Michelle Gayer wasn't shy about giving up the secret to the sandwich buns she sells at her new Mill City Farmers Market stand. "They're full of eggs and butter and milk," she said with a laugh. "It's not a classic brioche, but it's close."
That's good enough for me. And obviously others, since the golden, tender, rich-tasting buns are also the product of choice at Tilia, Wise Acre Eatery and other restaurants.
The time for burgers on the grill may be coming to an end, but the appearance of autumn leaves also signals -- for me, anyway -- the advent of sloppy Joe season (find a can't-miss recipe at startribune.com/tabletalk). Gayer got on board with that idea and offered a suggestion: A layer of potato chips, nestled between the bun and the meat sauce. "For the crunch, and the salt," she said. Why didn't I think of that?
Gayer is a market newcomer, arriving just a few weeks ago. "I've been wanting to do it for a while," she said. "They finally had an opening, so I jumped. I love it. Those people are my people."
Along with those first-rate sandwich buns, Gayer stocks her stand with a few breads, including a multi-grain loaf made with Minneapolis-brewed Fulton beer, plus gorgeous sweet and savory milk bread tarts that she lavishes with seasonal ingredients -- tomatoes, red potatoes, plums, "or the five minutes that we had figs," she said. "You know, whatever is available at the moment."
By the way, Gayer sells out of buns every Saturday, so arrive early. Or visit her Salty Tart Bakery in the Midtown Global Market, where she keeps them in stock at 50 cents a pop.
For a map of Twin Cities metro-area farmers markets, go to Startribune.com/taste.