Every Saturday through May, locals and visitors have a chance to visit the Bradenton Public Market. Here, you can shop with local vendors, enjoy live music, and sample a wide range of delicious foods made from scratch with love.
In a collaboration with Realize Bradenton, we will be sharing a series of posts that explore the savory meals, whimsical treats, sweet bakes, and the fruits and veggies that can be found at the market. This post will feature two barbecue masters, one expert in Spanish cuisine, and the authority in vegan Caribbean recipes. Check it out…
Paella de Oro
Paella de Oro is an homage to Spain, the country of origin for this husband and wife team – Maria and Manuel Martinez.
Their life in this country started nine years ago when they relocated from Barcelona to Sarasota. The couple owned a small restaurant in Barcelona where they served some of Maria’s family recipes.
Today, they run a different business during the week but spend their Saturdays in our market community. Another market vendor, Wanda and George from Al Horno Sweet & Savory, whom the couple knew through church, convinced them to give this venue a try. They’ve been part of the market since March 2022 and we’re couldn’t be more grateful for the chance to enjoy their amazing dishes each week.
The moment Maria and I exchanged our first words, conversation flowed naturally, as if we were old friends. We had never met before, but we spoke the same language and easily discussed the foods we grew up eating.
We exchanged a few family stories of how we make paella and then I allowed the expert to share her secrets with me. Maria and Manuel offer two types of paella at the market. Paella de Carne (Meat Paella) and Paella Marinera (Seafood Paella).
The meat paella consists of pork rib meat, chicken, veal, saffron, onions, peppers, tomato, and other vegetables. The seafood version includes clams, shrimp, mussels, octopus, and chicken plus saffron, onions, peppers, tomato and vegetables.
Paella de Oro offers catering with a large selection of Spanish dishes. You can also have Maria and Manuel come to your home and cook a genuine paella for you. That’s one way to impress your friends! To learn more or place a catering order, contact them at 941-328-2003.
Half Plate BBQ
BBQ and smoking meats are only a few of the many talents of Chef Horace Parker, or HP as he’s best known. This is HP’s third season at the market and it’s been a very successful run.
HP went to Manatee High School, then started his college career at Alabama State but quickly switched gears and transferred to Johnson & Wales Culinary Program in Miami. He spent eleven years in Miami working in some well-known restaurants and catering businesses after completing his degree at Johnson & Wales. He has been back in Bradenton for the last four years, and this is where he created Half Plate Catering.
Half Plate BBQ is best known for their Full or Half Rack of Ribs, the Rib Sandwich, and Smoked Chicken.
HP explains his technique as a simultaneous grill and smoke. He starts the night before by applying his original recipe Chef Boi HP Dry Rub and allowing the meat to marinate overnight.
The dry rub marinade process draws the moisture out to tenderize and add flavor over several hours. At the time of cooking, he starts with the grill at a high temperature for a few minutes to sear the crust, then lets it cook at a low temperature for two to four hours, giving it the smoked finish.
HP has big plans for the future with the intent to standardize his seasonings, rub, and technique so that he can serve the same great food at several markets, events, or locations at once.
You can also find Half Plate BBQ during the week near the Sarasota Airport at the Shell Gas Station located at 6000 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243.
The Corn Soup King
Simeon is Bradenton’s corn soup king and his recipe comes with a long history. The Corn Soup King business started with Simeon’s uncle in Canada, who saw the possibility of a successful business and got the family involved.
They’re exploring opening storefront locations in a few cities, and while those plans are in the works, they’re concentrating on local markets like ours.
The corn soup recipe is original to Simeon’s grandmother from Guyana. It’s very simple, starting with a base similar to pea soup. Ingredients include thyme, carrot, corn and seasonings. Simeon comments that it’s so simple that many times he feels he’s forgetting to mention additional ingredients.
The Corn Soup King is not only about corn soup. They also offer an all-vegan menu with Caribbean flavors and recipes.
Every week they offer additional items at the market such as the Rasta Pasta, Macaroni Pie with Cashew Nut Cheese, Pineapple Smoothies served in a fresh pineapple and Coconut Water served in the coconut.
They source most of their ingredients from local farms and the coconuts are brought in from Miami.
Stop by and spend a little time with Simeon and you’ll realize his passion for what he does. He might also be willing to show you how to skin a coconut and cut a pineapple with some style. He’s got some serious machete skills.
Royal BBQ & Grille
Many vendors at the market have great stories of dedication, perseverance, and hard work – but none like Thomas’ story. His is a unique one.
Thomas is a city worker who, among other duties, helps set up The Bradenton Public Market in the morning, break it down in the afternoon, and return Main Street to perfect conditions after all the festivities are done.
One day he expressed his dream of selling his BBQ at the market in a conversation with Realize Bradenton staff. That’s all he needed to say and Realize Bradenton made it happen.
This is now his second year at the market. Royal BBQ is named after Thomas’ granddaughter and the source of his inspiration.
Thomas has spent the last 30 years between Clearwater and Bradenton, and during that time, he’s perfected his grilling technique.
Royal’s menu includes BBQ items such as Pulled Pork by the pound or sandwich; Italian Sausage (smoked or hot); Ribs; Smoked Chicken plus Mac & Cheese, Collard Greens, or Baked Beans sides.
Additionally, he offers a large selection of omelets, which are a great way to start your morning market visit.
The breakfast menu includes a Garden Bacon Omelet; Garden Cheese Omelet; Breakfast Pita; Breakfast Sandwich and Hash Browns.
We hope to have Thomas and Royal BBQ at the market for many more years. His future in the BBQ business certainly seems bright with followers like Mayor Gene Brown making it a point to stop by for a meal every week.
Intrigued by the Bradenton Public Market and all that it offers? You should be! There are so many incredible vendors to explore every Saturday through the end of May from 9 am to 2 pm. Keep an eye out next week as we continue our blog series, highlighting even more tasty treats you can find here.