Stockton Market Caters to Shoppers and Diners Casual seating lends itself to eating family style
On Saturday and Sunday the Stockton Market in Stockton, N.J., is filled with shoppers buying locally raised meats, poultry, cheeses and produce for the week ahead.
But on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m., most of the customers are there to dine.
Whether they are in the mood for pizza, barbecue, seafood, salads or enchiladas, they can find them at the market.
Many customers arrive early, said interim market manager Lindsay Albert, to take advantage of Metropolitan Seafood’s $1 oyster special. “People start out with oysters, then head for pizza or something else,” she said.
The variety provides something for just about everyone in a casual setting.
“It’s a great place because of all the different vendors and the quality of the food,” said Stan Gdowski, who manages Jamie Hollander’s Market Pizza.
Gdowski and his staff make artisanal pizzas, which is part of what makes the market a draw for families.
If the kids want pizza, but the parents want seafood, there is no problem. They each put in their orders, then find a space to sit at the tables located around the market. The casual seating lends itself to eating family style.
“It’s a nice space if you have young children,” said Albert, because they can run around while their parents sit and eat and talk.
People feel comfortable there, she said. “We had a birthday party recently,” with an extended family gathered around one of the tables that have room for eight. And a large crowd came on the Friday before the recent snowstorm, anxious for a night out before being shut in.
Restaurant vendors include Market Pizza, which makes kidfriendly pizzas as well as more grownup artisanal pizzas featuring vegetables from Blue Moon Acres in Pennington, N.J. Metropolitan Seafood offers a fish special every Friday; when I visited it was fried scallops, but fish and chips is a regular offering.
Il Mariachi serves up tamales, tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas and burritos, while More Than Q Barbeque Co. has slow-smoked brisket, pulled pork, pit beef and turkey sandwiches, plus a variety of side dishes. Juice Matters has fruit and vegetable juice drinks as well as smoothies, salads and wraps, while Manny’s All-Natural Meat serves hot sandwiches, steak and chicken parmesan.
For dessert the diners have choices. Sweet Melissa offers pastries while Sciascia Confections sells brownies, hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows, chocolates, French macarons and grownup alcohol-flavored truffles.
In the future, owner Tom Sciascia said, he will also offer chocolate fondue with fresh fruit and marshmallows.
Curiosity Doughnuts sells doughnuts and soft-serve ice cream while Camillia and Coffea serves coffee and tea to complete the meal.
A few of the food vendors are open on Fridays. Blue Moon Acres sells produce from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., while other vendors are open for the evening hours. Highland Gourmet sells local meats, cheeses, frozen chicken pot pies and gourmet items and Eat This offers homemade jams and sauces.
by Susan S. Yeske – February 4, 2016
photos by Susan S. Yeske