So today I decided I'd check out the West Side Market, which is an easy 15-minute train ride from my building. I figured I could pick up something quirky and fresh and then eat it and then head back.
When I got inside around 7:40am, though the posted opening time was 7am, things were pretty much dead. The building itself was quite grand, but maybe 10% of the booths had their lights on, and maybe half of those had people in them, and none of them were 'open' in the traditional sense; they were still carting things in for the most part. Pretty quiet.
On the side of the market building, there's a small diner type place, improbably named the West Side Market Café. This would have to be the place where I would get my breakfast.
I pulled up a chair at the copper-top bar and ordered a "Benedict Arnold" (two halves of toasted english muffin with Canadian bacon, grilled tomato, poached egg, avocado slices, topped with Hollandaise sauce and with a side of hash brown potatoes (containing onion)) and a cup of fresh squeezed orange juice. All the food was super delicious, since just about everything but the salt and pepper was sourced from the farmers/producers/vendors that set up shop elsewhere in the building for four days a week. (Seriously, that orange juice was some of the best I've had in a long time; pulpy and sweet, not throat-burningly caustic like the lower grade from-concentrate stuff.)
The waitress was kind enough to inform me that the market tends to get to a slow start on Mondays, and that Saturdays are "like a madhouse"; if I wanted to come see the real market action I should come then. (I'd even go just for the orange juice.)