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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Breakfast: White Chocolate Pancakes

It is no secret that Tristan and I love making and eating delicious food. However, we differ A LOT when it comes to our true favorites; we really couldn’t be more different. Tristan loves salty [dinner] foods. I take after my amazing grandfather and have an infinite love for sweets and breakfast foods of all kinds.

One of my favorite breakfast foods are pancakes. It seems like there are endless varieties. Plain, buttermilk, fruit added in the batter, fruit poured on top, etc. However, my all time version of pancakes are white chocolate – something Tristan and I thought up during our junior year of college. The best part of these pancakes are how easy it is to make something that tastes so darn good – plus it provides me the best of both worlds: sweets and breakfast!

To make these yummy morsels – you just added white chocolate chips to the batter immediately after you spoon it into your pan, that’s it and you’re done!

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Yelp Stylin’

Yesterday, we traveled to Tucson, Arizona to pick up a crew member from the airport. Her flight was scheduled to arrive late in the evening, so we had to find somewhere to eat dinner. In a group where vegetarians outnumber meat eaters (I know, when does that ever happen), I knew I needed Yelp’s help to find a suitable restaurant that we would all enjoy. I ended up finding this gem: Tucson Tamale Company.

Now, I know most of us will never get to travel to Tucson and eat here, but my love of tamales and love of my meal at this restaurant compels me to tell you about the amazing food served up here everyday. Oh, to be a local and get to enjoy this place on a regular basis…

Curb Appeal

  • Not a huge building, but plenty of seating inside and a patio outside in the back; conveniently located on one of Tucson’s main roads. Our only suggestion would be to add a second restroom.

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Vegetarian & Vegan Friendly

  • They have separate menu sections for both vegetarian and vegan tamales! This restaurant is a dream come true. I had the Vegan Blue tamale with Squash, Tomato, Onion, and Green Chile in Blue Corn Masa and the Berkeley tamale with Black Beans, Fresh Corn and Spices in Red Chile Masa.

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Extreme Value & Service 

  • For less than $10, I purchased two tamales, the salsa of my choice, a full side of chips and guacamole (the freshest and most delicious guac we’ve ever tasted), and a fountain drink! On top of it, we didn’t even have to wait 10 minutes for our food to arrive, which was great since we were all starving.

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Local Pride

  • This is one of those restaurants that displays it’s local pride. All along the walls you find artwork produced by local artists that is available for purchase. There is nothing better than a restaurant with a unique vibe like this that makes an effort to break the traditional mold.

Reviewer Rating

  • The crew gives Tucson Tamale Company five stars. We walked away full and extremely satisfied. My love for tamales knew no bounds before, but this place blew away even my wildest expectations. This restaurant is a MUST if you are ever in the area.

Tastings: Blue Bell Ice Cream, Rocky Road

When Blue Bell Ice Cream came to Virginia I was surprised by the level of excitement it brought with it. I had only noticed the highway billboard right outside of Richmond a few times, before Ambre brought to my attention that ‘someone’ told her it was new and supposedly very good. With that sort of buzz filtering its way to me, it came as no surprise that as one of the tasting panel Ambre purchased for me before her trip was Blue Bell Rocky Road.

The Bell Tolls:

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I haven’t had Rocky Road in a very long time. So long infact I can’t recall the exact degree I enjoyed Rocky Road. To get a closer look I decided to cut it in half.

The Inside Scoop:

What wont I cut in half?

I wouldn’t describe the amount of fillings as ‘chock full’  more like ‘adequate’ but in a good way. The marshmallows were a good size, very moist and just chewy enough to notice their presence. The almonds pieces were high quality, flavorful and sizable as well.

Last Thoughts:

You can actually see the iciness.

My one criticism would be the actual ‘ice cream’ part of this treat. While the chocolate flavor was good the texture seemed icier than most ‘premium’ ice creams I’ve had in the past, but not distractingly so. This Rocky Road is characterized by excellent add-ins combined with decent ice cream.

I had seconds.

Tastings: Snyder’s Of Hanover Seasoned Sourdough Garlic & Herb Nibblers

While Ambre is away on business, she purchased a few things for me to review. First, was yesterday’s Jumbo biscuit. Today, we have the mouthful above. I am a big fan of pretzels, soft and hard, and I am a big fan of Snyder’s Of Hanover. Their Buffalo Wing Pretzel Pieces make me weak in the knees. They are possibly my favorite snack: very flavorful, perfectly salted, great texture. My review today is of a different product line of theirs, one I am biased against.

The Nibblers:

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Nibblers are barrel shaped pieces of pretzel that are scored on one side with a savory flavor coating.  What I have found lacking in my previous Nibbler experiences is salt. With the exception of the flavor coating, there is no other source of salt on this pretzel. The flavor sticks to the exposed pretzel insides which makes up only a small part of the pretzel. The rest is uncoated plain pretzel.

The Verdict:

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Not having had Nibblers in years, my experience seems to be the same. I see the signs of exceptionalism: a good and interesting flavor in a bite-size-eating package. But the salt in the flavor coating is nowhere near enough to handle the rest of the nugget. I for one cannot enjoy an low salt pretzel.

This left me wanting.

Tastings: Tennessee Pride Jumbo Sausage & Egg Buttermilk Biscuit

I’ve never quite had the passion for breakfast foods that Ambre seems to have. Therefore, my meals tend to be low effort (aka lazy) but my tastebuds still require some semblance of quality and variety. On the blog I will chronicle the food I try. My first food review is for Tennessee Pride Jumbo Sausage & Egg Buttermilk Biscuit.

In comparison:

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This Jumbo biscuit looks much larger than it actually is. The Walmart brand biscuit on the right is just 1/6oz smaller.

Tennessee Pride:

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Overall this sandwich was sufficiently moist all the way through and was sufficiently salted and flavorful. Tasted alone, the sausage was quite juicy,  the biscuit and egg were unexceptional but still satisfactory.

I enjoyed this.