Thursday, October 22, 2009

Marin County Food Tour

John and I went on a bit of a food tour in Marin County the other weekend, and it was glorious. Just the type of thing I like to do on my vacations.

Our first stop was Point Reyes. We heard Cowgirl Creamery was made there, so clearly we had to go. If you are into cheese and live in the Bay Area, you've probably heard of Cowgirl Creamery. If you haven't, your loss.

This is the second time I've seen cheese made, and it pretty much looked the same at both places. Kind of sterile and not exactly appetizing.

Apparently this is where cheese stars are born.

Hello my lovely cheese beauties. We went here twice during our trip because just once wasn't enough. John found the cheese of his dreams - and he isn't a cheese guy - so this was a big deal. I picked up a few cheeses for myself too, natch.

Post-cheese we headed to the Point Reyes farmers market - because it was there and I can't turn one down. It actually was a little light on the produce, but made up for it with lots of awesome prepared foods.

Grilled cheese at a farmers market; don't mind if I do. "GBD" stands for "Golden, Brown, and Delicious." Gotta love that. It is run by a former chef of Union Square Cafe, my favorite restaurant. He apparently came to Point Reyes to intern at Cowgirl Creamery and then stuck around to open a grilled cheese stand and then later Osteria Stellina (an amazing restaurant John and I ate at and fell in love with).

I ordered the sandwich with basil and tomato...and cheese of course. It was just the right amount of grease for 11:00 AM.

Fresh hummus at a farmers market is just about the best idea I've ever heard of. They had all kinds of flavors, but we chose the garlic because it's what we do. We also bought a huge bag of super-extra-fried pita chips. I love some great veggies with hummus, but let's be honest, a good pita chip really takes the cake. Especially a fried one.

We also picked up some artisan butter that went perfectly with the huge loaf of sourdough we scarfed down. I also bought some delicious raspberry rhubarb jelly, because I obviously needed another excuse to buy loaves of bread and eat them for entire meals.

The next day we went to the Marin County Farmers Market, which is one of the biggest in the area, and has some 200 farms. Natalie went once and told us we had to stop by the Belgian waffle truck. Not that I needed much convincing.

It's pretty awesome to eat waffles in your hands. And with a name like "So Good," you know it's going to good.

Am I the only one who didn't know chestnuts grow with a furry urchin-like casing? It's called a "hull" apparently. Which reminds me of Star Trek more than I care to admit.

John had half a mini pizza, which he claims was delicious.

I couldn't be outdone, so I had to get some dim sum. Sorry my feet are the only thing in focus in this picture. Gross in a food picture.

On the way back from the Marin farmers market we went to The Tyler Florence Shop in Mill valley. The whole back end of the store was a library filled with different cookbooks. How awesome is that? (To me, very awesome.)

There is also a huge beautiful kitchen that I can hope gets used for demos on occasion. Also, please note the Julia Child video playing. Good taste, Tyler, good taste.

The rest of the store was filled with kitchen gadgets, plates, serving ware, and all kinds of beautiful kitchen stuff. The coolest thing was that they had lots of cool kitchen antiques, perfect for gift-giving season coming up around the corner. I just love a good kitchen store. And a good vacation filled with food.

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