So I got up really early last Saturday morning to gulp down a cup of joe and then drive to St. Joseph and see what the Pony Express Farmers Market was all about. The market is held in the parking lot of the East Ridge Mall on Frederick Avenue every Wednesday -- which is why I'm posting this today, in case you feel inspired to drive to St. Joe tomorrow morning -- and Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
I'm glad I did a computer map search before I hopped in my car, because I'm used to taking the downtown St. Joseph exit on I-29. You have to drive a bit further to get to Exit 47, which lets you off on the Frederick Boulevard exit which somehow becomes Frederick Avenue or vice-versa. All I know is that I kept driving until I found East Ridge Village, which shouldn't be confused with East Hills Mall, which is just across the street.
Now the Pony Express Farmers Market isn't as big as some of the outdoor markets in Kansas City: there were only ten vendors last Saturday and that included Ryan Frakes, above, who looks like the Hollywood version of a midwestern farmer and was selling radishes and curly lettuce and iris plants (which were so cheap that I bought five for five bucks) and Debbie Lehmer, who is better known as the Enchilada Lady. She makes the best enchiladas I've ever eaten -- seriously!
I brought along my friend Truman, who likes to strike up conversations with complete strangers, so he was in his element here. He met two ladies from St. Louis who had come to St. Joseph to look at historic homes and had stopped to see what was going on at the farmers market. They got so busy chatting with Truman that I'm not sure they actually saw anything.
I, on the other hand, shopped with great fervor and ate another enchilada from the Enchilada Lady (she sells breakfast burritos too and a lot of frozen casseroles) and then spotted, just down the road, a familiar hot pink-and-orange sign that made my heart sing. Dunkin' Donuts. I practically pushed Truman back in my car, revved up the motor in my Dodge and burned rubber until I was in the parking lot of one of my favorite national doughnut chains. Truman couldn't understand why I was so excited (there aren't any Dunkin' Donuts locations in the Kansas City metro area -- unless you drive to Lawrence). I dashed in, bought a chocolate glazed doughnut and was in sugar nirvana for a few minutes. I wanted to eat lunch at the Maid-Rite Sandwich Shop -- which is on Frederick Avenue, not far from the Pony Express Farmers Market, but I got lost and never did find it.