By: Omoshalewa Bamkole, 1st Year BSHE
One January Saturday my friend Jennifer (and local Atlantian) invited me to join her at the Ponce City Market (PCM). Visiting a farmer’s market to purchase some groceries on the first sunny Saturday of the year sounded like a wonderful idea, so I happily agreed. I realized soon after arriving that PCM is not a farmer’s market, but I was pleasantly surprised. PCM is located in a renovated Sears, Roebuck & Co. building and though it now houses a food hall, retail stores, and business offices, one can see the echoes of its industrial past throughout.
Located between King of Pops and Simply Seoul Kitchen, Honeysuckle was our first stop for some much anticipated gelato. Samples were limited to two per person as the line was circling around the corner, but it was definitely worth the wait. I had a taste of Bourbon and Honey Lavender and Jennifer came away with two scoops of yum: Honey Fig and Pistachio with Sea-Salted Caramel in a waffle cone. Honeysuckle also has a selection of shakes (like Dark Chocolate and Peppermint Gelato with Whipped Cream) and dessert sandwiches (like Brownie and Cheesecake Gelato with Almond Toffee) so I’ll definitely be back to have some super sweet treats!
PCM on a Saturday afternoon is a busy place; both local and out-of-town folks come to eat, shop, hang out, and generally enjoy what it has to offer. Since it was my first time, we decided to take a tour of the main hall before finding something to munch on. Overall there is a decent variety of cuisines to choose from. If you’re in the mood for Italian there is Bellina Alimentari, a combined restaurant, market, and bakery which resembles a mini Eataly. Try Marrakesh if you’re looking for some North African and Middle Eastern fare. If you’re more of a farm to table person, there is Farm to Ladle, which offers soups, salads, and sandwiches made from locally sourced produce. Need a caffeine fix? Spiller Park Coffee comes to the rescue. And if you’re a procurer of culinary oils, vinegars, and spices, Strippaggio will not disappoint—they have free samples! If you’re not in the mood for food, there is also the Bohemian-chic Anthropologie and West Elm for all your interior furnishing needs—if your budget can handle it.
I decided to spend my hard-earned money at El Super Pan, known for its Latin inspired sandwiches. With friendly service from the staff and bachata music playing (Cuanto Duele), the environment was nice considering the hustle and bustle of PCM. It was hard to decide what to get as all of the offerings sounded and smelled fantastic. Ultimately, I choose their version of Bao, a warm pastelillito del Dia, and spiced iced sweet tea. Though the bun was small, it was overflowing with flavor from the crispy smoked piloncillo pork belly, sambal, spicy tamarind sauce, and cilantro slaw in a steamed coconut bun. They had an option between two hot savory pastries and I choose the guava and cheese combination which tasted great. I could taste the full effect of the cloves, cinnamon, and whatever else was in the tea without it being overpowering—definitely a favorite. Overall, my meal was delicious, and satisfied my grumbling tummy.
I had a great time at PCM and expect to have more outings there in the near future. Needless to say, there are many more stores and eateries at PCM, so make sure to come and experience it for yourselves!