Posts Tagged ‘Dante’s Inferno Dogs’

Sunday, June 20th: Happy Blue Tarp Father’s Day!

June 20, 2010

Fresh, wild, Washington king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Father’s Day! Now, some of you might be thinking, “Happy? But this relentlessly crappy weather is going to ruin it!” Oh, puh-leeze! We’re talking about Dad here, right? This is the guy who, for all each of us know, invented blue tarp camping. This is the guy who figured out how to make the best of it regardless of the reality that surrounds him. This guy does not care if a little drizzle is falling from 16 hours of cool, slate-gray daylight. This guy wants nothing more than to kick back today, wherever he is, with his family, maybe a frosty bottle of beer, and probably some of this beautiful Washington-coastal king salmon from Wilson Fish slowly smoking on the Weber with alder chips.

Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And Dad will want strawberries. Lots of strawberries. It’s been a slow year for strawberries so far, but they are finally beginning to rock. Hopefully, Jessie’s Berries will be able to join us today with more of their awesome berries. If not, others will have them. My Dad grew up a farm boy in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York. He has always had a big garden that included strawberries. My Dad’s ancestors actually settled the Mid-Hudson Valley in the late 1600s. They built the first stone house in the French Huguenot settlement at New Paltz in 1692. How cool is that? What incredibly cool things do you know about your Dad?

A beautiful pork shoulder blade steak from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Maybe Dad wants a big old hunk of pork or beef on the barby, like this delicious pork shoulder blade steak from Sea Breeze. You’ll find all sorts of goodies for the grill throughout your Ballard Farmers Market to make Dad happy. Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around my Dad grilling stuff over a wood campfire in the mountains somewhere. In particular, I remember my Dad would fill up a grilling basket with breakfast links and cook them while my Mom would whip up some blueberry pancakes. Sigh. Food packs with it some powerful memories. Why not conjure up some, and make some new ones, today with Dad over some great farmers market food.

Asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dad will love some Alvarez asparagus on the grill, too. In this whacky weather year we are having (yeah, like the weather this time last year was normal!), apparently the asparagus crop at Alvarez has almost run its course, so definitely enjoy it while you can.

Zucchini from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Some summer squash would go great on the grill for Dad, too. Full Circle is already bringing both zucchini and sunburst squash. Young, small and tender, they are ideal for grilling. In fact, you should enjoy this zucchini now, because a month from now, everyone you know will be trying to give you their garden surplus of the stuff. When I was a kid, my Dad’s garden was one of the few in the neighborhood, and it prolifically produced zucchini. We gave so much away that I sorta recall at some point that our neighbors would all run into their houses and lock their doors in August as soon as they would see us emerging from the garden. My point is, Dad’s make you laugh, if not with them, at them, and you should eat some zucchini now, while it is still a novelty this year.

Raspberries from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo courtesy Growing Washington.

No, your eyes do not deceive you. These are raspberries, from Alm Hill Gardens. In a year when strawberries and cherries are coming into season late and begrudgingly, Alm Hill already has raspberries! Oh, yeah. Dad is gonna love these.

Apriums from Tiny's. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And if that were not enough, Tiny’s has apriums now, too. Yup. Can’t you just see Dad sitting in a comfy chair — maybe that green plastic Adirondack chair he loves so much under the blue tarp, while the salmon smokes — munching on one of these while the juice dribbles down his chin and onto his shirt, only to be followed by the perfunctory wiping of his mouth onto his sleeve while Mom winces? My Dad’s Dad used to built wooden Adirondack chairs — the real deal, on account that he, and the Adirondacks, were both in Upstate New York. He’s gone now, but if you are lucky enough to still have your grandpas(s) around, don’t forget them today either, okay? It was my Mom’s Dad who we thought of as the Ambassador of Kingston, because he knew everyone, and my Dad’s Dad had the strongest hands I have ever known, and they could craft anything. I think I favor my Mom’s Dad more than my Dad’s.

Dante's Inferno Dogs. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And since you are making a day of it with Dad, while you are at your Ballard Farmers Market today fetching all sorts of deliciousness to cook for him later, why not indulge him in a dog from Dante’s Inferno Dogs. I know, I know. He’s not supposed to be eating those, but who’s day is this anyway? It does not say, “Doctor’s Day” on the calendar, it say’s “Father’s Day,” gosh darn it. You can get him back on the salads tomorrow.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Before you click on the What’s Fresh Now! pages to see what all else is in season right now, please take a moment to vote for Ballard Farmers Market in American Farmland Trust’s America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest. Just type “Ballard” in the search box, and it’ll take you right to the page where you can vote for us. And if you have a good, used digital camera what needs a new home, I am still looking. Post a comment.

