Thanks to an ever-growing number of savvy entrepreneurs, a Saturday or Sunday farmers market run can easily evolve into a quick, informal, affordable and delicious brunch outing.
Rise and shine
At the Fulton Farmers Market, sisters Kate and Jen Lloyd, self-described “bread heads,” are the self-taught talents behind the new Rise Bagel Co. (www.risebagel.com). They’re boiling and baking the kind of bagel — hefty, chewy, deeply golden — that so rarely materializes in this bagel-bereft metropolis, topping them with sesame seeds, poppy seeds and a cinnamon-sugar mix and filling them with generous schmears of tangy organic cream cheese (get the garlicky mix of seasonal veggies) or an ultra-creamy made-in-Minneapolis peanut butter. Save yourself the post-shopping regret and buy a dozen for the freezer.
4901 Chowen Av. S., Mpls., www.fulton farmersmarket.com. Sat. 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Golden’s Deli (www.goldensdeli.us) takes advantage of its proximity to the St. Paul Farmers Market — the two Lowertown institutions are across Wall Street from each other — by setting up a temporary market outlet that’s notable for its long lines and short waits. The main event? Bagel sandwiches. The basic building blocks are imported from Bruegger’s, a serviceable choice immeasurably boosted by the sharp-eyed Golden’s crew, who scour the market for farm-fresh eggs, vegetables and spectacularly delicious ham from the nearby Prairie Pride Farm stand. The fresh-squeezed lemonade is an air conditioner in a cup, and the java comes courtesy of locally roasted Peace Coffee beans.
290 E. 5th St., St. Paul, www.stpaulfarmers market.com. Sat. 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Grill and thrill
At the Minneapolis Farmers Market, be on the lookout for the Tollefson Family Pork (www.tollefsonfamilypork.com) stand, where the grill fires up a couple of brats, a few Polish sausages and a hot dog, all first-rate specimens made using well-raised animals from the family’s southern Minnesota acreage. The zesty smoked Italian brat — piled high with fresh fixings — is a meal in a bun, and if you’ve got a few minutes to kill, order the one-and-only ham steak, a sizzling, grilled-to-order wakeup call.
312 E. Lyndale Av. N., Mpls., www.mplsfarmersmarket.com. Sat. and Sun. 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Spicing it up
Kris Petcharawises cranks up the heat at his Gai Gai Thai (www.facebook.com/gaigaithai), the hugely fragrant stand that lights up the Bloomington Farmers Market with Thai-style breakfast rice bowls (get the Minnesota-meets-Bangkok version made with pepper-packed Spam) or the big bowl of egg noodles stir-fried in a fiery garlic-chile paste. Wash it down with a cool glass of lemon grass- and lime-infused iced tea, and then encourage him to open a restaurant.
1800 W. Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington, www.bloomingtonmn.gov. Sat. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Beyond baked goods