Farm fresh fun under the sun
by Alexander Quebec
The white hot sun of the summer solstice shined upon my visit to Le Marche at Santana Row. Backed by the popular Straits Restaurants Group (consisting of the Straits, Sino and Roots & Rye restaurants) Le Marche combines the old world market experience with the flavors of California.
A selection of merchants at Le Marche at Santana Row
Fresh baked loaves of bread from The Midwife and The Baker
The air was filled with the lingering aromas of fresh baked bread and fruits and vegetables freshly picked from the farm. Santana Row is the perfect setting for this place, centrally located with ample parking and set up along a stretch of the center that has plenty of space to move around, I didn’t feel like I was crowded out or claustrophobic.
I visited many of the produce stalls that were here. After talking with many of the owners and vendors, I could feel the passion for what they brought to the market, especially when it came to growing the food that feeds California. One of the merchants was selling his farms apricots and nectarines with the flair and enthusiasm of an old school showman.
Santana Row has a great line up of eateries, and Le Marche as a reflection of that had a few food vendors as well. It was getting close to dinner time, so I decided to give a steak quesadilla from The Oxacan Kitchen a try.
The Oaxacan Kitchen tent
What I loved the most was the tortilla. The ladies working the stand were making them fresh right in front of the customer, you could smell the freshly made masa (ground corn meal mixed with lard and salt) coming from the tent. I actually grew up with homemade tortillas when I was little, and I can say with absolute confidence that there’s a world of difference in flavor between homemade and store-bought tortillas. I could taste the freshly prepared masa combined with the salty queso blanco and juicy, tender steak meat
Steak quesadilla from The Oaxcan Kitchen
Farm fresh produce, freshly baked goodies, live entertainment and cooking demos make for an amazing weekday summer evening for the entire family, so march on over to Le Marche.
Le Marche happens every Wednesday afternoon from 4-8 P.M. at Santana Row from now until September. You may want to hit up the ATM before you go as some (but not all) participants are cash only. Bring those reusable shopping bags too, just in case (some vendors have them available as well)