Fresh Market Cafe review

Billy’s Got Your Goat Sandwich
goat cheese, portabella, butterbean hummus, basala, cucumber, tomato, onion w/ ginger honey basalmic drizzle with a side of taboulli

The Fresh Market Cafe resides within the 5 Points Community Farm Market, a low key farmers market near the Norfolk Zoo. Inside, a few vendors and large selection of mostly local fruits and veggies for sale take up most of the floor space and in the corner lies an open kitchen for the Fresh Market Cafe. Restaurants run and owned within other organizations exist naturally as an extension and take on the same quirks and qualities of the parent. The cafe, therefore, is relaxed and charming, and delivers some of the freshest food one can order at the price they offer. Blandness and lack of salt do creep up depending on the dish, but the point of this food is not culinary masterpiece, but thoughtful quality, and the faults are easily overlooked; they provide salt shakers for sodium enthusiasts.

My Billy’s Got Your Goat Sandwich was teeming with stunningly fresh vegetables, sandwiched between two slices of beautiful, rustic, bread. As noted, low on the salt for my taste, but an incredibly satisfying sandwich.  I wasn’t keen on the tabouli. Like everything else at the cafe, it was quite fresh tasting, but I felt like the texture of the grains was too coarse and a bit tough making it a bit gravely to eat.  Overall, a great place to eat imperfect, but impressive food.

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Dinner Challenge – Night Two

Tonight we scraped through the fridge and freezer and put together a simple, but very satisfying meal.

Cheese Ravioli with Garlic Bread and Red Peppers

Tristan made some frozen cheese ravioli and topped it with Wegman’s vegetarian-friendly “Grandpa’s Sauce” (one of the best pasta sauces I’ve ever had from a jar!) and fresh red peppers. He also made a few pieces of garlic bread using fresh garlic. Here’s to a successful second dinner using odds and ends from the kitchen!

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Dinner Challenge

Tristan and I were preparing our grocery list for this week when I randomly brought up the idea of doing no shopping and just eating all of the odds and ends out of the closet, fridge, and freezer. He was dubious at first, but then I started crafting meals (smoothies or eggs for breakfast, soup and chicken sandwiches for lunch, and veggies with random things like frozen ravioli for dinner) and he started to like the challenge of the idea.

So, our first dinner ended up being: Orange “Chicken” with Steamed Edamame.

The orange chicken was a soy-product made by Gardenin that Tristan and I both think tastes better than most real chicken we’ve had at Chinese restaurants. The edamame was fun to eat – nothing like popping like beans out of hairy pods!  – and very tasty, as well. It was about time we used it, too; the bag had been in the freezer for months!

This random meal actually ended up being rather memorable and definitely something we will make again in the future. Even better, all that food was less than 400 calories!

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Cupcake Fun

I know it’s been awhile since I last posted; I apologize. I am teaching 3 university labs this semester, studying for the GRE, looking into Ph.D. programs, and planning my wedding so that might help explain the situation! However, Tristan and I went “home” this weekend to go a greyhound picnic with my mom and her/our retired racer named Jude. Naturally, I thought I would surprise her with cupcakes.

Almond Cupcakes with Vanilla Whipped Frosting

I love almond flavored baked goods – like, a lot. So, I was excited to try almond emulsion with my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe, substituting the inferior vanilla extract with almond – the superior, nearly divine flavor favored by those of us with the most highly evolved taste buds!

Then, my aunt sent me a recipe idea for frosting that I wanted to try out and almond cupcakes seemed like the perfect time to go for it. This recipe was for a whipped frosting that calls for Cool Whip, instant pudding mix, milk, and flavor extract (unusual, I know). The most awesome part of this recipe, besides how fast it is to make (seriously – you just mix and you’re done), is that the pudding mixes come in so many flavors! You can make a variety of yummy frosting flavors just by substituting different types of pudding mixes – cool, huh?

I put some glitz on my little puffs of mouthwatering delight and this is what I came up with: 

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I decided to get the dog’s opinion of the frosting since it had a light, pup-friendly design. I think he approved.

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Thanks for the Recipe Aunt Kathy!