ROUNDABOUTS, DETOURS AND ROAD CLOSURES: MARKET DISTRICT + ORZO SALAD

Market District had their grand opening in Carmel today and a small part of me could not resist going after work. I told myself to wait until the excitement died down and that no amount of fancy, pristine produce could get me to brave the Carmel cluster that I had imagined in my head. Alas, I left work before 6:00 (woot!), threw on my yoga pants (can’t let a dress slow you down!), and hightailed it to the land of Carmel or as my google maps says, ‘Car-a-mel.’ Lots of road construction, road closures, roundabouts and two detours did not stop me! SUCCESS as I pulled into a packed parking lot. They even had trams taking people to and from the front door. So, here it goes, my long winded, rambling review. If you want to skip ahead to the pictures, I’ll summarize for you: it was amazing and I will be a regular.

Amazing produce, a wine room, cigar humidor (if you’re into that kinda thing), huge salad bar, a hair salon, a gelato bar, and a restaurant are just a few of the perks.You can also pick out a piece of meat for them to cook for you. Schnuck’s does this in STL, but I never did it. Tulips were $3, which is cheaper than Trader Joe’s. Overall, the prices were not bad and I am someone that memorizes prices and can tell you how much the same item is at another grocery store. I spent $82.91 and got quite a bit. The woman in front of me got $100 worth of green cucumber juice called ‘Simplicity.’ I do not recommend the all juice grocery cart.

They had a really good selection of greeting cards – I am talking about the witty, fun ones that you actually want to send to people. The chocolate bars at the checkout were high quality, unique (hello, sea salt dark chocolate!), and the same price as Trader Joe’s. The atmosphere is fun and from what I could tell, it was laid out well. The place was hopping, but have you ever been to a grocery store that just does not make any sense? When I was in high school, Marsh built a concept store in Fort Wayne that was organized by rooms. So each department (meat, cheese, pantry, etc) had its own room. Needless to say, it closed. I live a block away from a Marsh and they know downtowners will pay for convenience.

The flowers were beautiful and the cheapest I have seen – I got tulips for a work colleague and sunflowers for my dining room table. The rotisserie chickens are huge and $7. They have my favorite cinnamon tea and I got really cute tonic waters and ginger beers for my bar. I made a salad to go for my dinner and they had salmon as a protein option. When you are paying by weight, I don’t know who wouldn’t choose the salmon over chicken. I added feta, edamame, olives, zucchini, cukes, and balsamic. It was well worth the $6. I made sure to chat up the employees who looked a little over it by the time I was there at 7:30. My cashier was a cute lady with pearls and said she had been there since they opened at 11 am.

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The glass case of goodness: roasted sweet potatoes, lemony asparagus, salads, turkey meatloaf, chicken with mozz…

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I don’t understand the unicorn, but this is where the candy, popcorn, and gelato bar is located 

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HOLY brussel sprouts!

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LIBBY’S ORZO SALAD

Bring pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook orzo for 8 to 10 minutes, drain, and rinse with cold water.

When orzo is cool, transfer to a medium bowl and mix in olives, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, parsley, dill, and tomato. In a small bowl, whisk together oil and lemon juice. Pour over pasta, and mix. Chill before serving.

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My little helper 

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