Have you been to the new Saturday morning Farmer's Market in Little Italy yet? If not, you're in for a treat. Instead of a parking lot, the market stalls line the sides of Date Street, a far more scenic locale, and the crowds, at least for now, are much more manageable than they are at Sunday's Hillcrest and La Jolla markets. I also prefer the Saturday time slot (9:00 AM to 1:00 PM) because it doesn't interfere with my Sunday morning laziness.
I recognized a lot of the vendors from the other markets in town, and discovered a few new ones. Sage Mountain Farms was there, the photo above is of some of their peppers. I stopped to visit with Mariella Balbi of Guanni Chocolates, who sells some of the best chocolates in town. (Love the Pisco and the Aruma.) I saw the Bread and Cie guy, Smit Orchards, and a few others I recognized from Hillcrest, but I didn't see the Salsa Chilena people, and my beloved Barry, of La Milpa Farms, was not there - but I can always catch him on Fridays at the La Mesa market.
My favorite new discovery was the Schaner Farms stand, in the upper third of the market, on the North side of the street. They had a lovely assortment of produce, but what really caught my eye were the turkey, duck and guinea hen eggs they had on display. I bought six - four duck eggs, one turkey and one guinea. Our usual Sunday breakfast is fried eggs with levain toast and Niman Ranch bacon, and these were a great addition - though I regretted that I served them them with croissants this time, since they were so rich. They taste just like chicken eggs, only more so - almost buttery, with a slightly heavier texture.
They also sell fresh squeezed Orange Passionfruit juice, which I definitely would have bought if I'd been heading straight home after the market. Instead, I went on a little taco tasting expedition with Alex and Josh, who met me there at the market. (More on that coming very soon!)
The Schaners don't sell at any other markets in the urban areas, they told me they sell most of their produce to LA area restaurants, and they sell at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market in LA . (not sure if it's the Wednesday or Sunday market or both.) I'm actually hoping to check out the Sunday market next weekend when I'm in LA with a friend. We're doing a girls spa weekend at the W, and we have reservations at Pizzeria Mozza and Bar Marmont. I can't wait!
View more photos here.
Little Italy Mercato Farmers' Market
on Date Street at India
9:00 to 1:00 PM Saturday mornings