St. Jacob’s Market

Posted on May 21, 2012


Starting out early Saturday morning, I was amazed about how I have forgotten the charm of the sleepiness of Toronto at that time of the morning.  It was a quick drive to pick up my friend Valerie.  We were on our way to St. Jacob’s Market at Kitchener and Waterloo.  About 12o kms away from Toronto,  St. Jacob’s Market was the place to be for antique-hunters and local produce lovers.  From what I read in countless articles about this farmers market, people come in droves.  To find good parking and be able to see things first hand, to get there early was key.

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A little after 8am, we finally located the market place and the place was brimming with people.  We chose to go to the main market building to find ourselves one hearty breakfast.  Approaching it, we noticed a line that snaked its way from the outside to a food stall inside. The line turned out to be for Apple Fritters.  It was a good thing that I had my heart set for pancakes as I was already quite hungry and my tummy would not be able to handle waiting in line.  While I was lusting after sausages and pancakes, Valerie had another thing in mind.  Passing by a Mennonite vendor selling home-made jellies, she made an impulsive decision of buying 4 jars and pairing it with the pancakes.  I later found out that Sausage Express ran out of sausages and were only selling pancakes.  Ah, I was heartbroken but I thought with all the stalls I passed outside, I know my heart would mend rather quickly.  So I settled on pancakes, Valerie’s jellies and freshly squeezed orange juice.

After breakfast, we made our way to St. Jacob’s Furnishings Co.  Valerie was on a lookout for a coffee table and we were hoping we could find a bargain.  After going through two floors, we found out that they only have showpieces.  Good thing there were still two more furnishings stores down the road.  We made our way to Market Road Antiques just across the road and my heart palpitated at the sight of tables and tables of antique dinner ware.  My brain went on an overdrive what I could do if I had access to so many props!  It was not surprising that Valerie and I spent more than two hours going through so many things.  Half the time, I spent just playing with old toys and trying to discover what it was all about.  By the time I was finished, I walked out with delicate embroidered place mats, a sugar canvas bag fabric, a silver-plated vase, coffee spoon, a wooden crate and an antique window.  If I probably made one more round, I probably would find more things to bring home.  Valerie looked like a kid in a candy store.  She scored her coffee table, vases, bowls, an iron cast pot, wooden spoons and a mini shovel.

Truly famished after all that antique bargain-hunting, we went back to the main market and to forage for lunch.  I realized we stayed in the antique store too long and I suddenly felt my stomach growled loud.  Good thing there were a lot of food options around and I settled with Beef Brisket Sandwich from Team S & B.  Piled generously on a soft bun, the beef was tender and the barbeque sauce had a sweet and tangy flavor.  Matched with a really cold Diet Coke, I sat on the the patio of the Colony Houses and took in the beauty of a clear blue-skies day and being in a place with that was so vibrant.  I could swear that it was a day in July.  Everyone walked in flip-flops and short-sleeved shirts, summer skirts and shorts.

Getting my second wind, Valerie and I walked to St. Jacob’s Outlet Malls.  I really don’t have any plans to buy any clothing or accessories.  God knows I splurged at the antique store.  So I bypassed the opportunity despite the big discounts by the windows of each store.   What I could not resist buying though was a bag of peanut brittle and two bars maple cream fudge.  We were only planning to buy coffee but after tasting how good the fudge was, I could not say no to getting some.  Going through the stores, Valerie scored some more finding really cheap drapes, coasters and a discounted Pyrex food container.

As we went out the mall, we see the market started to wind down as the market closes by 3:30pm. We were still not done as I still plan to check out St. Jacob’s Village.  Just 3 kms further from the market, St. Jacob’s Village was full of touristic restaurants, boutique shops, antique bargains and gourmet stores.  Such a charming little village.  It was good to wind down the day at a relaxed pace, looking around the specialty shops.  I must confess though that at the time my feet were begging for relief.  I stole some time to sit while Valerie was trying on dresses or looking at trinkets and accessories.  After visiting the last store, my feet finally found relief sitting by a table at St. Jacob’s Grill.  To complete my summery day, I ordered the Chipotle Ribs and Valerie went for Fish and Chips.  As promised, the meat fell off the bones at the slight nudge of my fork.  The heat of the chipotle sauce was amazing, building in my mouth without zinging my taste buds.  Valerie’s fish was equally satisfying. Crunchy breading on the outside and perfectly cooked fish on the inside.  It was a good meal to end the day.

Just as I thought I was winding down, I thought it was good to find good coffee before the drive back to Toronto.  We took the scenic route heading to downtown Waterloo and found Whole Lot-a Gelata.  One last indulgence of the day was a scoop of lemon gelato and latte.  It must sound weird to have something tart and something creamy.  What can I say?  I do have my weird moments.  Valerie went for a decaf Americano and went for another piece of peanut brittle and a pinch of Maple Cream Fudge. As we finished our coffees and our sweet treats, the time to come home finally came.  It was a good day to be out.  It was a good day with a friend.  It was indeed a good day for a road trip.
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