Tuesday’s Farmers Market- Mira Mesa

On Tuesdays in Mira Mesa as the high school kids leave for the day, the Farmers Market kicks into gear. About forty vendors split pretty equally between produce, cooked foods, and merchandise, sell their goods on the northeast corner of the school grounds.

Most shoppers were here…

Now is the time to pick up the last of the summer berries and squash of all kinds were available at all the produce stands. I picked up a nice cherry and apple cider from a stand selling San Joaquin Valley apples. I bought it for The Husband but it looks too good and I’m going to have to make him share. One vendor had about 90% of the clientele of the entire market selling asian greens, vegetables and even a kind of vegetable vine… I regret asking what the heck that was. Clearly, that is the place to buy your produce.

IMG_8508Another stall sells fresh seafood including enormous sea urchins. These were whoppers. They are also available on the half shell, as this happy guy was enjoying during his vacation visiting family.

Uni on the half shell!

Japanese, Filipino, Indian and other foods are available. The Indian food stall was passing out samples of their sauces, oh my GOSH they were delicious! They let me know that they sell at most of the local Farmers Markets, so keep an eye out for Masala Cottage and their delicious sauces to take home or made to order plates with rice and samosas. One guy said he gets his dinner at Masala Cottage every Tuesday afternoon, he loves their food that much.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s Farmers Market trip… I’m getting one of these dinners for sure.

Fabulous Indian food from Masala Cottage, I kid you not!
Not many buyers in view because they are all at that one stand pictured above…

Bale French Sandwiches… FINALLY- We Hit a Vietnamese French Sandwich Shop!

Shrimp Sandwich and Ham Sandwich with egg rolls
Shrimp Sandwich and Ham Sandwich with egg rolls

I blame it on my dad. It has taken almost a year for Mom to come hang out for a few days all because Dad decided to have foot surgery on one foot, then the other. I know, how selfish of him! Sheesh!!

But, we made it and hoo-doggies, our lunch was good! Or, at least two-thirds of it was.

The lovely mom, showcasing the Bale French Sandwich shop.
Mira Mesa’s Bale French Sandwich shop.

Bale French Sandwiches is a shop in Mira Mesa, part of the greater San Diego area. The web site mentions how they offer a fusion of cuisines, and I’m discovering that there are a lot of Vietnamese and French shops around this part of town. The small shop was hopping when we stopped by right in the middle of lunch hour- it’s always a good sign when you try a new place and see that it is really busy, right?

Here’s our report:

I was expecting to eat my whole ham sandwich as it was just the right size- about a five inch bun. But noooo, I’m here with Mom, remember. In her mind you don’t order for yourself, you are ordering to share. Mom always gets her way with food… she’s four feet ten inches of a taste testing machine, I advise against getting in her way when it comes to food. There went half my ham, but I did get my share of her shrimp sandwich.

Shrimp Sandwich
Ham Sandwich

Guess who’s sandwich was the best? Hers. I never would have ordered a shrimp sandwich. A Shrimp Sandwich? Really? It was delicious! Way better than my ham, in fact, there was no comparison. I didn’t care for mine at all. I wonder if it was a different kind of ham than one usually sees in a sandwich shop? I’ll have to ask my Vietnamese friends. We wimped out and asked for our sandwiches without jalapeño, and I regret not asking for extra cilantro like Mom wanted to order. Get the extra cilantro!

Ham Sandwich
Shrimp Sandwich

The egg rolls, by the way, were also delicious. Our combo meals were around five dollars, each for a hot sandwich, two freshly fried egg rolls and a drink. Mighty cheap for a lunch combo, in my book. And Bale also has a super catering menu, I know where I am going to pick up three different large trays of appetizers for a crowd for under $100- Bale French Sandwiches.

Boba Tea

Teenagers sometimes know the best places to buy inexpensive, delicious, and fast treats. Add an international student with to the mix, and you can get their opinion of some of the The Best Boba In The Area. Tapioca Heaven in Mira Mesa, on Black Mountain Ave. and Mira Mesa Blv. is high on the list, it seems.

