Market Lunch

From February 2005 Dirt Cheap Eats

Market Lunch isn't just for lunch. It's also not the place if you're in a rush–or looking to linger. The line in front of the Eastern Market food stand starts at 7:30 AM and lasts until closing at 3 PM; it can take a half hour to get through. There's a rule against leisurely reading while you eat when seats at the counter or outdoor picnic tables are in short supply.

On weekday mornings, Hill-dwellers gather for $1 coffees and plates of grits, eggs, and toast ($2.95), and scrapple or bacon ($1.50). Later, the focus turns to Market Lunch's famous crabcake sandwich ($6.75), a small, deep-fried cake hidden in a fresh-baked roll. A better value is the excellent North Carolina-style barbecue pork sandwich ($4.50), the bun piled high with vinegary pork. Our favorite sides are the tangy coleslaw ($1.10) and thin-cut fries ($1.25).

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