Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Atwater Farmer's Market: Pig candy, and vegetables too

The irrepressible Big Mista himself.

The Atwater Farmer's Market always seemed like it had lots of potential, but until a year or so ago, it was notable mostly for having cheaper produce than the Silver Lake Farmer's Market, with more selection of Asian vegetables. But then Big Mista arrived with his smoker full of pig candy, and at some point the market extended down another aisle. It's still compact, but now there's meat, fish, more jams and desserts, and a few stands that really stand out.I had my first duck egg the other day at the Dervaes farm and it was terrific. This stand offers duck eggs and several types of mushrooms.
The curly, seasonal Bloomsdale spinach from South Central Farmer's Cooperative caught my eye and the LA Weekly's too this week.
The meat stand has rabbit (shown above), pork from Jimenez Family Farms, grass-fed goat and American lamb.
There are several prepared food stands -- the pupusas are fine -- but the piece de resistance in Atwater is Big Mista, who cooks up chicken, ribs, pulled pork, brisket and the inscrutable Moink balls -- bacon-wrapped meatballs. Pig candy is thick-cut bacon smoked with a brown sugar glaze. It's a dollar a piece -- more than one piece might kill you -- but it's hard to imagine how I'll ever get through a Sunday again without a piece now that I've tried it. I also had an excellent pulled pork sandwich that lasted me for three meals. Big Mista puts an awful lot of black pepper in his coleslaw and his BBQ sauce, which wouldn't be my choice. But it's hard to argue -- this is just great Q, and it's probably just as well you can only get it once a week (unless you follow him to Torrance).


amanda said...

I tried the brisket from Big Mista's last week and found it to be heavy on the black pepper as well. I chalked it up to my being a bit of a purist about my smoked brisket (ie the flavor should come from smoking it all day). It was tasty nonetheless, just not like what my mother makes. She likes to talk about how when we moved to n. Michigan from Texas, she had to special request the unadulterated brisket from the butcher and the butcher really couldn't believe she'd want such a thing.

I will have to try the moinks next time.

Miles said...

First of all, I can't believe word is getting out. What about our needs in Atwater for amazing bbq we can walk to weekly? That said, get the brisket sandwich and ask for it fatty and, as Jesus as my witness (jew speaking here), it will make you believe in God. And don't get me started about the beans. That said, the corn bread's a bit dry.

Anonymous said...

Big Mista was at the Eagle Rock Farmer's Market (on Fridays) for a while. I'm going to see if he's there tonight!

Ethel said...

ooo that bacon looks delicious! Atwater is not my scene, but that bacon just might do the trick.

Elle said...

It would be helpful if you put the day and time the Atwater Farmers Market is open.