Every Wednesday from 4-8 pm (& pm in the winter), Ocean Beach has a Farmers Market on Newport Ave. between Cable and Bacon Streets. The website has information on the groups performing and promises a funky and free-spirited vibe is in store for its patrons.
Who could resist such promises?
If you want to get your vegan on and gas up your gluten-free mojo, get down here to Ocean Beach. After passing several international food vendors I stopped to try a sample of the most different ice cream I have ever tasted- Strawberry Basil Sorbet… It. Was. DELICIOUS! I was unprepared to bring home ice cream, so, this little delicacy will be at the top of my list the next time I visit. Sold at $10 per pint in glass mason jars, but bring back the jar and it nets a $2 discount. A little online searching helped me figure out that this is Na Pali Coast Frozen Organics. Worth the drive, people, check out their site for details.
I’ve had my online eye on De La Ranch’s meats for awhile. If you thought there were no local, grass fed meat suppliers in The Southland, think again. De La Ranch is in Elsinore and the ranch is open to the public if you are interested in seeing where your food comes from. We bought a pound of their Farmers Sausage for breakfast this weekend. Can’t wait to try it.
There was officially invited music for the crowd to dance to and enjoy, and there were so many people dancing that I couldn’t get a great photo. Everyone was really enjoying themselves. I counted four other buskers scattered about the market playing an assortment of styles.
Ocean Beach has the most produce and food vendors that I’ve seen at the different markets in the area- meats, nuts, dried fruits, ice creams, desserts, baked goods, cheese, sausage, kombucha, mushrooms, in addition to the much desired fruits and vegetables. We bought onion and garlic flavored pistachios and WILL BE BACK for the coco almonds. I tasted the kombucha and give it two thumbs up.
The Ocean Beach Farmers Market delivered on its promise. It was indeed the most fun and best market that I’ve visited yet.
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.
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.
Another 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.
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.
Just outside of San Diego’s northern city limits, north of the city of Escondido is a resort that offers the only Farmers Market operating on a Monday. After a quick call to double check with one of the Welk Resort’s operators that yes, indeed, there is such a thing as the Welk Resort Farmers Market, I made the drive north to see what goodies were available.
This is a nice little Farmers Market with about 60 vendors, and I walked away with some superb tomatoes and lovely caramels… even though the lotion and music stalls were giving passers-by the hard sell of their products. They were one step from pushy, really.
But the main goal for this week has already been accomplished: tomatoes like this for dinner! Tomatoes have been strangely absent around here recently, I didn’t grow any and didn’t find a neighbor to mooch from this season… and let’s face it- if a tomato doesn’t come from your back yard, your neighbors’, or a reputable local grower, it just isn’t worth eating.
When my kids were younger, we frequently went to the local Farmers Markets. For them, Kettle Corn was the reason to be dragged along. For me, the local pork patties and bratwurst, grass-fed beef, fruits, and vegetables were the draw. You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten corn on the cob so fresh that no cooking, salt, or butter is necessary; and Indiana’s pork patties are not to be missed. No grocer has ever been able to provide tomatoes or peaches that can compare to what you can purchase from a local supplier, and if your neighbor isn’t sharing, the Farmers Market is your next best bet.
Here in The Southland, we have the treat of multiple Farmers Markets open nearly every day. Next week, I’m going to take a mini mental vacation and visit a different market every day… I can’t wait! I’m hoping to pick up something for dinner a few nights, some locally produced meats, and other end of the season produce to put up in my freezer. Maybe I’ll find some completely new food to try?
Friends visiting us from out of town? A visit to Torrey Pines is mandatory.
Torrey Pines State Preserve this Friday… so lovely:
Southern California is experiencing a severe drought right now. So, when the friends from Indiana are visiting, what do we get for the weather? Two days of steady rain thanks to Hurricane Dolores. I didn’t snap any pictures of the ominous grey and black clouds as they rushed up on us, but did find this lovely photo online. Imagine the fog like this… just coming down in buckets:
Our hike today started with clear skies, but by mid-morning, the hurricane bands started coming up from the south. And fast. By the time we started the return hike, the skies opened up and we enjoyed (!?!) the rest of the walk along the water’s edge and the base of the cliffs in the pouring rain. At least we had the warm rain and beach to walk along!
By the time we made it back to the car we were soaked to the skin. I amazed that we managed to keep the cameras and phones dry. The hair dryers and styling products were a waste of time this morning. We looked (and felt) like we had jumped in a pool.
We finished the evening at a favorite fish restaurant, Bay Park Fish Company, where we talked two of the most unlikely of diners to try ahi poke- they didn’t die nor did they hate it! I had to try something new to eat since hiking in a total downpour wasn’t good enough for my New Thing o’ the Day. Kung Pao Calamari- yum. It is on the appetizer list, but with a side of rice, voilà- dinner.
Here you go, Scott, proof of your wife trying the ahi poke: