Yesterday, in yet another example of Jersey City's reliable awesomeness, The Jersey City Project set up Project: MARKET, a curated outdoor market at City Hall featuring some of the downtown's best retail stores, restaurants and artists.
My friends and I started with the food, because with food like this, there really isn't an option. Union Republic served up a ramen burger, which is a magical creation of roasted pork sandwiched between two ramen buns.
Acclaimed Jersey City eatery Thirty Acres did what Thirty Acres does, which is serve up inventive, delicious and beautiful food. My boyfriend could not stop eating their corned beef dish, which was tender as all hell and served with cabbage slaw, maple syrup and toasted hazelnuts. I consider this a big win not only for the restaurant, but for corned beef itself, which can clearly survive without rye bread and grainy mustard.
The cauliflower sandwich at the Animals Sandwiches table was so good, it almost didn't seem real. It had curried cauliflower steak, walnut pate, pickled onions, frisee, cucumber, mint and hot flower sauce. I don't know from whose brain the idea for this sandwich sprung, but I'm very grateful it did.
The last stop on the food train was Battello, which served up a yummy sampler of smoked salmon bruschetta and crab salad. The restaurant opens in January.
Onto the shopping. I picked up a vintage American flag (48 stars) courtesy of Rough Design Co., which I promptly hung up on my wall when I got home..
I also chatted with lovely artist Melissa Macalpin of Everybody's Lonely, who had a sweet, funny and inspriring collection of prints, paintings, comics and ornaments. As soon as I saw this Slim Fast ornament, I pretty much had to have it.
Project: MARKET is part of a much bigger endeavor by The Jersey City Project to create awareness of the community's good people, good products and good food. Stay tuned for more events, and in the meantime, shop small.