Breakfast week part 6: Market days | Rock Candy

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Breakfast week part 6: Market days

Posted By on Sat, Jun 5, 2010 at 9:29 AM

MARKET MORNING:  Customers shop and dine at Argenta Market
  • MARKET MORNING: Customers shop and dine at Argenta Market
Argenta Market’s received a lot of press for its local and organic produce and such, but not a lot about its breakfasts — which is a shame. Our sixth stop for Breakfast Week covers this Saturday morning convergence.

The market opens each day at 7am, and when the Certified Arkansas Farmers Market is underway it‘s packed, serving both farmers and patrons alike. Many come in just to check out the grocery section — it’s all still very new. But a good portion come in for breakfast.

And why shouldn’t they? All sorts of breakfasts available, like a plate breakfast special with eggs and bacon or biscuits with sausage gravy, all served up in the back at the meat and deli counter. They even serve up biscuits with chocolate gravy, imagine that.

ORDER HERE:  Argenta Markets meat and deli counter
  • ORDER HERE: Argenta Market's meat and deli counter
I went in a while back with the girlchild to catch the market’s momentum and grace and to acquire us some breakfast. Took her in with her stroller, which gave me some modicum of control over her little grabby hands. We wandered around and soaked up some of the vibe of the diverse crowd that had come on in. But we were hungry. I found myself picking up a pint of Seven Doves Creamery milk and placing my order at the back counter. I wanted to try the quiche of the day.

That plate of quiche came over that counter about 5 minutes later, a big quarter-pie chunk of yellow and green in a crust with a pile of chopped melon and pineapple and some strawberry aioli to boot. I balanced my tray on top of the stroller and rolled up to the front.

I also picked a single sour cream glazed doughnut from the Community Bakery case up front and went to stand in line. Now, there were these trays there, big trays of fried pies made by a local guy who’d made an agreement to sell them there. I am a sucker for fried pies, and I found myself grabbing one at random and forking over the additional $1.49 when I got to the register. I had accumulated what could be considered a breakfast of champions.

AW MY:  Fried pies at Argenta Market
  • AW MY: Fried pies at Argenta Market
Took us a while to garner a seat. Every single table and seat had been taken inside, while outdoors it poured rain. Bless his heart, Jody Hardin saw us folks standing and waiting for a place to eat and went out and started wiping chairs dry and brought them in. We scooted over in a corner and I grabbed a low chair and a little piece of bar to put our tray on. Hunter was pleased as punch — this gave her a good view of the sidewalk outside, something to gawk at while we ate.

BREAKFAST TIME:  Spinach quiche and bits of melon at Argenta Market
  • BREAKFAST TIME: Spinach quiche and bits of melon at Argenta Market
She didn’t care for the doughnut that much — her little taste buds haven’t developed that need for sweet yet. But she went to town on the quiche and melon, as did I. There was plenty to share. The spinach quiche was not the usual suspect. It was full of leaf spinach that had been fresh instead of frozen or canned, giving it this light texture that changed the experience. The fluffy texture throughout was surprising. I’d expected a heavier breakfast from the size of the portion, but it was just right to share with my girl with the other items we’d picked up. If it’d just been me, I’d have been hard pressed to finish that fruit.

The pie, too, was something else. The crust was on the crispy side, and within I discovered I’d picked up a peach pie. Yeah, I was that unconcerned with what I’d picked up — I just expected it to be good. The savory crust and ooey jam-thick peach filling did well to satisfy my sweet craving. Took half of the six inch pie home along with the doughnut to snack on later when I was in the mood for sweet.

I appreciate that Argenta Market is offering breakfast — while the neighborhood is blessed with restaurants, I don’t believe anyone’s been offering first-meal since Café La Pace closed last year. I like that they’ve paired up with Community Bakery to cover what they’re not already doing at the grocery — baked goods — but I will be interested to see if that changes. I’ve had some of the market’s house-made focaccia, and it’s a meal in itself.

One more bonus to having breakfast at Argenta Market — once you’ve finished your meal, you can pick up the next one. There are sandwiches for lunch, all sorts of stuff in that deli case to have them fish out for you, and a big case nearby with take-and-make items. There are some epicurean delights to be found there.

You’ll find Argenta Market on Main Street in North Little Rock right across from the Certified Arkansas Farmers Market at Sixth and Main. I hear Chef Shane’s whipping up cinnamon rolls for tomorrow morning’s breakfast. I may have to make a return trip. For more information, give the place a call at (501) 379-9980 or head over to the website.

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