The Farmer’s Hand, a new bodega and grocer, on the corner of Bagley and Trumbull, is literally everything I could ever want. My dining partner, Lady K and I recently stopped in – hoping to snag one of the tables and have ourselves a lazy lunch. This place, their staff and their food are all nothing short of exceptional. That’s it, period.
Founding partners, Rohani and Kiki, have built not only a “pantry, market and kitchen” but an anchor. Their highly curated products, produce and food are top-notch. Immediately upon walking up to their counter Lady K was attracted to the The Nightshade – just a regular eggplant sandwich. Only, it wasn’t regular at all. They take dark eggplants and red peppers and roast them with a little smoked paprika massaged in, throw some fresh mozzarella on top with tomato flakes and finally, the crème de la crème, they paint the toast with golden raisin and goji berry chutney. For me the sandwich, which had a slight crispy exterior, didn’t have the traditional eggplant sandwich flavor profile – instead it had embodied varied notes of wholesomeness followed by a lasting sweetness.
After I grabbed two cups of their self-serve Hyperion Coffee, our afternoon really transitioned into what we had been looking for – a tranquil and almost reflective affair. With the cushioned seats, warm-hearted staff and steamy windows they had successfully made K and I feel right at home.
Our afternoon visit wouldn’t have been complete without trying The Farmer’s Hand most intriguing dish, Green Tea Noodles. This über green noodle salad was so incredibly fresh and uplifting – with its pickled miso dressing, raw veggies and mixed sesame and sunflower seeds it literally delivered a smile on every bite.
Finally, unlike our recent craze over Parks & Rec’s butternut soup, their Soup of the Day, Kabocha, was exceptional in an entirely different way. It was less creamy than many other squash soups around town and wasn’t smoky or nutty, but herbal. They used one of Lady K’s favorite herbs – summer savory. This herb, often used in Armenian cuisine, has a slight bite to it – the type of bite that isn’t hot or long-lasting but sharp and pungent. But good luck trying to get your hands on some, this specialty herb is not at Meijer, nor at most local markets.
If you are serious about finding some fresh savory I suggest growing it in a kitchen garden or buying it direct from a local grower. One of my favorite sources is the Mardirosian vegetable garden on the corner of Mack and Burns in Detroit.
With our taste buds satisfied, our feet toasty and our souls nourished we rather reluctantly had to move on from Corktown’s newest market, The Farmer’s Hand. Until next time, over and out.
The Farmer’s Hand | 1701 Trumbull Avenue, Detroit, MI 48216 | 313-377-8262