Cookie Till admits that the first time she was handed a square slice of Tony's Farm Table's reuben flatbread pizza, she was a little apprehensive.
"I like reubens and I like pizza, but together, I didn't think that sounded too good," Till said.
One bite and she was quickly swayed.
"It was delicious," she said, "I should have known. Everything that Mike (Hauke) makes is delicious. He comes up with these crazy concoctions that you would think would be weird, and they're always delicious. He has a really good way with flavors. He's a natural at it."
Till is the owner of Steve and Cookie's restaurant and host of the Margate Community Farmers Market, which is held Thursdays in the summer from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in her restaurant's parking lot.
Hauke is the chef and owner of Tony's Farm Table, a farmers market subsidiary of Tony Boloney's pizzeria in Atlantic City's South Inlet neighborhood, and a vendor at the farmers market.
The concept for Tony's Farm Table originated four summers ago when Till invited Hauke join the market.
"I thought people would like what he has to offer, particularly his homemade cheeses," she said, adding that she serves Hauke's homemade mozzarella and burrata cheeses on her restaurant's hummus and cheese plates.
Hauke said, looking back to his first summer at the market, he realizes he had no idea what he was in for, and he didn't foresee his farm table becoming as popular as it is, with a constant line and an empty table each week. He created Tony's Farm Table, which has a website, tonysfarmtable.com, listing its farmer market schedule and weekly menu offerings, because of the popularity of the stand.
This summer, Tony's Farm Table is a vendor at the Ocean City Farmers Market on Wednesdays, the Margate Community Farmers Market on Thursdays and the Stone Harbor Farmers Market on Sundays.
In addition to making his homemade cheeses, which Hauke said are "buttery, salty and soft to the pull," Tony's Farm Table also sells gourmet, ready-to-eat flatbread pizza by the slice, in more than 100 varieties, varying from week to week. The most popular version is the Old Man Brooklyn Pie, he said, which is "almost like a tomato pie or margherita pie, but made with homemade marinara that cooks for hours and hours and hours - 12 hours total - topped with our fresh mozzarella and herbs."
Other crowd favorites include the honey, fig and goat cheese and the roasted Brussels sprouts, truffle butter and smoked gouda cheese.
Atlantic City resident Tony Zarych, who was in line at the Margate market last week waiting to order a slice of the roasted Brussels sprout flatbread, said what he loves most about Tony's is the quality and originality.
"The quality is everything, but add with that the crazy flavors and you really have something different and delicious," Zarych said.
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Tony's Farm Table schedule
Wednesday: Ocean City Farmers Market, 550 Wesley Ave. on the grounds of Ocean City Tabernancle. Hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays through Sept. 4.
Thursday: Margate Community Farmers Market, 9700 Amherst Ave. Hours are 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 29.
Sunday: Stone Harbor Farmer's Market, in the Water Tower Parking Lot located on 95th Street between Second and Third avenues. Hours are 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 22.