At this point in my life, I can freely and unabashedly (ok maybe a little blushing, gosh Dan) admit that my thoughts are not always food or academia-centric. Beneath this stoic and bookish demeanor, I am just like any other girl, a complete sap – prone to smiling when watching Love Actually; charmed by a knight in shining armor; flattered and completely giggly by the the boy who keeps throwing glances my way. Yeah, I’m a sap, but I admitted that much, and I’m positive you know exactly what I’m talking about. Just that special someone… I can daydream for hours, my thoughts caught in pure rapture, longing for the weekend, the anticipation of what’s to come?!? And what IS to come? Well, the boys at SpotsForDates seem to know a thing or two (thanks Chris & Lando for visiting!). And not that I’m an expert or anything, but I know what (and who) I like, and the two together make my heart and gut very happy.
On a quiet Sunday morning, my favorite thing to do is venture out to all the Farmer’s Markets(FM) around the Bay Area. Some people bar and club hop, I FM hop. It’s way more fun, I swear. When in the South Bay, I love the Sunday Morning Santa Row FM for the flavors, the character, and of course the shopping! Conveniently situated across from Valley Fair Mall; down the street from the Falafel Drive In; squished between El Jardin, MaiDo, Sur La Table, Oakley; and packed with tons of great food stalls, what’s not to love? There is almost always live music, and the cannoli are delicious – perfectly flakey and covered in powdery confectioners sugar that flit and fly everywhere. Santana Row prices tend to be a tad bit pricier due to the prime location, and the place is often super crowded, especially on beautiful clear Sunday mornings…
If that’s not your cup of tea, Downtown Los Gatos (Town Park Plaza) also hosts a small weekend market, perfect for a stroll down the street with your best canine companions. There is this amazing hummus/pita company run by 2 Middle Eastern brothers from San Bruno – oh my gosh, the artichoke hummus is to DIE for – you MUST try it if visiting the Los Gatos FM. There are also outdoor markets in Campbell and Mountain View, the Willow Glen area, pretty much a quick Google search will generate a long list of good places to visit. Oh, Berkeley has 3 farmers markets a week, and SF’s Embarcadero Ferry Building is home to a huuge Sunday market as well.
On one particular early September morning, I dragged someoneiknow up to Palo Alto to grab a bite from Joanie’s Cafe on California Ave (review coming soon!). And what to my wondering eyes should appear? But a multitude of vendors and food stalls far and near!!! Just by happy chance there was a Farmer’s Market that morning, specifically a Jewish cultural street festival to be exact! And what a cultural experience! There were booths selling Hebrew alphabet necklaces and stalls grilling hot knishes! OF COURSE we had to immerse ourselves.
Our first knish was amazing! Mashed potatoes wrapped in pastry, then topped with condiments, tongue-burning hot off the oven. Oh goodness, what a treat! In addition, KICKS Cookies and Ice Cream had a small cart at the festival, and I could not resist the tempting made-to-order ice cream sandwiches. You get to chose any cookie and ice cream combination, sooo delicious, and a fabulous way to cool the palate after the piping hot (in terms of temperature and spiciness) knish.
But wait, we aren’t done. It wouldn’t be an amazing date without more food, so we actually ended up going to Joannie’s anyway, where we committed a very grave sin – GLUTTONY. What can I say? I like my handsome prince with good food on the side – or in this case, a delicious pastry, great views to people watch, and a tummy already half sated by knish and ice cream sandwich. What a life right?
But can you imagine it? Hand in hand as you inspect fresh Granny Smith apples for the pie you are going to make later, or sampling the multitude of freshly baked breads, or perhaps choosing focaccia for a dinner-for-two later, or sharing a creamy, gooey, oozing ice cream sandwich on a nearby park bench? It makes for my ideal date, who knows, maybe it can be yours too?
You see, I don’t mind suffering an entire week of school, work and lab if it means that at the end of the week I can unwind and look forward to some quality time with that quality someone. And one can never go wrong with food. So, I can easily get the best of both worlds by visiting these local farmer’s markets. See why they’re my ideal date spot?
Bye bye love birds.
See YOU at next Sunday’s Farmer’s Market!