This morning I was driving to New Paltz with my other half and had to take a detour through the backwoods of Rosendale (a stretch of Rte. 213 is out yet again). Feeling faint from going ’round in a big circle in order to wind up a few yards further down the road, we decided to fortify ourselves at Market Market, a casual little café on Route 32, on the edge of town.
Market Market opened about four years ago in the rustic building where Springtown Greengrocers used to be. I’ve often driven past it, and now that I’ve finally been inside, I’m happy to report that it’s worth an annoying detour. Jen Constantine and Trip Thompson, ex-pats from Williamsburg, own the place, but today it was in the care of Jude Roberts, a cheery, front-of-house server who handled a sudden surge in customers with an apologetic aplomb you don’t often see in a roadhouse joint.
Al fresco option at Market Market
Super casual though it is, with 35 seats, a counter, an open kitchen, and hippie-meets-hipster décor, this is no down-market sandwich stop. The menu is more New Age comfort food, with lunch fare ranging from burgers to beans and rice and a Vietnamese bahn mi sandwich. You find a similar eclectic mix on the dinner menu: hangar steak, chicken quesadilla, pork katsu, mac and cheese, pasta — all like that, and at remarkably cheap prices, too. Chef Jeff McCoy, who Jude told me has a background in some fancy places in the big city, oversees a staff of cooks. “The recipes are very specific,” Jude says. “McCoy makes sure things are up to his standards.”
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Food is prepared with fresh, quality ingredients – even the burger rolls are baked in house, daily. The burgers themselves are made with pasture-raised, hormone- and antibiotic-free beef from a Red Hook farm. “Our hamburgers are fantastic; they’re becoming legendary,” Jude told me. I ate a turkey BLT — a lovely, big, messy thing made with brined and house-roasted turkey, moist with sundried tomato mayonnaise, and served on grilled sourdough bread. It was terrific, and so generous that, even though I’m famous among my intimates for eating vast quantities of food in a single sitting, I had to bring half of it home. Alex enjoyed his Vietnamese pork sandwich, too, and we both succumbed to the temptation of hand-cut fries. Sandwiches come with potato salad, but for an extra $2 you can have a small hill of crispy fries, and I recommend you do. There are a few beers on tap, and old favorites like lime rickeys for non-drinkers.
Vietnamese style pork sandwich
On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, Market Market turns into what it calls a “micro-venue,” when the tables are pushed aside, a little stage goes up, and musicians do their thing. “Rhett Miller just played here,” reports Jude, although it’s often “people on the edge of fame,” he says. The charge depends on the band, and is sometimes just a donation. Either way, you can be sure of a really tasty, wholesome meal as an accompaniment.