Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Greensgrow Rustle

Business is brisk every weekend at Greensgrow Farm, and yet Mary Seton Corboy and her crew still find time to bake pecan pies and make their own herb-studded pesto and creamy eggplant dip. Also new on the Cumberland Street premises, you'll find Greensgrow tote bags for $5, all the more reason to pile up on peaches and heirloom tomatoes. It went from being an occasional resource for some fresh produce to a bustling neighborhood fixture that put Corboy in Philly Mag for Best Philadelphian of 2008.

The Greensgrow of today is a one-stop market for the cream of Philly's crop: Metropolitan Bakery granola, Pequea Valley yogurt, staples like eggs, cheese, raw milk, and baguettes. Neighborhood bakers North Port Fishington Cookie Factory and Baked supply the treats - cookies, lemon bars, scones. The eggplant spread was smoky and delicious. They also carried tzatziki and two types of pesto. The nectarines were plump and insanely cheap. I'm always reminding people that they don't have to shop at Thriftway a few blocks away.

I'm predicting that the Greensgrow sacks are gonna show up all over Philadelphia.

Along with the Arctic Splash logo shirts from Memphis Taproom.

Speaking of the Tap, I finally tried the BBQ seitan way earlier in the day than I should have. The seitan is rubbery and sliced into strips that I found awkward to work through. I've chowed on some emphatically ugly eats in the past, but this one didn't look appetizing at all. It should have been shredded to mimic BBQ pork. Even chunks would have been acceptable. Flavor-wise, I could have used a good shot of barbecue sauce or two.

We went ahead with dessert, a sliver of vegan chocolate cake floating on a river of thin creme anglaise. The cake is baked out of house. For me, chocolate cake needs a solid inch of fudgy frosting to make it. If not, it's the worst dessert standby ever conceived: the molten lava knock-off. And if it's not either of the two, it simply doesn't work. This was an example of vegan baking that is merely passable, nothing to rave about. There needed to be something besides the cake part (I vaguely detected some kind of nutty paste layer?) and the weird, milky goo it sat in.

That's in the past, though. I do dig what comes out of Memphis' kitchen on most days, enough to keep going back now that I've figured out what I like there. Greensgrow is just up the street, a perfect post-brunch-cap.

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