Last week's inaugural Grove Green Market, which pops up every Thursday from 2 to 8 p.m. in the Coconut Grove Playhouse parking lot, attracted an eclectic group of local vendors and farmers offering everything from homemade ice cream from Roc Kat to Hani Khouri's fresh goat cheese.
As Grovites (and their dogs) perused the stands and tasted fruit, a quartet of singers donning Santa hats harmonized a cappella versions of holiday favorites. Music at the market continues with a jazz concert series, sponsored by the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District and Seasons Farm Fresh, one of the vendors and coordinators of the market.
Tomorrow, December 12, the Arthur Barron Trio will perform live from 5 to 7 p.m. With free parking and complimentary bicycle valet service, this market is a great place to shop for dinner or holiday gifts -- stress-free and locally. Here are some of the finds we encountered:
Store-bought dried fruit is packed with unnecessary sugar. Try the tropical fruit blend from LNB Groves for a naturally sweet snack ($4).
Cacao Art hand-makes each chocolate with 100 percent superior Venezuelan chocolate. These sophisticated candies are sold by the piece or pound, or pick up this holiday sampler for $8. It's a perfect stocking stuffer.
Everyone puts strawberry jam on their toast. Be different and serve FROG with the morning meal. It's a spreadable blend of fig, raspberry, orange, and ginger ($10).
Who knew emus laid blue-green fairy eggs? These giants are not only gorgeous but also richer-tasting (more yolk) and better for you than chicken eggs. They may seem expensive, but when you factor in that emus lay only one egg every three days or so and each egg equals about ten chicken eggs, the price is reasonable.
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Who wants to cook after a long day? Via Vegan serves a heaping plate of delights for $10. Eat it at the tables provided at the market, or take it home. The selection varies weekly.
Santa's helpers make beautiful music.