While I am still mourning the loss of Annel & Drew’s Kitchen and their fabulous Cuban Sandwich, there has been an influx of new vendors at the Leucadia Farmers Market that have eased the pain a bit and made Sunday a fun culinary adventure again.
The vendor I’ve been frequenting the most is New York Gyros and before we go any further it’s pronounced “YEE-ros” so keep that in mind when ordering. AJ & Sahar have really tasty Gyros that can be wrapped in delicious pita bread or served in salad form. I prefer it in the bread and the messy wonderful experience that creates. The faucet attached to the school helps with that. They also offer Chicken Swawarma in sandwich and salad form along with Falafel in a sandwich or plate form. It’s hit or miss if they have Koshari on any given Sunday but that is a nice one to split with a friend in addition to a sandwich. If you are not familiar it’s made with rice, macaroni, lentils, noodles and a mild sauce served with crispy onions. If you are feeling indulgent, Baklava is a decadent delight for dessert. They are also very generous with their samples if you want to try a slice of gyro meat before you partake.
Viva Paella is another nice new addition. Elda Delgado is serving up traditional paella in giant bowl/wok/skillet that is called a “paella” or “paellera” depending on who you are talking to. The beauty of this dish is the crispy layer of rice that forms at the bottom that adds that somewhat crunchy element to the dish.
The Fish Addiction is another relatively new vendor and has a lot of fresh local seafood available for your Sunday shopping. Buddha-Bowl has a 100 percent plant-based sauce that folks are lining up for and is great as a marinade, veggie dip or salad dressing.
I finally found a vegan product I enjoy in Kelly’s Croutons. As they say they are not your average croutons. They are super crunchy, flavorful and great in soups, salads or just as a snack out of the bag.
Frida’s Street Tacos is a newish addition and has attracted some nice crowds. I have them on the list to try soon.
When I stumbled upon “KEESH – The Healthy Crust-less Quiche” I was quick to scoff as a quality crust is one of the joys of quiche for me. Then I gave it a sample and well, it’s pretty darn good. It consists of free-range eggs, low-carb (of course), non-GMO, local organic veggies, Paleo and gluten-free. I did not see non-dairy, which is probably why it tastes so good.
Superfood & Company offers up Superfood Coffee, Kefir Soda, and Super Booch which is their take on Kombucha. There is a lot going on in these products and the samples tasted good but I’m thinking I may have to follow up with a dedicated column.
I love beef jerky and Jerky Bros. has some killer jerk happening and they love to sample their goods. I counted nine varieties and they all sampled deliciously.
I became turned on to turmeric during my CrossFit days and its anti-inflammatory properties. I can’t say I went there but the hardcore CrossFit folks swore by it. I just feel healthy drinking the stuff so that works for me. Rootshine is a Solana Beach brand that I noticed at the market recently also. They start with organic vegetable broth, Carlsbad Alkaline Water, organic Turmeric root juice, cold-pressed black pepper oil extract, organic apple cider vinegar and local raw honey. It’s a small batch process that yields just 16 jars at a time and they are available for home delivery or at the market.
Chimi More – Chimichurri Factory has some darn good chimichurri. This has become a staple in my kitchen and I love to put it on grilled meats. Ingredients can vary a bit but usually include parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes and red wine vinegar.
And then there is the gourmet Brazilian cheese bread from Cheese Delights. Any time cheese and bread come together I am all over that. And these really are quite good.
Of course there are a bunch of the old standbys where I fill my bag every Sunday and enjoy the live music and running into friends and neighbors. Market GM Ron LaChance puts on a great show every Sunday morning and if you have not been, it’s one of the better farmers markets in San Diego.
Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 185 Union Street in Encinitas. For more, visit www.leucadiafarmersmarket.com.
Lick the Plate has interviewed over 700 chefs, restaurateurs, growers, brewers and culinary personalities over the past 10 years as a column in The Coast News and in Edible San Diego. He can be heard on KSON, FM94/9 and Sunny98.1. More at www.lick-the-plate.com