Another lazy Sunday stroll looking for something bagel-reminiscent and a jolt of caffeine led us this past weekend to the Santa Monica Farmer's Market. Why have I not been there before? And by that, I mean, why have I not been there before three thousand times already savoring the delights of all the on-site food vendors whipping up the most amazing dishes I have ever seen at an outdoor market type event? The minute we walked onto the premises I started drooling.
We got there just a smidge before it was about to close and could hardly walk or see straight due to our focus being on all the people carrying plates around of tempting things: fluffy omelets overflowing with veggies, Mexican piles of huevos rancheros made with farm fresh eggs probably birthed a day prior, buttery-looking grilled sandwiches bursting with dripping peppers...it was as if I had stumbled into my version of church and nirvana.
We quickly strolled the lanes looking for something to eat. We passed stands which all looked yummy until one made us stop in our tracks; a simple box set up shelter for a tall, skinny chef slapping together uber-fresh sandwich concoctions outside the norm. The menu was impressive in its bizarre and tiny list of items like Smashed White Beans, Grilled Cauliflower Sandwich, and even a hybrid version of an Americanized-Breakfast-Bimbap bowl with grits, black kale and beans. Lust rose quickly in my gut as we snuck our order in just in time to escape the "No, we're closed" that we had to watch countless others endure after us. It took ten minutes to cook the made from scratch order including the Cute Gardener's Grilled Asparagus and Egg and my Chorizo and Egg. Both made on a fresh ciabatta roll that soaked up the cheese goodness and the heat, both stuck with chunks of sweet, bursting, al dente onion, and at ten dollars a piece, both a perfect little piece of bliss for that day when we should all be encouraged to treat our taste buds well at the end of the week.
The place is called Bean and Thyme and it's a cool concept catering company that gathers and buys whatever is seasonal and fresh from local farms and then concocts artisanal sandwich and salad menus accordingly to serve up at farmer's markets and to guests of their individual event clients. We were told they run out of food fast at the markets and cook until the ingredients are gone, sometimes switching up a menu midway through their stint to accommodate with items they have left or have run out of.
I have already grown fond of their Facebook page too where they do things like write daily poems, post their latest market menus, and wax poetic on the merits of food and produce. I am definitely going back there again in search of a bowl of the creamy grits or savory cannelloni puree with avocado, peppery greens and grilled onions served on a baguette. I am already mentally preparing myself for my next meeting with the pickled pink lady apple melt with caramelized onions, cheddar and gruyere on multigrain toast with country ham. ….the list goes on and on.