Ballard: Meet Snacks! (Brought to you by Dante’s Inferno Dogs)

January 29, 2010

Dante's Inferno hot dogs at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know Dante’s Inferno Dogs well. They set up their sausage carts every Sunday at Ballard Farmers Market to serve a steady stream of hungry Ballardites (and a few touristas), and you’ll find their carts set up all of the city outside clubs, at special events, basically wherever you’d find a hungry crowd. Now, the Dante behind Dante’s Inferno Dogs — Dante Rivera — has opened a storefront right here on Ballard Avenue to satisfy your sausage jones seven days a week, and to offer you access to all sorts of other goodies from around the neighborhood and throughout the Ballard Farmers Market.

Toby preps my dog in the background while lots of Ballard Farmers Market goodies are for sale in the foreground. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Snacks! Ballard Bodega will be celebrating is Grand Opening tomorrow, January 30, 2010, from noon-5 p.m., with an open house party. “Please stop by for complimentary Dante’s Inferno Dogs, Dirty Chips, and… BEER! Children’s activities, too! LIVE music by The Atlas String Band! Also… many of our local vendors will be onsite promoting their products hosted by Snacks!” says the Snacks! Facebook page.

Snacks Ballard Bodega, brought to us by Dante's Inferno Dogs, just down the street from the Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll find Snacks! Ballard Bodega tucked away in the little parking lot between King’s Hardware and Bop Street Records on Ballard Avenue.  The proper address is 5219 Ballard Avenue NW. Look down through the parking lot, toward the canal, and you will see the Snacks! sausage eating corral. (I realize that many of you are sniggering like Beavis and Butthead about now.)

Out front of Snacks! you'll find their sausage eating corral. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Snacks! sausage eating corral (I’m gonna keep saying it until you collapse from the giggles) comes with a view (sort of) of the ship canal, festive lights, and places to lounge with your dog, protected from the elements by umbrellas 365 days a year. Step through the portal and door a few steps, and you will find all sorts of deliciousness.

Just a sampling of the Ballard Farmers Market goods you'll find at Snacks all week long. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dante is a community oriented kinda guy, and he has committed a fair chunk of real estate in Snacks! to offering up myriad products from Ballard Farmers Market vendors and other neighborhood businesses. When he calls Snacks! a “Ballard Bodega,” he means it. So now, if you crave a bottle of Rockridge cider or Zane & Zack’s hot sauce, or maybe some of Pete’s Perfect Butter Toffee, in the middle of the week, Snacks! has got you covered.

Toby works the Cream Cheese Applicator of Love. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, the real stars of the show at Snacks! will always be the dogs. And honestly, being an ex-pat New Yorker who found his way to Seattle by way of Philadelphia, I have to say that I was a bit skeptical about this Seattle tradition of applying cream cheese to one’s sausage (again, you start with the laughter). But Toby said, “Trust me.” So I okayed the addition of cream cheese, via the Cream Cheese Applicator of Love (which is not unlike a large calking gun, or maybe a cow ins… oh, never mind), to my jalapeno-cheese dog, then had him load it up with the works. He did not steer me wrong.

Enjoying my dog. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Needless to say, though I will say it anyway, it was one fine dog. Here I am, stuffing my pie hole with it, much to the delight of everyone else in the room, as it meant I was quiet for a few moments, save the odd “yum” and “boy-howdy, now that’s a dog” that slipped out of me.

So come join the party at Snacks! Ballard Bodega tomorrow (Saturday, January 30, 2010) from noon-5 p.m., and if you can’t make then, poke your nose in and check it out during your trip to Ballard Farmers Market on Sunday. It is a mere half-block away.

Sunday, January 24th: More Greens, Field Peas, Paprika, Caramels & Hot Dogs

January 24, 2010

Colinwood Farms' salad mix is big and bold with spicy mustards and bitter mizunas. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Your eyes do not deceive you. Those are salad greens. Colinwood Farms from Port Townsend returns to your Ballard Farmers Market today with this lovely salad mix, spuds, onions, kale and more. Normally, we’d see them by late December, but a wind storm took out one of their greenhouses, and they are just now getting back up to speed. Good for them. Great for us!  Green things!!! Woo-hoo!!!!

Dried green field peas from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are dried green field peas from Nash’s Organic Produce. You probably encounter them most often in the form of split pea soup, and these would make some great soup, but they are a quite versatile and nutrient dense legume — a staple in the diets of cultures all over the world. The good folks at Nash’s will be happy to give you some ideas, and even some recipes, for preparing them.

The tiny Olympia Oyster from Taylor Shellfish Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

As you can see from the photo above, the tiny Olympia oyster is not much larger than a quarter. But this little oyster more than makes up for its size with its big flavor. ‘Tis the season for Washington’s only native oyster, and Taylor Shellfish will be offering them for the next several weeks — just in time to build up your immune system and lebido for Valentine’s Day.

