Friday, May 16, 2014

SOCO Farmer's Market


I appreciate the little things; even when that comes to little Farmer's Markets like the one at South Coast Collection (SOCO).  I had been meaning to revisit this little gem in Costa Mesa since we were lucky enough to tour it over a year ago, but I just never made the time.  However, one lucky weekend, my TH was in rare form on Saturday morning, so I asked if we could swing by (we were heading that way as it was...) he agreed!

It was almost 11am on a beautiful sunny day so I was expecting it to be PACKED.  I warned my TH so he could prepare his mental state and remain calm (he has slight issues with crowds).  We grabbed our reusable bags and headed out to this little market to see what was happening.  Well, to my excited surprise, it was just crowded enough to be remarkably pleasant for my pregnant self as well as my TH.  We were able to walk around, taste items and buy at leisure without having to "Oh excuse me", "Pardon me" our way through the crowd.  We checked out the produce and were pleased with the selection.  Of course, all the vendors must be certified California grown, so we tasted some in-season fruits and veggies and loved not having tons to choose from making the decision that much harder. It is so much easier to taste/price check when only dealing with two booths selling the same product!

After checking out the fresh produce we headed over to the specialty items; this mommy was getting hungry and needed a snack.  The boys were kicking like crazy in protest to the lack of snacks in the past hour (they are rather bossy let me tell you...wonder where they get that?)

Are you not obsessed with how UN-crowded it is? Best kept secret for sure!
As we strolled, tasted and chatted with the vendors we of course had to make a few purchases along the way.  The first had to be eaten immediately....cheese, jalapeno sourdough bread...oh my word.  The baker, bless his heart gave us the run down that due to the lack of preservatives in the bread it should be eaten in the next three to five days.  I smiled, warmly touched my belly and told him I would to my best not to devour it in the next three to five minutes.

The bread was beyond delish.  The hidden cheese pockets within were enough to make me fall over.  Thankfully, SOCO sets up a lovely "eating area" for shoppers to enjoy their food truck finds (yes there are also one or two food trucks visiting) or fresh  treats.  My TH and I snagged a table so I could snack and squeal in safety. 

Since this little market is small and not overloaded with people, it is easy to get through in 15-30 minutes.  Which for this TW on the go, is perfect!  After we made our way through, sure not skip over any booths, we grabbed some of Vera's tamales (love the 6 for $16 deal) for dinner.  She always had a wonderful vegetarian and vegan selection and they sounded perfect for a Saturday night dinner at home.

And for our dessert?  Well, that was an easy one!  If my Orange Clementine booth is anywhere I am, I never leave without a Lemon Blueberry pound cake, my TH opted for the Orange with Almonds.  Oh boy, this mommy was in HEAVEN and couldn't wait for dinner tonight.  I was definitely going to have to get a long walk in before the feast ahead of me!

This is a lovely little stop and I urge you to check it out if you haven't already.  If you are one who prefers a slower market pace, then trust me, this isn't to be missed!  Every Saturday from 9am-2pm.  It is easy to park, easy to navigate and well worth the stop.  Happy shopping!

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