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The Tastes of Vacation: Farmer’s Market Edition

Farmers Market

Evensong Farm’s stand – our first stop every week at the Silver Spring Farmers Market

Vacations in the Brown family are wonderful times to try new foods and restaurants – even when staying at home for two weeks.

As yesterday’s post noted, I jumped out of the “vacation mode” gate early. The wonderful food and drink at Biga on the Banks in San Antonio simply whetted my appetite – literally – for the week ahead.  Last evening, Candice, Andrew and I spent a delightful evening at the tapas restaurant Barcelona in Cathedral Heights.  Candice and Andrew highly recommend the white sangria with the spring seasonings of lavender, sage, and rosemary.  We had a wide array of tapas, and all were tasty.  Some of my favorites included the mussels al diablo, the shrimp with a gazpacho dipping sauce, and the lamb chops.

But my vacation didn’t officially begin until today. So in the spirit of yesterday’s post, I’m going to report – as frequently as possible – about the meals and other foodie treats we’re going to enjoy these next two weeks.

It is a terrific time to sample what the city has to offer, as the annual DC Restaurant Week begins on Monday and runs through the following Sunday. The three of us sat down together this afternoon and made reservations for virtually every night of restaurant week (and then some).  More on that in a bit.

Today’s food adventure began where it does every Saturday we are in town – at the Silver Spring Farmers Market.  We bought our food from the regulars – eggs and meats from Julie at Evensong Farm, bread and pasties (including Rhubarb turnovers when they are in season) from Shana at Talking Breads, milk and cream from Clare at Clear Spring Creamery, corn on the cob and peaches from Winn and Fredi at Quaker Valley Orchards, mushrooms from North Cove Mushrooms, and cheese, butter, lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, blueberries and on and on…whatever is in season.

In the new movie That Sugar Film, we’re all instructed to “turn right upon entering the supermarket and head to the produce department, bypassing everything in the middle.”  We do that one better.  We simply bypass the supermarket for most of our food.

Before we put those wonderful ingredients to use for dinner tonight, Andrew and I took an “urban studies” stroll around Silver Spring to stretch our legs and talk about how the city is changing.  And as we walked up one block full of development and (actually) good architecture, we came upon the side wall of the restaurant Urban Butcher (another regular at the market) and this scene:

Urban Butcher restaurant

The indoor/outdoor bar is open at Urban Butcher

Ahhhh!  The “garage doors” were raised and the bar was serving customers both inside and outside – simply by having the bartender turn around.  We decided it was such a lovely day that we’d take a break from our walk and sample an Urban Butcher gin and tonic (DJB – made with the DC-distilled Green Hat Gin and Urban Butcher’s tasty homemade tonic water), and an Urban Derby (Andrew – Bulleit bourbon and grapefruit juice).

Suitably fortified, we headed home where Candice was putting the finishing touches on our meal – with all ingredients straight from the farmers market or our window boxes.  Sitting on our back deck, we had a wonderful mixed green salad and Zucchini Flan courtesy of a recipe that Candice found in the New York Times.  Eggs, milk, cheese, and zucchini – delicious, healthy, and all from the Silver Spring Farmers Market!

To whet your appetite, here’s our list of restaurants we’ve lined up to visit during DC Restaurant Week:

  • MXDC
  • New Heights
  • SEI
  • DC Coast
  • Jackie’s
  • Fig & Olive
  • Iron Gate
  • Mix

So check back in and see what we’ve found.  We’ll be sure to toast all our regular readers.  And in the meantime, you can get in the spirit with a little bit of Good in the Kitchen, by Bearfoot.

More to come…


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