New Hope Needs Ferry Market

I’ve been going to New Hope for years, and had probably walked past Ferry Market a dozen times. However, it was not until a visit this past week that I actually ventured inside. I guess I never paid it much mind. I don’t know what I thought was inside. With blistering temperatures as we wandered around New Hope and Lambertville, Justin and I were just looking to escape the heat for a few minutes. We went in and I was truly surprised at what we found. The building was enormous. There was one vendor after another. Can I even list all that it had to offer? There was a stand for Hawaiian food, one for Indian, Peruvian, French crepes, smoothies, barbecue, Taiwanese teas, Italian desserts, a vegan bakery, a prototypical coffee shop, and Unionville has a stand for wine tastings. I think I’m missing a few. There is limited seating inside, but two decent areas outside for you to sit and yet another stand advertising cold beer. I later read that it opened in 2016. So I wasn’t oblivious for that long.

We walked around and were immediately drawn to the Indian food at a stand named Cross Culture (their main restaurant is in Doylestown). There was a cafeteria-style display with the ever-popular offerings of tandoori chicken, chicken tikka masala, korma, biryani, breads, lamb, and a few others. It looked good. I had wanted to take Justin for a nice lunch somewhere at one of the town’s many restaurants, so I suggested we walk around some more and if we did not find anything that piqued our interest, we could return.

We checked out menus of the area’s restaurants as we moved around town some more. Nothing presented itself with any oomph. Then I had a realization: how many times have I dropped $100+ dollars on an average or downright horrid meal in this town? While not that expensive, my visit to Fran’s Pub a couple of months ago was the last straw. New Hope used to be a sure bet for an awesome dining experience years ago, but recently, not so much. A lunch last year at the Logan Inn was quality, but it was expensive. Other times at different restaurants were long on dollar and short on satisfaction. Back to Cross Culture we went.

I ordered a combination platter which was $9.50 and included portions of two entrees plus basmati rice. I chose the ubiquitous chicken tikka masala and the navratna korma. Justin went with the smaller dish, which was $7.95 and came with a selection of one meal and a rice. Being the first time trying Indian food, he went with tandoori chicken and chicken biryani. I also added an order of naan and vegetable samosas for us to share. All of that food, plus two bottles of water came to $28. Not bad at all.

We found a nice little area with a counter and stools on the other side of the market. I dug into the tikka masala. Unfortunately, the chicken was a bit chewy and the sauce was bland. On top of that, it was merely lukewarm. Their warming trays need to be upped with temperature. However, the korma was excellent. Loaded with (as the menu says) nine different vegetables and nuts, it managed to be chunky and smooth at the same time. It was perfect to dredge that naan bread through it. Both entrees, when plopped into the tray, were given an extra garnish of coriander leaves. Justin’s biryani was delicious. There was a lot going on by way of herbs and spices—the way biryani should be prepared. It was fragrant. Your senses could run wild. His chicken was decent too. Not as good as I have had at Indian spots in Jersey, but good enough given the location. Lastly, the naan was average but hit the spot, and those veggie samosas were better than I expected: crispy on the outside and steaming hot inside.

Let this write-up serve two purposes: 1) to advertise Ferry Market as a whole and 2) a review of Cross Culture, which I will give a pleasing 3.5 out of 5 stars. There is a lot going on in this building. So many different nationalities and their foods coming together in one space. It’s glorious. Any place you can get crepes, biryani, and a pulled pork sandwich in one spot is okay in my book. New Hope needs a place like this, for it is preventing the town from falling into total complacency. Keep it up!

Ferry Market is located at 32 South Main Street in New Hope, PA.

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