Guard Armory, 1420 E. Main St. On Thursdays it moves to the Medford Armory, 1701 S. Pacific Highway.
If you're going to go shopping, bring your own (reusable) bags — unless you don't mind the stinkeye of every nature lover in Ashland directed at your plastic bag fluttering in the breeze.
Amelia Covert Zeve is an Ashland High School student and freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.