Lunch for $10 or less: Fleet Street Market

You can get bread from Hamilton Bakery, including their amazing onion focaccia, at Fleet Street Market, and that alone makes this grocery store, which opened in July, a major asset to Fells Point.

The bread is part of the new market's all-star lineup of the area's best produced foods, including Ostrowski's sausages, Springfield Farm chicken, Zeke's Coffee and Dirty Carrots vegan treats. Fleet Street also sells produce from local farms, along with the kind of specialty brands you'd expect to find in a gourmet shop.

Fleet Street Market — not to be confused with Fleet Street Kitchen, a new full-service restaurant in Harbor East — also sells a limited selection of freshly prepared food. The sandwiches we tried were plenty encouraging.

The star was a turkey sandwich ($7.50), served on a crusty baguette, with brie, sliced apples, apricot jam — just enough of it — and a mayonnaise-Dijon spread. The sandwich was big enough to divide into two meals, but I ate it all in one sitting. Really, it was one of the better sandwiches I've had in months and months.

Good ingredients help. The turkey was fresh-roasted, the brie at the perfect moment of ripeness and the crisp apples layered in manageable slices. Truly, though, the bread was what made it such a treat. Baltimore doesn't have a great reputation for its bread, but Hamilton Bakery is helping to edge things in the right direction.

Fleet Street Market is headed in the right direction, too. Right now, Fleet Street Market is more market than purveyor of prepared foods. I have friends in Fells Point who have come to depend on it for mid-week shopping, and the owners seem to be really interested in hearing what their customers want.

But there was something about that turkey sandwich. It reminded me of the fare you used to get in a good gourmet shop, back when we called them that. I miss those places — remember Morton's? — and I think people are prepared to support a good one.

Fleet Street has published photos on its Facebook page of salads and picnic boxes, which look very appetizing. Those weren't there when I came in, though; the offerings were limited to a few sandwiches. We were told that the sandwich menu would be doubling in size soon. I hope so, and I'll be watching to see how Fleet Street Market grows and changes over the next few months.

Fleet Street Market

Where: 2001 Fleet St., Fells Point

Contact: 410-342-0008

Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Saturday

Lunch entrees: $7.50

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