IMG_7685Our newest member of the family wanted to treat me to one of his favorite spots to get a boba tea, and he chose well- a honey dew for me and a taro for him. I liked both. There is something about the sweet fruitiness and squishy tapioca pearls that raises this drink to the level of a dessert. I did like this boba better than the first one I had at the Thai place a few weeks earlier. I think the sugary tapioca goodness works better with fruit flavors than the coffee flavors I tried initially.

Thanks for the boba, Willy, it really was delish! And welcome to our home. :o)

IMG_7690 (1)


Be Flexible- It Could Mean You Get Korean BBQ!

Tonight I had The Family all ready to be forced to come along with me to eat at the vegan restaurant that I tried last month, The Loving Hut.

It was closed. The Boy fairly rejoiced.

He was positively elated when we decided to try the Korean BBQ place nearby. “Because, MEAT, Mom!” was his reason. Actually, this is a restaurant we had been wanting to try for about five years. Sometimes it is hard to get out of your sushi rut, you know?

Spicy salad dressing!
Spicy salad dressing!
About eight side dishes...
About eight side dishes…

Shozen Korean BBQ was really delicious, with very helpful servers who are ready to offer all the aid newbies like us need… so we understand what we are doing… so we don’t burn down the joint cooking the bacon. Yes, that is bacon on the meat platter!

The meats we had cooking were brisket, rib eye, tongue (delicious!), chicken, and uncured, unsmoked bacon… and maybe some more. I can’t remember. I’m still in a meat coma. Even though I ate all my salad, the rice, and nearly my entire bowl of Korean Miso soup, that was still a lot of meat. Korean Miso soup at Shozen has several vegetables, meat and large tofu chunks. The miso base was different than Japanese miso soup, too. I wonder if they use red miso? Or maybe miso without the dashi stock? I’ve got to ask someone now… I dig on international foods and their ingredients, if you can’t tell.

The other side dishes included a bean sprout salad, scallion pancakes, broccoli and tofu, kimchi, a cabbage and carrot salad, potato salad (that one surprised me), and a rocking green salad with a home made dressing- spicy, but incredibly delicious. Shozen also has a couple of dipping sauces for your meats, a soy sauce/jalepeño sauce and another of sesame oil with salt and pepper. Both added a nice dash of flavor to the meats that cook on the table top right in front of you.

Shozen Korean BBQ- I highly recommend it.

New Restaurant- Bruski in Mira Mesa (Look, Table!)

We had a lot of fun when we first moved here, playing with literal translations of some of the Spanish names. Both of my kids had Spanish classes in their Hoosier school, and I tried teaching them as much as they would let me. Flash back to The Girl, two years old, putting her hand over my mouth after a day of hearing nothing but French, saying, “No more words, mommy.” Needless to say, foreign language lessons chez nous didn’t get too far.

Tonight we hit a new-ish restaurant in Mira Mesa (“Look! Table!”). There are several newer joints tucked into the same shopping center here, and all had a wait of at least 30 minutes. Except Bruski’s. Even though that doesn’t bode well, we went with it. One of us should have pointed at Bruski’s seating availabilities and said “Look! A Table!” I hate it when I miss a good bad joke.

Great beer selections, good chicken wings, The Boy approved of his standard Meat-Cheese-Bun Only burger, and we were happy enough to say we’d come back to try the mac and cheese. I had a Cobb salad that at a half order could have fed four people, and the bacon on it was dee-lish. The Husband was disappointed with the dry chicken on his Caesar salad. His Honey Chipotle wings tasted mainly of honey and were all right, but I think my naked wings were better.

Two tastes of beers from Brewski's- Belching Beaver HORCHATA Imperial Stout and Epic BRAINLESS ON PEACHES Belgian Ale. Both were too sweet for me.
Two tastes of beers from Bruski’s- Belching Beaver HORCHATA Imperial Stout and Epic BRAINLESS ON PEACHES Belgian Ale. Both were too sweet for me.

Next time it will be Epic Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout, because of the name, seriously. And Onion Rings, baby. Mama needs her fried food.