Jihye Chang

September 2010

Green Market – Food with trust

I believe that every town needs a place that incorporates local ingredients and encourages sustainable agriculture. It’s about more than just taste and food – it’s about culture and attitude. In Fargo, the Green Market across the public library is the place to look for that “slow food” goodness.

It’s a mystery that I did not visit this restaurant until the end of August this year. I think that’s partly because this place has been in a few different locations recently. Now it’s located at the building that used to be the Full Circle restaurant and some kind of community food-project office. The kitchen is run by Andrea, a talented and ambitious chef who changes her menu daily.

The first day I visited with a few good friends (and a guest from out of town), the menu read like this:

housemade breads & good butter $3; cheese plate with fruit & crackers $12; house made pate & sausage plate $10; pickle plate $6

chilled gazpacho $6; BBQ beef & bean soup $7

organic greens, herbs & champagne vinaigrette $6; heirloom tomato, gorgonzola & basil pickled shallots $7; corn & okra risotto $7; Provencal stuffed vegetables $7; stir fried miso green beans, carrots & eggplant $6

griddled Raclette cheese sandwich $7; griddled Raclette cheese & genoa salami sandwich $8; tuna nicoise melt with heirloom tomato & mozzarella $8; roasted pear tomato, zucchini & ricotta lasagna $7; chicken & vegetable torta with sun-dried tomato jam $5; Hawaiian walu with heirloom tomato broth $11; filet mignon with herb gremolata $11

panna cotta with mint & berries $4; cantaloupe, berries & coconut cream sauce $4; peach & blackberry crumble $4; chocolate orbit cake $4; ginger ice box cookie $2; carrot cake $4

All the servings are pretty small, but I like it that way as I can order a few different plates just for myself. I think it’s incredible that she’d change the entire menu every day – unbelievable, but I admire and enjoy her dedication. And it is obvious that she likes to try new things. She also tries to use as many local and organic ingredients as possible. The Green Market also has a very nice selection of cheeses and deli meats as well as a few grocery items such as imported vinegars and oils.

My favorite dish on our first visit was the stir fried miso green beans, carrots and eggplant. It had a wonderful smokiness and just the right amount of saltiness and sweetness. The vegetables had a really nice texture, too. Also amazing was the peach crumble – not too greasy or buttery, just perfect.  I have been to Green Market 4 more times after that initial visit, and every time I had something unusual or unusually great. Their cheese & fruit plate is always nice. I also love their hazelnut-sage bread (on Thursdays) and organic flax seed crackers. A few days ago I had “clam and smoked salmon noodle with shiitake mushroom” that was so unusual – like chicken noodle soup, except with clam and salmon! It was so different from anything I have ever eaten, yet so good. The best part about this restaurant is that I can trust the ingredients came from good sources and are made with care. Some dishes were a bit too salty or gooey for my taste, but I am getting better at picking out what I will like from the daily-changing menu!

The location is pretty good, and the almost non-existent decor is not a problem for me. The problem is that the entrance area between the main door and the door to the restaurant has a sort of old-building moldy smell. But once you pass that, you sit down and have a wonderful time. The Green Market is one of the gems of Fargo-Moorhead, and I hope they will enjoy a long and successful tenure in their new location!