Vine-ripened tomatoes from Farmer Fred’s stand at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market.
I can’t believe the difference in the flavor of food on our vacation compared to our new home in Arizona. We visit two Farmer’s Markets each week. Farmer Fred, as we call him, is friends with our Santa Barbara friends. We’ve visited his stand for years. The first night in town, we were invited to a barbecue that included Fred and his family. His wife sliced his flavorful tomatoes and made caprese with buffalo mozzarella, balsamic and basil. The next weekend after visiting the Farmers Market, I came home with a bag of Farmer Fred’s tomatoes and made caprese for appetizers and lunches — but used mint instead of basil — since that’s what I could find.
The flavor of these tomatoes brought back childhood memories when fresh vegetables from gardens were a staple in Snohomish, Wash. — and probably still are. The grocery store veggies I normally buy are tasteless.
A few of our delicious tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella with mint and balsamic.
Then there’s the fruit. The fruit stand next to Farmer Fred’s is unbelievable. Our favorite pluot is called Dapper Dandy. The ladies who own the stand call out “Dapper Dandy, tastes like candy!” It is the last week for Dapper Dandies so we’ve stocked up — and yes, eating them like candy.
A yellow peach (amazingly delicious) with Dapper Dandies.
Clam chowder and a fish taco at the Santa Barbara Harbor.
Our daughter called us on our drive back from the harbor where we had lunch of fish tacos and chowder at On the Alley. We said we wished Brophy Bros, the signature restaurant in the harbor, that owns On the Alley — to open one in Arizona.
“It won’t work,” our daughter insisted. “First is the fish, fresh off the boat in the harbor.”
Unfortunately, she’s right. I won’t get that taste of freshly caught cod topped with locally grown avocado, pickled onions, queso fresco & salsa blanca in Arizona. It logistically isn’t possible. So I’m enjoying it while I’m here.
Lastly, we were so disappointed to discover that our breakfast burrito place in Beach LIquors had been “poofed.”
Look what happened to our breakfast burrito spot!
We tried several Mexican restaurants and found one that fit our tastebuds perfectly inside a liquor store called Kim’s. It’s close to the house we’re renting — and the food is delicious.
Al Pastor tacos at our new “spot” called Kim’s Liquor Store. In the back of the store is a kitchen with Beto the chef cooking burritos, tacos, platos and daily specials.
I can’t figure out why we don’t have any decent Mexican food by us in Arizona. I think it’s the area where we live and if we drove 45 minutes to an hour south we could find some, but I’m not willing. I’d rather drive to Mexico if I’m headed down that way!
What a difference fresh produce and fish makes for flavor and enjoyment of meals. I wonder if I can start a garden in my backyard? I haven’t gotten the hang of gardening after years of trying in the desert. Western Washington was ideal for growing everything — and we had fresh seafood, too.
What are your favorite fresh fruits and vegetables where you live? Are you able to grow them yourself? Or do you have farmers markets nearby? What about fresh seafood?
Fresh fruit at a farmer’s market in Santa Barbara.
We are leaving for vacation. I have my neighbor with new puppy Emma watching my house and a cat sitter for Olive, in case anyone wants to break in. With the stress of healthcare scares that I wrote about HERE, we’re headed to our VRBO for a few days before hopefully celebrating our first born’s wedding.
In addition to cooler weather (it was 110 today at our house) I’m looking forward to the Farmer’s Market in Santa Barbara.
There is one particular stand with plums, pluots, nectarines and peaches that I’ll visit. The fruit is unlike anything I’ve had in my life. Fresh, delicious, out of this world great. Unfortunately, my local farmer’s market doesn’t have fruit. The fruit in the grocery stores are hards as rocks. I miss the produce in California. That’s the one thing I’ll give the state. It has better produce than Arizona. Or at least I haven’t discovered where to shop.
Fish tacos at On the Alley at the Santa Barbara Marina.
After the Farmer’s Market, I hope to stop by the Marina for the best fish tacos I’ve had in my life! Seafood fresh off the boat is another treat I don’t get in Arizona.
Where’s you favorite place for vacation? Are you a beach or mountain person?
One of our highlights of visiting the beach in the summer is the Farmer’s Market. I discovered this year there are two –Thursdays in Caprinteria and Saturdays in Santa Barbara. That makes buying fruit and veggies more manageable. I don’t have to stock up only to have fruit get over ripe. I can buy just enough.
There is one stand with all sorts of peppers and tomatoes that we stop at. Farmer Fred is the owner. He’s friends with several of our Santa Barbara friends who gather at his stand to chat each weekend. It’s fun to join in and feel like a local.
By our house in Arizona, we have a tiny Farmer’s market. I call it a Farmer market because there is one veggie stand. There is local honey, jewelry, baked goods, chips and dip and trinkets.
It’s a joy to have an abundance of fresh fruit and veggies. We’re especially enjoying Flavor King plums, sweet corn and shishito peppers.
Do you have a farmer’s market near you? What are your favorite things about Farmer’s Markets? What do you like to buy?
Do you have a farmer’s market near you? I do in Arizona and had one in Palm Springs. But the Santa Barbara one is by far the best. Well, second best to the Pike Place Market in Seattle. What are your favorite things about Farmer’s Markets? What do you like to buy?