Blogging the Leucadia Farmers Market is an important milestone because it was here, two years ago in April, maybe even to the day, that I came up with the idea for this blog. Hubby and I were leaving the market and I looked across the 101 at all of the restaurants that we had never tried.
“What if we commit to starting a project to try them all, in order and I’ll write about it?”. Seventy-seven reviews later, we are here, finishing up our loop.
The Farmers Market is open every Sunday from 10-2. I’m not going to sugar coat it, the parking sucks. All of your nice, sweet neighbors become beasts in this cut-throat game of “Paws off bitch, that spot is mine!”. The best time to come, if you want parking, is close to closing, but you take the risk of the vendors being sold out of premium stuff. The best option for us is to walk there. If I end up buying more than can fit in my backpack, I just Uber home.
The Paul Ecke elementary school is otherwise the perfect spot for a farmers market. It is so country-cute with their own gardens and chickens. Bring the kids, there are tons here, but leave your dogs at home. They are not allowed here and the ones I see tied up at the fence are usually hot and whining. I come here to be happy and this makes me sad.
The Farmers Market isn’t just my happy place, it’s BP’s too. We often come here together, just the two of us. Today he made a b-line for his favorite spot, Masala Cottage Indian Cuisine. It’s kind of amazing I was able to grab this picture without the crowd because there is always one here.
This Indian food is as good as I’ve ever had. My only complaint is that their naan bread is not my favorite. And good naan is such an important part of the meal! However, this never stops BP, he just goes naan-less. He barely held off attacking his plate so I could take this picture.
Hubby ordered a plate from here too. That’s how good this Indian food is.
I wanted something really healthy so went with the Kenyan vendor, Rafikiz Foodz. They offer lots of vegetable options and everything is MSG, gluten, dairy and soy free. Yet still very flavorful. You can get samples if you don’t believe me. Plus it’s fun trying something new, and how often do I get to eat African food?
I got a plate of stewed chicken, braised cabbage and collard greens over coconut rice. Abzolutely Deliciouz! I don’t know why the spork isn’t more common. It is so darn useful. Need a fork for stabbing and a spoon for scooping? It’s all here in one!
BP and I strolled among the vendors while we waited for some of our friends to join us. Lots of vendors give out samples, and BP tried each and every one. It’s like the giant plate of Indian food never happened.
“Bring me back sweet potato pie!” yelled Hubs.
“I’ve never seen that, where is the vendor?” I asked.
“He’s THE nicest guy at the farmers market. You will know!”
So off we went.
Here are a few of my favorite things:
Baba Foods: Good luck sampling the hummus here and not bringing home a tub or five. I can’t do it, I’m a total sucker.
Loose Leaf: LOVE my tea girl, she hooks me up! Organic, loose, delicious organic teas with tons of variety. My favorites are the Gunpowder Green, Matcha and Oolong. (Read “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane” by Lisa See and you will start drinking Oolong before long too! See what I did there? Oolong before long? Hubby says if I have to explain it, I shouldn’t say it so there’s a very good chance this part will be edited out.) If they run out of Oolong or Matcha (both popular) , I pay for it and it is shipped to my house in just two days.
Hopkins Almonds: These almonds are so good, but you shouldn’t trust me. Sample away my friends! BP’s favorites are: Mexican Chocolate, Vanilla, Honey Cinnamon, Italian and Dry Roasted. But he’s never sure so has to try them all every single time we come. These almonds make nice gifts. But if you are bringing them on a train for your friend in LA, they probably won’t make it all the way there. I think.
Driana Foods: Do not skip Diana Foods. This gorgeous Spaniard is a magical genius in the kitchen. Her sauces are TO DIE. We mix them with chicken and pasta or quinoa for a quick dinner. And the Spanish olives are our favorite. They aren’t salty which is so surprising. My boys sure do love them some olives. I always have “regular” olives in the fridge for them and then hide a tub of these safely in the vegetable drawer for me. Shhh.
What’s better than buying local raw honey? Nothing! And bring back your glass jars to get $.50 back. I always have 2-3 jars of this at home. Try the Grapefruit Honey when you’re there.
Booboo’s Sweet Potato Pies: I found the nice pie guy! No, not nice. NICEST. EVER. How can someone be so enthusiastic about their pie and you not buy one? Just $3 for a small, so I bought a few to bring back for our table.
This sweet potato pie was cold and creamy, almost like frozen custard. It didn’t have as much cinnamon and nutmeg and my tastebuds were searching for, but on this hot day, this was delicious and refreshing as hell.
One of the kids in our group scrunched up his nose at the word “sweet potato”.
“It’s your thing, you just don’t know it. Get into it.” I told him. (“Get into it” is a phrase I picked up on my recent trip to New Zealand.)
“Whoa…say that again. What you just said.” from our new friend Billy.
“What? It’s your thing, you just don’t know it. Get into it?” I asked.
“Yes, I love that. True wisdom.” He even wrote it down.
Katie and Jack ordered from another one our favorite vendors, Sushi Drift. But it was long gone before I could get a picture of their meal. They have really good sushi, and since sushi is my all time favorite food, I can say this with confidence.
John said his steak sandwich with avocado and arugula was delicious but this was all that was left. I believe him though.
Come hungry to The Leucadia Farmers Market. You can sample your way around to fullness for free or order something wonderful from one of the many food-truck style vendors around. There are always new vendors popping up so it never gets old here.
They also sell wonderful produce, bakery items, succulents, clothing, oils, candles, even worms for your gardens.
You might tell me that there are better Farmers Market in the area. The Carlsbad one is bigger. There’s one in Oceanside I should probably see. All true, but you would get a great big “Nope” from me. This is MY Farmers Market. Not since I went to school in Davis have I found a better one. (That one still RULES!) This is where I run into my neighbors, my gym friends, my kids’ teachers. I get an ocean breeze while I enjoy my walk over. It feels so good to be out in my community, supporting the local farmers and businesses. Even if it means paying a bit more, I’m ok with that.
Shame on you if you live in the area and have not been to the Leucadia Farmers Market. You are probably the same people who pay a premium to live close to the beach and never go. I will never understand your kind. I bet it’s really your thing. You just don’t know it. Get into it!
Join us Sunday, April 14th at 6:30pm at
Cancun Mexican & Seafood