Favorite Spot: Headhouse Market
Neighborhood: Society Hill
Address: South St & S 2nd St
Years in Philly: 5
Current Home: Fishtown
All summer long now, I can’t have one without the other. Both are so simple yet so pleasurable, bringing a burst of joy into my day with anticipation and satisfaction. The tomato sandwich is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in Philadelphia. And Headhouse Market is one of the best farmers’ markets we have in the city. It’s easy to combine them in my mind. I try to take advantage of the bounty of the market every week–especially the tomatoes–from the time it opens in the spring until closing in the fall. From the first sights of peas, asparagus and garlic scapes to the last dance with butternut squash and Brussels sprouts, the market is one of those simple places with the least simple offering of any “business” I have been to in the city.
The first time I went to Headhouse, I wondered to myself how I hadn’t been already. How was it possible that I had lived, cooked and dined in Philly for a few years without coming to this place filled with the most amazing variety of ingredients and goodies? I assure you, I am making up for lost time. I have some favorite vendors and some favorite items in general, of course. I run into friends I haven’t seen in a little while for a chat and a hug. I get to chat with the farmers about what’s good that week, while also chatting about anything else that comes up. I’ve yet to encounter an unfriendly soul at Headhouse. I find myself heading home with a smile and heavy bags filled to the brim with blueberries, raspberries, any and all squash, kale, asparagus, chicken sausage, eggs, herbs and greens stuffed alongside Three Springs peaches or apples, Market Day Canele pastry, Birchrun Hills cheese, and the to-die-for coffee from Philly Fair Trade Roasters.
Truly, though, I keep coming back for the tomatoes and bread. Some of the best food items I’ve ever eaten in Philadelphia have been concocted with Blooming Glen Farm tomatoes or Ric’s Bread. Or both. From their plump heirlooms to juicy sungold cherry tomatoes, Blooming Glen is hitting the spot with their tomatoes time after time. And Ric’s? What can I say? Your bread is so delicious, I would like to marry it if not for the legal issues. The aforementioned friend who introduced me to heirloom tomato sandwiches failed to tell me how intoxicating said sandwich would be when enjoyed with your 14 grain variety. My summertime tomato sandwich has, by this point, seen many iterations. With or without bacon. Sometimes the addition of a fried egg–with a runny yolk, of course. Maybe mayo. Maybe not. Dill? Sure! Basil? Absolutely. As long as those tomatoes are perched on top of that bread, glistening with the promise of being sweet, supple, delicious and simple, I’m a happy girl. With many simple pleasures to be thankful for, Headhouse is tops on my list.