Evanston Winter Market: January 14, 2012 Update
Evanston Ecology Center
2024 McCormick Blvd
Saturday, 9AM to 1PM
Free parking available in the lot across Bridge St.
The Saturday Evanston winter market is back in full swing, and it is particularly welcome now, as the season has finally reasserted itself, reminding us that spring and the seasonal markets are still far away. The setting this week was especially cozy, as the Evanston Ecology Center has a big fireplace that was put to good use, and big windows that looked out over the sparkling new snow on the green belt of the Ladd Arboretum, on the banks of the North Shore Channel of the North Branch of the Chicago River, creating a comfortable ambiance.
Plenty of customers took advantage of both that coziness and the interesting selection of vendors and services, as several are not regular fixtures at other markets, such as Ruth & Phil’s Ice Cream, Salted Caramel (try the stout marshmallows), and Roedger Michigan-grown blueberries . A notable newcomer is Sheekar Delights, a Glenview-based maker of delicious hand-made baklava in two varieties, walnut and pistachio. Given the season, a surprising amount of local produce is still available – several kinds of potatoes, garlic, and shallots, a garden of fresh-smelling sprouts and microgreens by Tiny Greens, and pears and apples. Wisconsin supplied River Valley Ranch mushrooms and Patz maple products and honey, and Indiana presented C&D Family Farms meats and fresh farm eggs. Don’t forget to bring your dull knives, as To The Point knife sharpeners are there to supply this necessary service, which is strangely hard to find on the North Shore.
This rookie market continues to be a must-stop for the winter-weary locavore who is looking for a pleasant and slightly offbeat shopping experience. Shop early, as limited space and hours dictate that some vendors run out fast – the artisan breads of Crust & Crumb, run by Dennis Clarkson (also the market manager) are particularly vulnerable, especially his new varieties, which are only available in limited quantities.