I stopped by Patina Green Home & Market yesterday while I was out doing some research for the next issue of D Home. I was looking for the latest and greatest in home furnishings, so I wasn’t expecting to find a market that offers only fresh, local ingredients under the same roof as a vintage furniture and accessories shop. Of course I couldn’t resist the urge to pick up a few treats. I’m sure glad I did.
Robert Lyford is the man behind the food. He runs the shop, located in McKinney’s historic downtown square, along with his wife, Kaci, and mother-in-law, Luann Van Winckel. Robert says he likes to “shake the hand of everyone he does business with.” Read: he buys directly from local farmers. Since he has a personal relationship with everyone he buys from, almost every item has a story to go with it. While I was perusing the cheese selection, he told me that one of his vendors – Veldhuizen Cheese out of Dublin – ages its cheese in a cave. He got a personal tour of it when he went to pick up his order.
Since he buys local, everything is guaranteed to be fresh and organic. While I was there, I picked up some smoked German sausage from Fischer’s Meat Market in Muenster, Brie from Brazos Valley in Waco, Green’s Creek Gruyere, Doctor Kracker hummus-flavored artisan baked crisps, and white chocolate and vanilla bean coffee creamers. Everything was just as fresh and flavorful as he’d promised. The sausage was smoky with a peppery kick, the Brie basically melted in my mouth, and the Gruyere was a happy medium between sharp and mild.
Robert also gave me a homemade scone to try. I consider myself a bit of a scone connoisseur because I ate about three one each day while a lived in London a few years ago. Let me tell you, good scones are hard to come by in Dallas. This one is the closest I’ve found to the real thing. Add a little clotted cream and jam, and I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference.
Robert uses the same ingredients he carries in the market to create the lunch menu. Since his inventory changes daily, he usually plans the menu the morning of. He typically offers two choices, which varies depending on the items he has on hand. He never makes the same thing twice and he serves it until he runs out (which has happened everyday since they opened two weeks ago). The food has been such a success that they’ve added two additional tables to accommodate the lunch crowd.
Everything they do revolves around sustainable living, so it’s no surprise that their shopping bags are recycled. My snacks were placed in a California Pizza Kitchen bag with a tag urging customers to bring in old shopping bags so they can reuse them. It reads, “Why should we buy new bags when there are so many already out there?” Good point.
I’d say this place is definitely worth the trip out to McKinney. I just wish he hadn’t run out of lunch before I got there – I guess I’ll have to go back!