When I travel, one of my biggest joys is experiencing local foods and beverages. I didn’t have to go to far to spot this chef and his incredible pastry at the Colville Farmer’s Market.
However, in San Luis Obispo there’s a different kind of Farmer’s Market. The whole town turns out main street on a Thursday evening to eat foods offered by local cafes and other businesses. Produce, too. Strawberries, big as a Man’s big toe, so vibrant red in color, and, sweeter than those from my garden.
A crew from a crepe cafe make me a whole plate of stuffed strawberry crepes. Twin twelve-year-old grand daughters stood by my side watching a staff member drizzle caramel, chocolate and whipped cream over the top. “Let me carry it to the curb for you,” they gleefully shouted, as they took the plate and rushed over to sit on a curb and begin digging in. It was a sight to behold – two lovely girls enjoying my crepe during a crisp, dark night among a throng of passersby.
They tagged along. They’d already chosen their dinners. They wanted to keep the caramel apples I’d already given them to eat at home. The Granny Smith apple selections of several choices of tempting toppings were so many that I came back another day to head back to the main store to enjoy the eye-candy feast all over again.
In Apache Junction, AZ., the produce market on the main street of town, fortunately was still in business. I remembered their produce from years ago when we spent winters in the area working on our mining claim in the Superstition Mountains. It was better than ever this winter. I still can see the pint of raspberries I brought for 99 cents, the ears of corn for l0 cents each, the bright green huge bunch of brocolli for 99 cents, the bags of about 15 navel oranges for $2.50, l0 lbs russet potatoes, 99 cents.
In the Apache Junction area there were several cowboy bars with small bands playing classic country music and serving up barbeque steaks and ribs. At Filley’s, where many patrons would arrive by horseback, they served plates of either six or twelve chicken wings so big in size one wondered what kind of chickens could produce wings that huge.
Our first experience at a Black Bear Restaurant was in Glendale, AZ. when several Iowa friends who met there because Barry and Marileen Farmer, who live in the area, were so fond of it .We learned quickly that you should place one order for two and still take home some. We choice chicken fried steak, three eggs, pancakes and hash browns. Returning home from the south back to Washington State we enjoyed two more Black Bears. Their menu is news print format with two columns of towns to show where they’re located.
The sight of a huge lobster tail on sale during the Christmas season at Fry’s Grocery in Apache Junction in a seafood display made my mouth water. This store if so large in scale that there are six aisles of water, plus a staff member who will escort you to the meat or liquor area so you won’t get lost. The lobster was eight inches long and two inches wide, and 3/4 inch thick, selling for $9.99.
In a world of restaurants now selling miniature tails for at least $20, I regret now I didn’t buy one.
Back in Washington State, in the Tacoma area, Suzi ordered take out from Thai Chili for the new parents of her first grandson, Jonaton. Each of us chose one of these main dishes, so perfect in their tall white containers: cashew chicken, chicken with peanut sauce, spring rolls, etc.
At the Rainer Winery, the owner sat down to talk about one of his unique wines, not the strawberry or raspberry, but his Tiquila wine. “People like to make bloody Marry or Mimosas with it,” he said. “I’m holding out for a big beer company to buy the recipe so I can retire.”
On Wednesdays, in Apache Junction, we often went to the Village Inn. There we would order the breakfast special of 3 eggs, 3 sausage patties, pancakes, hash browns for $4.99, split the order. Because it was a Wednesday, a free piece of one of their delicious pies was included.