[caption id="attachment_23946" align="aligncenter" width="460" caption="photo courtesy st. lawrence market"] [/caption] This is my favourite Saturday ritual: Strolling to the St. Lawrence Market to stock up on my favourite staples - and indulge in a delicious market lunch. It's chaotic, but I love to take in the pulse of the city, from tourists to foodies, in the Saturday mayhem that is the market. But my trusty routine helps the frenzy fade away – the crowds have nothing on me when I’m in market mode. Here are my main must-stops and staple purchases. [caption id="attachment_23911" align="aligncenter" width="460" caption="photo courtesy foodigator"] [/caption] Stop No. 1: Brunch at Carousel Bakery Famous for their peameal bacon sandwiches, Carousel Bakery's scrumptious food is touted by top chefs like Emeril and Bobby Flay. I always opt for the chicken parm - slightly spicy - and aim to get there well after the lunch rush. [caption id="attachment_23914" align="aligncenter" width="460" caption="with bins galore on the lower level, rube's rice is impossible to miss"] [/caption] Stop No. 2: Rube’s Rice Rice, grains, flours and lentils, oh my! A St. Lawrence Market fixture since the early 1970s, Rube's Rice boasts one of the largest selections around. Just a teen during the Great Depression, Rube Marcus began his first "job" at the market hawking coconuts outside. At 92, he was the oldest vendor at the Market, well-known and loved by many loyal customers. He passed away last year at 93 years old. [caption id="attachment_23945" align="aligncenter" width="460" caption="photo courtesy brown brothers meats & poultry"] [/caption] Stop No. 3: Brown Bros. Meats & Poultry A market mainstay since 1895, Brown Bros. Meats & Poultry is the oldest meat vendor at St. Lawrence...and always really patient and accommodating for those of us that don’t always know what we’re asking for (I speak from experience). There’s often a line-up for their take-out pulled pork and rib meals, but I always stock up on chicken (which I divide into servings, soak in different marinades and then freeze) and sausages (12 for $10!). [caption id="attachment_23926" align="aligncenter" width="460" caption="photo courtesy scheffler's delicatessen & cheese"] [/caption] Stop No. 4: Scheffler’s Delicatessen & Cheese Scheffler’s Delicatessen & Cheese is my version of nirvana. From their awesome selection of olives, antipastos and pâtés to their imported vinegars, mustards and olive oils this place has a vast selection of everything I love. And the pièces de résistance? The cheeses! They carry more varieties of cheese than I thought were out there, many of which are available to sample. My Scheffler's staples? Boccocini (so much more affordable than supermarket options), tzaziki (the thickest and chunkiest in town), smoked aged cheddar cheese (yum!), plus anything else the free tastes have tempted me to buy. Stop No. 5: St. Lawrence Pizza & Ice Cream Market-goers in the know will always make a pit stop at St. Lawrence Pizza & Ice Cream. Even though it's tucked in a back corner, it's difficult not to spot the lineup of people awaiting free samples of their signature fresh pasta and the tricolour tomato-alfredo-pesto sauce. It's to die for - I line up for a bite every time, and often end up buying the pasta and sauce to make the meal myself. But as their name indicates, they're not only about pasta (though that's what I celebrate them for) - you can order made-to-order pizzas, as well as homemade ice cream and milkshakes, too.
So, that's what I did Saturday afternoon. What about you? What's your favourite Saturday ritual?