Here’s an awkward faux pas: I showed up at Lane Field Park Market last Sunday expecting to buy produce. It’s not a farmers market.
For one thing, there are no farmers: this weekly market is all about street food vendors. So rather than a fruit and vegetable shopping spree, the point of this event is to grab something to eat, then sit down, hang out, and enjoy the park.
Here again: I didn’t even realize there was a Lane Field Park. Serious baseball fans may remember Lane Field as the original, 1936 home of the San Diego Padres. But that ballpark was long since torn down and paved over. Longtime parking lots recently gave way to a couple of big, shiny waterfront hotels opposite the Broadway Pier. However in 2016 a small section in front was set aside to create a grassy field in tribute to the location’s baseball history.
The weekly market makes use of this grass, furnishing it with freestanding shade umbrellas, beneath which are laid falsa blankets, the striped style of Mexican blanket. The field has been set for a picnic, with games, live music, and food vendors prepared to feed you drinks and snacks.
As I previously wrote, I found raindrop cakes here, which inspired me to eat dessert first. Since many of the foods are served in small portions, I found it easy to try a few different things over the couple of hours I was there.
Another dessert vendor was called Grandma Said No! Here the concept arose from the namesake grandmother’s opinion about eating raw cookie dough. She wasn’t a fan, but these kids are. They provide three kinds of edible cookie dough, including brownie or vegan, gluten-free snickerdoodle. I went for chocolate chip, without the chocolate chips.
They mix in the chocolate chips for you. And/or your choice of other toppings, including coconut, marshmallows, almond flakes, oreos or heath bar crumbles. Mine got a combo of chocolate peanut butter cups and sea-salted caramel. It’s served scooped into a cup, like ice cream, and you may opt to add vanilla ice cream to your order, or fashion a milkshake. But for sure, cookie dough is the focus here, and my scoop tasted great, but a $6 small was plenty. I imagine a $9 large would have diminishing returns.
It wasn’t all sweets. There were booths serving burgers, bacon wrapped hot dogs, seasoned fries, and grilled cheese. And House of Bao, a mother and young son cooking up dumplings with stacks of bamboo steamers. A five spice seasoned pork belly bao proved irresistible, served with mixed greens and a cocktail umbrella. There’s a fair amount of pork hidden in that puffy, sticky steamed bun. Not a bad snag at $4, especially eating it on a sturdy blanket, in the shade, near the bay, with a mix of chili paste and the soy sauce and sesame oil-based dumpling sauce.