This is why I love Midtown Global Market

marketexterior.jpgPublic service dining hint for Midtown Global Market: Bring anywhere from one to 205 friends with you, buy a single serving at each food booth so everyone can get a taste then move on to the next booth until you get to sample every bloody thing in the joint. Do this until you’re all full. Then whip out your laptops and enjoy free WiFi to work/play poker/read my blogs until you’re hungry again. Repeat.

I sprinted through the cold yesterday to lunch in this fashion at Midtown Global Market (MGM) for the third time. Each time I do this, I find one or more awesome food item(s) that make me kind of wish that I didn’t live all the way downtown where my immediate vicinity, out-of-apartment lunch variety hedges solely on how creative I get at the Subway sandwich assembly line.

Meanwhile MGM is an “internationally themed public market with more than 50 independent locally-owned business”, including 12 food stalls slinging lunch and dinner and five places offering breakfast. It’s a work-at-homer’s dream, especially if your home is one of those condos upstairs in the Midtown Exchange, so you can get at all that food without ever having to take off your slippers.

ahitunataco.jpgAs for the food, yesterday’s Big Discovery of the Day (BDD) was the ahi tuna taco at La Sirena Gorda (“The Fat Mermaid”). Look at those colors! Look at the generous amount of tuna! The black beans broke all the laws of nature and actually tasted good! It was so glorious that I had no choice but to violate the “Only a Taste” rule and devour as much of the taco as possible, causing a brief plastic fork duel with my companion who had similar aspirations.

Honorable BDD was the Oaxaca Tamale from La Loma Tamales which was totally worth the price difference from the plain chicken and pork tamales. Also, just as an FYI, I brought home the massive gyro plate from Holy Land to eat for dinner and very nearly killed myself trying to get it all down. Further to the subject of stuff that you shouldn’t try to polish off in one sitting, add to that list an entire, solid (as in non-hollow) chocolate Santa. I actually have a chocolate hangover today. That’s a first.

One MGM letdown was the chicken and cashew stir fry from Pham’s Deli which had three cashews, four little bits of chicken and about three pounds of water chestnuts comprising the remainder of the plate. The egg roll pretty much made up for it though.

If you’re not the type to carry your laptop everywhere you go (loser), an alternative between-meal time-wasting activity is shopping for food and/or presents. I briefly glanced around the Holy Land Grocery and saw they had bottles of honest to God Italian extra virgin olive oil going for about three dollars less than what I paid at Rainbow. As for presents, there’s rows of vendors selling jewelry, crafts clothes, art, food and uncategorizable knick knacks from five continents. It’s likely many of these items were actually manufactured in South St. Paul, but that shouldn’t stop you from telling the gift recipient that you had the items brought in from the highlands of Ecuador, on the back of a specially chartered llama that the villagers named after the friend in question in honor of the occasion that prompted the purchases of the sweater, tassel hat and bead necklace that tripled the village’s gross earnings for the 2007 fiscal year. Or something.

Sadly, just like when they make good TV shows like “Arrested Development”, this little miracle of eating and shopping euphoria is already in jeopardy of cancellation. Meanwhile “So You Think You Can Dance” is getting ready to start its fourth season. There is no God, but I digress… The MGM is a madhouse on weekends, but during the week the place becomes quiet. Too quiet. Unless you happen to show up on the day when two bus loads of high school students from Northfield pull up for an ethnic lunch after seeing Frida at the Walker and their letter jackets that say ’09 on the sleeve cause you to have a nervous breakdown about how old you’re getting and that some day you may not be the hippest person in the room anymore, but you still are for now so nothing to worry about and doesn’t your butt look good in these jeans?

People are already ringing alarms bells about the whole MGM venture tanking, which would suck righteous ass. Where would all the people in those condos eat? In fact, where are they eating now? People! Refinance your mortgages when the Fed drops interests rates again in the spring and use that money to treat yourself daily to the insane culinary medley that’s waiting just a few steps from your door!

If the Fed drops rates again in summer, perhaps I’ll buy a place there and join you.

Midtown Global Market
7am 8pm daily
Lake Street and Chicago Avenue

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Eating | 4.01.2008 15:34 | 8 Comments

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