The first thoughts I had about the Chelsea Market is how chic and wonderful it is. We have nothing like that around these parts, not unless you want to count outdoor “malls”, which I don’t. It’s filled with various cafe’s, markets, and dessert shops. One of the places I saw was a spot called Fat Witch, which we didn’t try because we just didn’t need anymore sugar and butter to our already fattening dining itinerary. But oh did it look good and boutique-y.

We did eat at a spot called Ronnybrook Dairy Farm for lunch, which you can read about my review here. It was a spot for both savory and sweet and it was a good spot to hit on the day we left. Iron Chef Masuharu Morimoto has also opened his restaurant there called Morimoto, but we didn’t get a chance to dine there.

Then I started to think. Is this really just an upper crust kind of food court? I mean, there are food courts [the kind you find at the outlet malls] and then there are food courts [with italics to show they’re unique and kind of snooty]. And in doing research on Wikipedia about the Chelsea Market, it is labeled as an “urban food court”. So my thoughts were not totally off, but can you really call it a food court? To put the Chelsea Market in the same breath as a sBarros and a Charley’s Steakery just doesn’t seem right. And, it’s not. No matter what category you think Chelsea Market ought to be in, it is not, in my mind, a food court. There’s no “court”, a central area where you wander aimlessly to figure out what grotesque food item combos you’re going to ingest, then sit down with the other tired shoppers who are eating to merely get mor energy to pump more money back in our battered economy. There’s also no Auntie Anne’s or Wetzel Pretzel, a sure sign that you are definitely in a food court. And of course, there’s no sBarros, the pantheon of all food court royalty cafes where they somehow think that more processed Parmesan cheese is what diners want.

I would be proud if we had a Chelsea Market where we lived. But for now, I’m staring down the barrel of Panda Expresses, sBarros, and pretzel places where our appetites and diets go for a slow death. I don’t hate food courts, heck I’ve eaten at them with gladness at times, but no one can deny that as far as food goes, there is a fine line between edible and barely edible. And that’s where food courts come to help you decide. The Chelsea Market offers fresh, organic, and truly good food that doesn’t lead one to think how much chemicals did I just ingest. It’s a place where one can wander and let your senses dictate what you want to eat. Then you go in to that cafe/restaurant and eat. No centralized area where people are herded like cattle to sit and dine. You sit and dine where you order your food. What a novel idea.

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