Mercato Centrale, the weekend market at The Fort
I'm not a foodie, but I love good food (who doesn't?). We eat out a lot but the bulk of our meals are cooked by me! Therefore, it's important that I always find new flavors and new sources of ingredients. The healthier and more natural, the better. Location is also important!
So when I heard that a new weekend market is opening behind Bonifacio High Street, I immediately rushed to the opening this morning. Take note, I wasn't invited as part of the media. I was there to see what the place, called Mercato Centrale, had to offer. I admit though that the biggest draw for me was the location; it was near our condo, plus I love the atmosphere and crowd at High Street.
There are quite a lot of suppliers (three huge tents) so I wasn't able to take a picture of everything, but I did take photos of the few I bought from.
This is the first tent you'll see upon entrance. Opening day was packed with people! The first tent had a lot of pastries, cookies, and other sweet desserts. There were also vegetables, herbs, free-range organic chicken, and cooked meals. Leyende was there as well as this line of baby products.
Organic produce straight from the ground
Granola bars. I bought a sugar-free Chips Ahoy-flavored pack.
Love this! A bottle of the concentrated iced tea was only P120 and it's good for 16 glasses
Yogood - Yogurt that doesn't taste like yogurt. It's more like a sherbet to me. Only P70 a cup. I do wish they sold the yogurt in pint or gallon sizes.
Butter cookies covered with chocolate and nuts. Box of six was only P100 and it's packaged so that it's great as a gift
Park Avenue Desserts. Bought some toffee fudge with sea salt, P50 a piece. Haven't eaten them yet.
Cinnamon apple tarts for P100
Freshly picked herbs! This is heaven-sent. I don't like the ones I get at the grocery since they wilt quickly. Fresh means that I can store the herbs longer. I didn't buy though because I just bought herbs the other day.
Milea Baby. "Natural" baby products.
Mambos juice and cheeses. Bought a 1 liter bottle of their cantaloupe juice; it's pure melon juice with no sugar! P160 per liter. I suggest you try the Guyabano juice, it tastes great even without sugar.
Smaller bottles available
The other two tents at the back had more home-cooked ulam, pizzas, sandwiches, and the like. There's an area in the center with tables and chairs if you want to eat there. However, I find a lot of the food to be inappropriate, considering the schedule of Mercato Centrale. It's only open from 6am to 12 noon but a big chunk of the food being offered is too heavy for breakfast or brunch (rib steaks, fried chicken, etc.). Well that's just me. Still, the selections aren't your run-of-the-mill restaurant food and I found them affordable. I also like the home-cooked factor - definitely worth taking home for a full lunch or dinner!
I only spent around P1,200 for everything; not bad since I got a bagfull of goodies. Will I be coming back? Definitely! I want to try the savory dishes next time, since today I focused on food and drinks I can store. I was really hoping for suppliers of pre-seasoned steak, chicken, or other meat. Something like a deli perhaps? Now that would be heaven!