For many Palm Beach County residents, a trip to the city of Royal Palm Beach is a drive to be missed, unless there's good reason to go there: you live there, you're on your way to the west coast via Highway 80, you want to go fishing in Lake Okeechobee. Let's face it, it's a hike from either the interstate or the Turnpike. But how about this: a visit to the weekly greenmarket at Commons Park? It's not as big as West Palm Beach's market, and the park amenities are fewer than Palm Beach Gardens, but Royal Palm's market has its own attractions:
- Despite the drive, you can get there using either Southern or Okeechobee Boulevards; Commons Park is located off Royal Palm Beach Boulevard between the two.
- The park itself is huge and new and clean. There's plenty of runaround space for kids and dogs. And plenty of parking.
- The vendor booths are not numerous, but there is good variety (more on that below), and they are situated around a concrete walkway, making access easy for shoppers.
- Speaking of dogs: they are not just welcome, they are encouraged. Everyone seems to have a four-legged family member in attendance.
- There is a driving and putting range, so if you bring a golfer to shop, and the golfer gets bored, there's another activity available.
- As for the food vendors, there are a few here that you won't see anywhere else:
D'Lish is just getting started, and selling only at this market. Their food is a mix of Latin and Mediterranean, with organic beef, cheese and vegetable empanadas, falafel pita, hummus, tabouli salad, fresh salsa and the Nutella© Cloud, a puff pastry filled with the famous hazelnut spread, baked and dusted with powdered sugar. You can find out more about them by contacting them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On a cold day, The Soup Boss from Gourmet Galaxy is the place to stop for a hearty bowlful of crab, lentil, mushroom barley, seafood or chili. This West Palm Beach-based company also does a lot of local catering.
Rebekah Werth is the woman behind Ludwig's German Bakery, with its homemade brown paper sign and the energetic little boy crawling around the booth. That's Hansel, Werth's son (and no, there isn't a Gretl). Werth creates a variety of European sweets. This week's offerings included German chocolate chunk cookies (with and without hazelnuts). A warning about these cookies: you will love them - and there's so much chocolate, you may wind up wearing some of it all over your face. Werth does custom orders, and you can contact her at email@example.com.
Royal Palm Beach Greenmarket, 11600 Poinciana Blvd., Royal Palm Beach. Operates every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through April 27.
The food you come here to get
Tomatoes by the bag, plenty of greens, and a variety of peppers. If a display like this doesn't tempt you to eat well, then what else will?
Something to give the kids...
...so they have energy to run around on those big, open fields: cookies from Ludwig's German Bakery. A feature this weekend was the rhubarb cake, second from the right.
How to get kids to eat veggies
If you want to get kids excited about eating healthy, get them excited about the process. Start by letting them come to the market with you, picking out what looks good to them and helping with the bagging and payment.
A sea of greens
Prices at Royal Palm Beach's market are very reasonable, the produce is beautiful and the fresh variety considerable. You can make a salad or a pretty decent meal from an hour's shopping.
You've seen those white things, but...
You normally only see ground turmeric in jars in the spice aisle at the grocery store. It's not every day you see the whole root for sale. Along with medicinal use, it's also used in curries and many Middle Eastern dishes.