Boy did I have a fun afternoon on my first ever walking food tour! I recently went on the maiden voyage of Carla and Linda's Walking Food Tours NEW Vista tour with a group of wonderful food-loving people. We started our tour at Starbucks in the village where we all assembled and introduced ourselves. Our first stop was Belching Beaver Brewery Tavern & Grill, where after a brief walk we enjoyed crispy plantains topped with pit-roasted mojo pork and dressed with cilantro, citrus sauce and me so honey cream. Next visit was Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen for house-made pasta with veggies, sausage, micro greens and a carrot reduction sauce. Next we looped around to When Pigs Fly BBQ for a smoked rib with slaw. We finished our tour by walking back to Little Cakes Cupcake Kitchen to indulge in our choice of cupcake. I selected chocolate peanut butter and it was divine.
All along the tour we were blessed to be able to chat with the chefs and owners/operators and find out more about them, their food and restaurants. While on the walking portion of the tour Linda told us great little facts about different pieces of art and businesses along the way. One of the fun things about these tours is that ahead of time we have no idea what we will be served. We just show up and enjoy!
***Update: Since I originally wrote this, I have also been on two additional Oceanside tours and they were both fantastic as well as was the Vista tour. I highly recommend this experience. The concept, restaurants and tour guides are all tops. I definitely plan to do this again and again in the future. Find out more at www.shoesandchews.com. Use code Barb to save $10 on each ticket you purchase.
There is a new place in town to brush up on your culinary skills in North County. Its called Treehouse Kitchen and it's a beautiful, intimate studio in a residential neighborhood of Encinitas. Skilled chefs are brought in to teach a variety of classes from making sweet/savory hand pies (I took this class), to making jams, krauts and pickling, Thai and French cuisine, pizza, grilling, sourdough bread, date night pizza night and more. More classes are being added all the time and they are open to suggestions on classes that the community would be interested in. The hosts are Stan and Mary, a great couple that work in tandem to help facilitate the guest chef of the day and keep things rolling behind the scenes. When we were short on plums for our sweet hand pies, Stan ran out to the garden to grab more. Handy, right?
In the class I took, we all jumped in and participated in prep work, and then we enjoyed the fruits of our labor. We were sent home with detailed recipes and how to's so we could recreate the deliciousness at home.
If you would like to take a class outside of a commercial store or strip mall, not be pressured by sales, and support local, small business, this is your ticket! Grab a group of friends or schedule a date night and see what Treehouse Kitchen is about. If you like to cook or would just like to learn something more specialized, I promise you will love these classes and the venue and walk away with new knowledge and skills in the kitchen. You will probably have made some nice new friends as well. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience today and would highly recommend this business to all of you.
Queen Califia's Magical Circle Escondido- Beautiful Tile Sculpture Garden by Artist Niki De Saint Phalle
Queen Califia's Magical Circle in Escondido is greatly expanding the hours it is open to the public. Currently the sculpture garden will be open from 9 AM until noon Tuesday and Thursday, weather permitting. It is not open when it is raining or when there is any puddling on the ground. It will also continue to be open from 9 AM until noon on the second Saturday of each month. Hours are subject to change, so be sure to check website before heading over.
City officials said the new hours are an experiment of sorts, and that if problems such as vandalism arise things could change. The new hours reflect increasing public demand and interest in the garden. Queen Califia's Magical Circle is the only American sculpture garden and the last major international project created by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle who died in 2002. Group visits to the Garden may also be accommodated by making pre-arranged reservation by calling (760) 839-4519. www.queencalifia.org.
I recently started my day with joy and laughter doing goat yoga at Sugar Sweet Farm in Encinitas! They invited me to experience their class so I could share my thoughts with you. I admit, I had no idea what it was about but yes we actually did get some yoga done and yes we also did quite a bit of laughing and snuggling as well. We even got to bottle-feed milk to the goats. While this type of yoga is maybe a little more down and dirty than you are used to, it also comes with towels steeped in lavender essential oil for your eyes during shavasana and chilled cucumber water when you’re finished with your workout.
Thank you Elizabeth for opening up your sweet farm to us and sharing your fruits, and thank you Beth for your instruction. Thank you for providing a professional photographer to catch all the magical (and funny) moments so we could hold on to the memories of the day! We had such a great time and you can bet we will be back!
Barb's tips: Leave plenty of time to get there and map your route out in advance. Maybe not wear your very favorite yoga outfit, you will be interacting with goats, afterall. :) I suggest leaving your yoga mat at home and using one of theirs for obvious reasons. Lastly, just be prepared for enjoyment, laughter and fun. EMBRACE the experience!
If you would like to give it a try, I highly suggest Sugar Sweet Farm and if you use code: BARB10 when you sign up, you will save $10! http://www.sugarsweetfarm.com/goat-yoga.html