I was in two minds as to whether to blog about this but, what the hell, it’s my blog and I can do what I like.
The ‘Village Market’ phenomenon seems to have grown. Quite why they term it ‘village’ escapes me. Essentially, from what I can see, the company behind the initiative has managed to rent a number of sites around the city and offers pitches to what seem to be termed ‘pop-up stalls’ selling food. Visit their website if you want to know more.
At lunchtime today, I decided I’d nip into town and try one out. The easiest one to get to, where I knew there’d be parking, was Fitzwilliam Square. A long time ago, I used to work in a basement on Fitzwilliam Square. Nice place to work except, in those days, one had to spend a little time in the morning sweeping up used condoms from outside the basement door following the previous evening’s transactions.
The landlord of the building I worked in had a key for the gate to the actual square but I never managed to get hold of it, so today was the first time I ever set foot inside the railings.
The ‘market‘ is located at one end, comprising about (I didn’t count them) 10 food stalls offering a variety of foods: paella, burgers, falafel, noodles and other oriental dishes, pork on a spit, salads, Mediterranean dishes, cupcakes and coffee.
One of my eatforafiver criteria is that you have to be able to sit or perch somewhere. If you get to the park early enough, I suppose you can grab one of the park benches. Otherwise you sit on …
Like these people here:
Naively, I had thought that my fiver would give me a fair amount of choice here. Not so. Most offerings came in somewhere between €6 and €8. Disappointing. Very disappointing. For a fiver, I could have got 3 cup cakes, a ‘small’ serving of chilli something, some penne pasta with shavings of parmesan, ‘Singapore’ fried rice (fried rice with precious little Singapore as far as I could see) or a Mediterranean salad.
I had none of those. I went for a falafel wrap.
I made my order and a man whisked it up in about 20 seconds. Whoosh. A wrap, a good covering of hummus, some chopped tomatoes, lettuce, a squirt of chilli sauce, three slightly crushed falafels, rolled efficiently, inserted in a bit of paper and presented to me with a smile. Well, sort of a smile.
The stalls were busy, with the biggest queues at the hamburger stall, the chilli stall and a stall offering tandoori chicken in a naan wrap. The customers were mixed. Some suits, business skirts and tasteful make-up but a fair scattering of students too. There was some live music – a young woman with a guitar singing tunefully.
I ate my wrap wandering around. I’d almost finished before I remembered to take a photo of it.
I wouldn’t normally write about a wrap. This was a pretty substantial wrap though. It’s now about 7pm and I’m still not hungry. The best falafel meal I ever has was in the Marlay Park market one Saturday. A pitta bread absolutely stuffed with salad, sauces, pickled chillis and Falafel – oozing with scrumptiousness. This one was a pale-ish imitation but it was tasty, to be fair.
I left soon after. Slightly disappointed. I probably shouldn’t have been. I mean, I could probably have stuffed myself for €7 but I just expected a greater selection of offerings for my fiver.