Peppers drying before being ground into paprika for us by Port Townsend's Some Like It Hott! Photo courtesy Some Like It Hott!

Saffron will be back next Sunday, but today we are pleased as punch to introduce yet another new farm with paprika to our diverse Ballard Farmers Market — Some Like It Hott! Charles Bodony’s family hails from Transylvania, where they know a thing or two about paprika, and he has put that genetic heritage to good work in Port Townsend, rounding up and growing the best peppers in the world, and drying and grinding them for fresh paprika. Yup. Yet another spice you no longer have to get from an importer. You can get it direct from a local farmer. How cool is that?

Baby arugula from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, happy day! Arugula is back. A-friggin-men. Full Circle Farm has glorious, and a bit spicy, baby arugula that will smack the winter blues right off of your sour puss. Just get there early enough to get some, as it sold out quickly last week, and the rest of us couldn’t stand another week of you being a sour puss. Really. Trust me.

Snacks Ballard Bodega, brought to us by Dante's Inferno Dogs, just down the street from the Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You may not have noticed it tucked away in the back of this little lot between King’s Hardware and Bop Street Records, by our favorite hot dog cart guy, Dante, has opened Snacks Ballard Bodego, a great place to get your favorite dog seven days a week, until late at night, and a great place to get lots of your other favorite farmers market goodies, from Rockridge cider to Pete’s toffee to St. Jude’s tuna to a Caveman Bar.

Just a sampling of the Ballard Farmers Market goods you'll find at Snacks all week long. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ballard Farmers Market has a long history of incubating local businesses. From Tall Grass Bakery to Anita’s Crepes to Veraci Pizza and more, many of the local storefront businesses you see around Ballard got their start at the Ballard Farmers Market and our sister market in Fremont. It makes us very proud to see Dante’s Inferno Dogs spawn its own storefront, right here on Ballard Avenue. But more than that, Dante, out of appreciation and respect for his Ballard Farmers Market roots, is selling many of the wonderful products from his fellow Ballard Farmers Market vendors in his store, so we can enjoy access to them all week long. Wander down to his little hideaway shop and support a local business that is itself dedicated to supporting local businesses. And check out Snacks’ Facebook page for more info.

Stokesberry Sustainable Farm eggs and chicken breakfast sausage. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know Stokesberry Sustainable Farm from Olympia for their great organic eggs (above), chicken and beef. Now they are offering organic chicken sausage in four varieties: maple breakfast patties (above), sage & garlic patties and hot and sweet Italian in bulk. They are all yummy. So give those eggs some company, eh? You’ll thank me later.

Bags of sweet, winter baby carrots from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s talk about sweet things for a bit now, like these incredibly sweet baby carrots from Stoney Plains Farm in Tenino. If there is one thing carrots, and most other roots and hearty greens, like, it’s a good freeze. As a defense to the cold, they actually produce more sugar, and the result is a sweeter carrot — much sweeter. If you haven’t enjoyed some over-winter carrots lately, well, plain and simple, you’re nuts! They are like candy.

More sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Seems the longer into the winter we get, the bigger the sweet potatoes get from Lyall Farms. Hmm. Think there’s a connection? (Yes, I know. You’re thinking I am going to leave this gig to become a rocket scientist, aren’t you?) In any case, they ain’t gonna last forever, so get ’em while you can.

Delicious handmade caramels from Jonboy Caramels. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jonboy Caramels makes delicious, handmade caramels using butter and heavy cream from a Skagit Valley dairy. They make small batches of their fleur de sel and molasses ginger caramels, and hand-wrap them in parchment paper. It seemed fitting to round out my little trip down sweet tooth lane by visiting them. And you should visit them, too, for sample, and, of course, then a box full.

Chicken pies from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s wrap up this week’s epistle on all things (well, many things at least) Ballard Farmers Market with talk of pie. Not the sweet kind of pie, though Deborah’s Homemade Pies certainly has many great varieties of those. But I already finished my sweets talking for the week, so now I want to talk about savory meat pies. Oh, yeah, baby. Chicken pie. Deborah uses local and Market ingredients in her chicken pies, just like she does with her sweet pies. And, as you can see above, she makes them in two sizes, so whether you are feeding the whole fam-damily or just feeding yourself, she’s got you covered. So if you need the night off from cooking from scratch, grab a chicken pie from Deborah. Just get there early, as they always sell out. Oh, and don’t forget to grab some pie for dessert, too.

Remember, your Ballard Farmers Market is chock full of all sorts of goodness for your kitchen and beyond. For a fuller accounting of what you’ll find at the Market today, go to “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner.