A Couple of Tarts

We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink, for dining alone is leading the life of a lion or wolf. ~ Epicurus

Monday, June 26, 2006

A Piece of My Heart (Part Two)

I can't believe how much I crammed into my time out west, and there were still places I missed! Here are a few more highlights of my trip:

**Saturday Farmer's Market at the San Francisco Ferry Building. I know that this market is on the expensive side, but I think you are partly paying for the gorgeous view of the bay and the bridge. The day we went, there wasn't a cloud in the sky and the temperature was a perfect 78 degrees. Lavender is in season and the scent wafted over us at various points during our stroll amongst the stalls. I just had to buy lavender salt from
Eatwell Farms. I am hoping the perfumy flavor will be absorbed into grilled meat (maybe lamb?). I also stopped by an old favorite of mine, Flying Disc Ranch, who sell a variety of dates. I bought a few Derries, which were sticky and sweet like candy. They did not last the day. Another purchase was a jar of honey almond butter from G. L. Alfieri Farms. The folks at the stall plied me with tastes of all their flavors and also a few pieces of their delicious nut brittle. Last, but certainly not least, I indulged by getting two turnovers from Frog Hollow Farm's cafe inside the terminal. One was ham and Gruyere and the other was boysenberry. Both were wonderful.

**Pizza from Arizmendi in Oakland (3265 Lakeshore Ave). Sheepishly, I admit I never had their pizza when I lived in the Bay Area. Many, many people told me how great it is but it was just one of those places I never got around to trying. This trip I had their pizza not once, but twice. It was out of this world! They only sell one kind a day, always vegetarian. The first time it was feta, basil, and kalamatta olives. The next time I think it was simply sliced tomatoes and a mix of cheses that might have included goat cheese. The crust was more thick than thin and the pan must have been well oiled, because the bottom was crisp, almost like it had been fried.

**Olallieberry picking at Swanton Berry Farm in Davenport, followed by cream of green chile soup and olallieberry pie from Duarte's Tavern in Pescadero. Swanton's is known for their strawberries, which you can also pick yourself, but my family decided to pick olallieberries because they are something we don't run across that often. An ollalieberry is a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry (though we were given two other, very different definitions, so who knows?). They are on the tart side, more like a blackberry. I didn't take any with me because I was soon to be flying back to the East Coast, but my mom made jam with most of the fruits (hee!) of our labor. We stopped at Duarte's afterwards because I had never been there in all the times I had traveled on Highway 1. The pie we bought was straight out of the oven. It was too hot to even hold on my lap once we were in the car. And it was bursting with fruit. The crust was flaky and just thick enough to hold the filling. The cream of green chile soup was incredibly rich and the flavor was slightly reminiscent of nacho cheese sauce, but without the cheese. That sounds a little odd, I know, but trust me, that's what we all thought of.

That wraps up my trip...I probably won't be out there again until next summer so these memories will have to last until then!


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