Haute couture boring? Check these vegetables

Photos by Stephanie BeylFarmers Market, Lincoln Road

Lincoln Road market — a little for everyone

If the Publix, Winn Dixie or Whole Foods supermarkets aren’t carrying that fresh-from-the-farm produce you’re looking for, then you might want to stop by the Farmers Market on Lincoln Road, the high-style walking street on South Beach that is lined with trendy restaurants, boutiques and art galleries.

More than 30 purveyors of fresh fruits and vegetables — and other delights — gather every Sunday under the banner of the Lincoln Road Farmers Market. You’ll find them from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., year-round.

One customer, Maggie Perez, says she is glad that the fancy shops and the City of Miami Beach allow the fruit and vegetable people to set up shop on Lincoln Road. After she bought three bags of fruit one day, she talked about why the market is one of her favorite place to shop.

“I may not be able to come here every Sunday,” she said, “but, when I do, I always get the best quality.”

In addition to fruit and vegetables, the market sells bread, honey, jams, flowers and other foods.

Farmers Market, Lincoln Road

It’s easy to get distracted by the established shops on Lincoln Road, like Victoria’s Secret, AllSaints Spitalfields and Juicy Couture. The shops are lovely, and the prices match the flair. But, in contrast, the Farmers Market has bargains. A good-sized cup of frozen lemonade, for example, goes for $2.

Atelier Monnier, founded by a French pastry chef named Franck Monnier, sells chocolate croissants. Lizhou  (Tony) Wang works for Monnier, and he says he wouldn’t sell pastry if he didn’t love it himself. A lot of customers seem to share Wang’s tastes.

“I am from China,” Wang said, “and the teachers in the schools there all have accents. So, a half-year ago, my English was really bad. Working at markets like this lets me talk to people, which helped my English. It helps build my entrepreneurship skills too.”

The Lincoln Road Farmers Market started 14 years ago and has become a part of the fabric of South Beach.  It was founded by the Market Company Inc. Claire Tomlin, an owner, said the farmers market attracts people “of all ages and ethnicities, a mix of everybody, just like the city of Miami.”

Farmers Market, Lincoln Road

After opening the farmers market on Lincoln Road, the Market Company set up markets in the Aventura Mall at the north end of greater Miami, in Pinecrest, south of Miami, and several other places — including Key Biscayne, south of Miami in Biscayne Bay, and Deerfield Beach, north of Fort Lauderdale.

Nannette Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for Miami Beach, said the farmers market on Lincoln Road adds to the atmosphere in South Beach, where walking is a big thing.  She says the market is one more amenity for Miami Beach.

Roxy Jimenez works for World Flavors, a 40-year-old company specializing in custom-blended spices and seasonings. World Flavors is a regular at the farmers market. Jimenez says business is good year-round.

Lincoln Road is often busy. But, on Sundays, some of the biggest crowds are milling around the fruits and vegetables at the farmers market.

At A Glance:

Where: Lincoln Road, between Washington and Meridian avenues, Miami Beach 33139.

When: Each Sunday year-round — 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Parking: It might be difficult. This part of Lincoln Road is a pedestrian mall, so, if you don’t find a spot on a nearby street, check the parking lots and garages on 17th Street, between Alton Road and Washington Avenue.

Tips: Bring cash and wear comfortable shoes and sunscreen. The Miami area is hot, and this is an outdoor location covering several blocks.

What you’ll find: Fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, honey, jams, flowers and more.

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