On weekdays, it's a parking lot for Caltrain commuters. On weekends, the space transforms into an outdoor market. The neighborhood emerges- young families, elderly couples, trendy singles- to scout out food and other treats for the coming week.
To my left, a father with arms draped in full plastic market bags, his young son trailing behind with a pain au chocolat in one hand and a face smeared with chocolate. To my right, an elderly couple sort through a pile of tomatoes before selecting four of their favorites. A dozen fruit and vegetable stands compete with each other, but there is also bread, Indian food, fresh pasta, flowers, and pastries.
In many areas of the country, you can rely on the market to have higher quality produce for a fraction of the cost at the grocery store. Sadly, this isn't always the case in the Bay Area. We have markets aplenty, but you need to be vigilant to find good deals. Prices are often the same or higher than at Safeway, Lunardi's or Trader Joe's, so you do need to pay attention.
For me, I like to select varieties that I don't see at Safeway and ask the sellers any questions I have.
My romaine lettuce and arugula are washed and pre-bagged, but were picked on Thursday or Friday so I know they're fresh.
I taste a few peaches before selecting two Zee Ladies. I also pick two nectarines, but I'm not sure of their name.
tomatoes and cucumber
three baskets of strawberries for five dollars- THAT is a good deal!