Jamaican and Mexican food at Broad Street Market

Before exploring a local independent bookshop and heading off to Gettysburg for the battleground tour, we spent the morning today at Broad Street Market in the heart of Harrisburg. The Broad Street Market has been around since 1860. During the Civil War, the farmers at the Broad Street Market helped feed the 300,000 Union soldiers who were staying at a nearby camp. Today, it has many vendors that serve meals all day long, as well as fresh produce and flowers.

Every time we have visited cities and towns less traveled to across the U.S., we have always been pleasantly surprised by the food. Broad Street Market was no different. Across the different vendors, I ended up choosing Porters House Jamaican Cuisine and Antojitos Mexicanos Yum Yum! At the Market. At the Jamaican stall, I chose a small plate of curry goat, rice and peas, sautéed cabbage, and sweet fried plantains, with a side of coco bread, a chicken patty, and a beef patty. At the Mexican stall, I ordered huevos rancheros, which came with not just the standard red salsa on top of the fried tortillas and eggs, but even a side of freshly made salsa verde. I couldn’t decide which dish I was more impressed by because both were so good. The huevos rancheros were better than some of the ones I’ve had in New York City: the tortillas managed to stay crunchy until the very last bite. The salsas were both bright and very spicy. The side of rice and beans they came with were addictive, clearly cooked in animal-based broth and/or fat. The Jamaican patties were both well spiced with some good heat, with a really flaky crust. And the curry goat was delicious, cooked the usual way with meat on the bone and chopped through the bone, making it a little unsafe for Kaia to eat, but enjoyable for me with the opportunity to suck bone marrow. Even the cabbage was delicious, well seasoned, and crunchy.

When I asked a friend who grew up in Pennsylvania what he recommended we do in Harrisburg, he said, “Nothing. Choose another destination.” But I would beg to differ: these are some of the most delicious Jamaican and Mexican dishes I’ve had. These meals themselves were worth a visit to Harrisburg.

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