Eat Street, Sleep, Repeat!
Well, I’ve finally done it – I’ve gone to the Eat Street Markets. And I have to say…I still haven’t made up my mind about the place.
Based in Hamilton, the asian-food markets inspired Eat Street Markets have been around for a little over two years, and feature a plethora of delights for the perpetually hungry. From meat pies to gourmet brazillian bbq, from cronuts to donuts to churros, from asian dumplings to home made pizzas to greek delights, you can’t go wrong when you want it all, and you want it now. And, of course, lets not forget the funnel cakes.
I ventured there on a Friday night with a friend who had been there before, and had my anticipation built throughout the day with text messages containing one or two words only – words such as CRONUTS! and PEPPERONI PRETZELS!! I was lured by the promise of a multitude of food market stall options, and fancy pop-up restaurants in shipping containers. I have to admit, as a self-confessed gourmand, I was a little worried that I would get carried away on my first ever expedition. I pre-emptively left all debit cards at home, and withdrew a meagre $30 of spending money so that I would go home satisfied and not self-loathing.
Upon arriving (after parking about 10 minutes walk away) we paid our $2 entry fee and began to explore. My friend immediately spied the pretzel stand and we headed over there to see what they had available (they, like many other stalls, have specials of the week). We decided to do the sensible thing and see all the food that was on offer before choosing our meal for the evening (or meals, but who’s counting?). We wandered the many walkways, bumping and jostling through the crowd, before deciding on a drink first to whet our appetites. A $6 wine (not too shabby) later, and I spied the dumpling truck…well, I know we’d decided to see everything that was available but as soon as I saw ‘2 BBQ Pork Buns for $5’ I knew I’d found my entree for the evening. We hunted for somewhere to sit (which did take us a while – the place was pretty packed), and chowed down on some piping hot, deliciously fresh pork buns.
After this, we wandered some more. The markets turned out some more traditional style fare. Clothes, home wares, soap, and candles were just some of the additional items available for sale. But let’s be honest, we were there for the food.
The next thing that caught our eyes were dancing girls in corsets at the Funnel Cake stand…yes, the first thing I said was “what the —- is a funnel cake?”. Basically a funnel cake is a cake made by pouring batter into hot cooking oil and deep frying the overlaying mass until golden brown…doesn’t sound very appealing does it? Now try imagining it smothered in layers of chocolate sauce, crumbly peanuts, a big scoop of ice cream and topped off with shards of peanut brittle. Sound better? I thought so.
So we had our dessert before our main meal…but we weren’t going to let that stop us. We circumnavigated a live band, a delightful tornado potato stand with a line a mile long, and made our way back to the pretzel stall…We just hadn’t been able to get those pepperoni pretzels off our minds, and thankfully they one left.
At the end of the night, and thanks to sharing both the funnel cake and the pretzel, we left satisfied with clean plates and a clean conscience. I didn’t feel like Eat Street was as exciting as I expected (after all, I go to the regular markets a lot, and quite a few of the stalls also feature there), however I was impressed by some of the more gourmet stands, and all the food we sampled was of a good quality and not too over-priced. The most difficult part for me was decided what to get, and also finding something that wasn’t carb-loaded to the extreme (as you can see, I didn’t do very well in that area). Despite the title of this post, we only ventured there once this weekend, so I am undecided as to whether I was under- or over-whelmed. I do think, however, that I will definitely be back…after all, I still haven’t tried a cronut!