Q-mart is an amazing flea/farmers market in Quakertown (hour outside the city) where I bought my first Venom LP and where you can still find Highlander daggers and ninja swords alongside old motors and tables full of bootleg natural health products sold out of cardboard boxes.
What I never really thought about was that Qmart is an absolute goldmine of amazing food. Pennsylvania Dutch-ish amazing butcher shops that kick the ass of anything in Reading Terminal or the Italian Market along with at least 3 stalls dedicated to nothing but fried foods like these home-made potato chips.
This pickle shop was a highlight, also these days Q-mart has a huge Latin american population which means tons of taco stands and a Puerto Rican restaurant that looked like the real deal.
Sure there is some sketchy stuff, like these hot dogs that I was SUPER excited about, located in the "indoor/outdoor" mart, a maze of makeshift buildings with semipermanent stalls filled with RC cars, more weapons, and piles of trash. One dog was topped with horseradish, cheese, mustard and onions, the other with pepperoni and cheese - a horrible trainwreck of lukewarm dogs cooked on a 7-11 style roller grill, stale buns, cold canned pizza sauce and not fresh giant chunks of onion. What a bummer.
Keep in mind this is not your fancy eco-yuppie farmers market.. not every place is going to be delicious, and there's a lot of people just selling canned beef stew, expired shampoo and cel phone covers that look like they fell off the back of a truck. But for every few of those there's an amazing food stand with people lined up by the dozens. We even found a better hot dog later on that I'm saving for Hot Dog Of The Week.
On the same trip my parents brought us to Spor's general store which has a restaurant in the back where they stop after every trip to Q-mart. If you were wondering where I get my obsession with strange, out of the way lunch shops in depressing small towns where I'm convinced some holy grail regional food item exists (but everyone else just sees a dumpy diner) now you know.
My parents spend practically every weekend combing Pennsylvania small towns looking for stuff like this and photographing everything. They probably have enough material to fill about 25 books but to them it's just for fun.
Spor's is close enough to Philly to have cheesesteaks on the menu but also pierogies and these amazing potato wedges coated in seasoned flour almost like fried chicken. There's actually a stall in Q-mart that makes the same thing that they call "Jo-Jo's" sold by the pound in grease soaked brown paper bags.. so maybe this is a regional thing but either way they are awesome. I'll definitely be back to Q-mart soon to try out some more stuff so keep your eyes peeled.
Quakertown Farmer's Market
201 Station Road Quakertown, PA 18951
Sounds like a great adventure that Retro Roadhusband and I would partake of! We often stop at the Boothwyn farmers market, love the cajun food as well as beef, and the random things and people you can only see at a place like this.
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