I thought I knew what a flea market was, but that was before I encountered the Festival Flea Market Mall on Sample Road in Pompano Beach, Florida. Understand that I am not a shopper, was born without the shopping gene (unless we’re talking beads), and only rarely will voluntarily submit to pointless wandering. A quarter-mile long with more than 500 shops and food sources, it’s almost like an old-timey outdoor market, but indoors and minus the elements.
Except that I had agreed to meet some friends from home there for lunch, I’d probably never have crossed the threshold of such an establishment. I’ve been hearing about this place for years from my other mom and dad, and from other friends who have visited down here. I have never, ever seen so many clothing, jewelry and shoe merchants under one roof. In addition, you can find anything from orchids to half-sour pickles to cell phone cases, antiques, and much more within the friendly confines.
The food court features a Cuban deli, an “old-fashioned” deli, a pizza joint, a Chinese fast food bar, and a wonderful place call Pita Nosh, which features that particularly Jewish favorite, the knish, as well as Middle Eastern specialties, like hummus, shawarma and falafel. My friends had also been close to my other mother and dad, so in their honor, we ordered lunch from Pita Nosh, my mom’s favorite eatery there. After lunch, we enjoyed Cuban coffee (a tiny cup of dynamite) and then strolled the length of each of the “streets” in the mall.
My sole purchase was a quart of bright green, half-sour pickles from New York Pickle Company. By the time we had finished the last row, my legs had given out. I sat for a few minutes munching a pickle and waiting for my legs to work enough to get me to the car, and as soon as I got back to where I’m staying, I conked out for nearly two hours. The shoppers’ paradise was overwhelming.