I thought I had stepped into one of the markets of Hong Kong. But it was the Richmond Night Market of Vancouver. A garish night market selling cheap trinkets. Skill-free Karaoke accompanied skillful food making displays.
Once you are out of the Bridgeport train station, the urban scene changed rapidly. We walked through dirt roads, guided by city traffic police and bright night lights to get to waterside barren ground where the market was setup. The long queue moved fast, tickets were cheap and then we were surrounded with deluge of trinkets – electronic junk, cute socks, Japanese swords, lenses to change your eye color… At bazaars like these, food is always the most fascinating part. Most of the food was some form of grilled or fried food – fried stinky tofu, fried calamari, grilled chicken, grilled shrimps, fried noodles… There were some curious food making on display like bubble waffles and fish shaped waffles. And then there were some fairly complex food being made like meat balls being formed with chopsticks.
On our recent trip to Vancouver, we happened to book an AirBnB home within a few blocks of Lemonade. Not only did this result in devouring of these gluten free chocolate and cherry brioches, we also had our only real tasting sandwich in over an year. Their gluten free bread comes close to real white bread in texture.
Saltwater happened to be located right opposite our cottage. We started our outdoor dinner with the raw deal where we were served the same variety of oysters raised in different waters – indeed they tasted different.
Their cheeses are made with milk from happy Jersey organic cows from John Taverna’s dairy, located in Chileno Valley in Marin County. On this trip, we tried a couple new ones:
- Inverness: Cowgirl describes this as full flavored, tangy lactic curd with a dense, creamy mouth feel. This is aged for two weeks to create a delicate version of St Marcellin style cheese.
- St Pat: This is cowgirl’s spring seasonal cheese. This creamy semi-firm cheese is wrapped with nettle leaves that grow wild in Marin. Cowgirl describes this as mellow, soft, and full of smoky artichoke flavor.
In Bay Area, oyster on the half shell is usually $3 per piece. I am convinced that Oysters are calorie free food particularly when not accompanied by champagne. Hence, if it weren’t for the price, I think I would eat them by the dozens every day. Drakes Bay Oyster Shack is where you can get your oyster fix for half the price. They have been farming 4 generations at Point Reyes but we don’t know how long they will be allowed to continue. While they are, one hopes will continue to serve big fat plump oysters by the dozen. We landed up here towards the end of the day so all they had left were oysters doused in Bloody Mary mix – what a lovely start to the evening!
One can presumably spot myriad wild life at Point Reyes National Seashore but what we saw most were happy cows. I can only assume they are happy – rolling grasslands and other fellow cows as far as eyes can see. Occasional hikers and cold breeze can perhaps be considered the only hardship they endure.
Marin sun farms in a family owned pasture to fork farm with the restaurant right on Highway 1 at Point Reyes Station. Sea air and good hikes can easily prepare you for their fat and juicy steaks. Be prepared to wait an hour for your food, even if you are ordering just a burger, but the wait is well worth it.