Content by Toni Shiurba, Published August 5, 2017
It’s Saturday in Friday Harbor and Brickworks is buzzing with energy. The Plaza and restored building in Sunshine Alley swell with local vendors and artists. Smack dab in the middle of our three-block town, you will find our open air Saturday Market. It’s a hot spot of activity from 10 am to 1 pm (and 2pm in August). In the alley behind our one and only theatre, you can find a community of people who offer only the best.
A noisy, party atmosphere is created where locals and tourists alike throng. Smell the Sweet Peas and Lilac Roses gathered in bunches and ready for you to take home. Gardeners arrange their baby carrots, Sugar peas and Yukon gold potatoes in colorful baskets to tempt you. Organic quality goods tended by loving hands are everywhere. You won’t find any better produce than what our local farmers grow. These are the riches you should seek!
Whatever Your Fancy, the Market has it!
Have a hankerin’ for fresh oysters? No problema! Westcott Bay Shellfish is a family owned aquaculture farm on the island. Mussels and clams are also their claim to fame. The cold waters and sustainable techniques, along with the just plain friendly atmosphere, make it a great place to visit. Shucks, they’ll even give you a free lesson on opening the shells of those tightly clamped suckers!! Here at the market, you can buy fresh picked shellfish or order them grilled and spiked with hot sauce.
Turn around and find the Paella booth. Tender morsels of mussels, shrimp, tomatoes and garlic are part of the recipe. Family secrets keep customers guessing. But there is no guesswork about how delicious it is. Lunch, anyone?
Move along the outdoor brick patio to find the phenomenal High Seas Tuna booth. Wendy and friends give out samples of canned smoked and regular tuna. It’s a family business run by her seafaring mom and dad plus, one heck of a big boat. Unbeatable for flavor and quality. You can buy it by the case so that you never run out. I recommend the smoked tuna. Delicious!!!
We do Local Best
Try some local eggs laid by happy chickens that have room to roam and dine on fresh bugs and stuff. They are environmentally friendly chicks. Do you remember or have you ever experienced what rich, dark yolks taste like? Way better than any store bought variety, including many organic brands.
Need some jam for that morning toast? Jars of berry blends and some just straight up, one-variety kind line the tables of various sellers. Sampling allowed.
Want some cow’s milk cheese to go with your favorite red wine? Giddy for goats? Goat cheese, that is. We even have an expert cheese maker or fromagier. And this cheese does not stand alone. You’ll have to wait in line to get some of her artisanal wares. Varieties abound.
Is a juicy hamburger on your picnic menu? Or need some substantial steaks to sizzle on the grill? Try some organically produced meat from a variety of local beef, lamb and chicken farms for a taste delight.
Those steaks and burgers require some seasoning to bring out their flavors. Sprinkle on a pinch of San Juan Island Sea Salt produced from our own Salish Seas. Low tech in nature, this relatively new start-up, harnesses the sun to do its work of evaporation.
Feed Your Eyes, Homes, and Spirits, Not Just Your Bellies
My grandmother always said “To set a beautiful table, use the best china and don’t forget the flowers.” Colorful, cheery, sweet-smelling flowers are offered for sale by several local growers. Feeding the eyes is as important as filling your belly, you know.
Turn your attention inside the Brickworks building to find an array of local artists creations. From ceramics, soaps and jewelry, to delightful seaweed pictorials and relaxing chair massages, there they are.
Bands of musicians electrify and add harmony to the congregation. Your spirit may be moved to dance. The atmosphere outside and inside of your mind will be transformed. Come and be here now, at the Friday Harbor Saturday Market.
Coho Restaurant is Right Next Door
After you’ve had your fill of Island fun at the Saturday Market, consider joining us for dinner. Stop by and check see our current menu right outside our door while you’re exploring the area. We are right next door to Brickworks. Be sure to ask your server what is sourced right here on the Island when you come in for dinner!