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mary c's Profile

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Actually organic at Farmers Markets ???

I'm confused regarding your statement that Jaime Farms has a "wide selection because they buy produce from other farms and sell it at their stall." Buying and reselling of produce is against the Direct Marketing Regulations that govern the California State Farmer's Market Program.
Farmers who sell at Farmer's Markets are supposed to grow what they sell. There are many very fine and reputable farmers who sell at So. Cal. Farmer's Markets, but there are also MANY cheaters. State and County Ag Depts. have regulations in place, but for many reasons enforcing these rules is difficult.

Mar 09, 2014
mary c in Los Angeles Area

Actually organic at Farmers Markets ???

Yes, you are on the right track. The CDFA website is a pain, but it contains an extensive list of Farmer's Market cheaters. OK go to http://www.cdfa.ca.gov
Click on INSPECTION HOME
Then click on INSPECTION & COMPLIANCE
Scroll down and click on DIRECT MARKETING PROGRAM and at the bottom of that page is NONCOMPLIANCE.....this list is unbelievable and a real eye opener. Good Luck!

Mar 09, 2014
mary c in Los Angeles Area

Actually organic at Farmers Markets ???

Your concerns are valid. The link you provided for the CDFA (Calif. Dept. of Food & Agriculture) is a bit tricky to navigate, but it lists the names of farmers who sell at Farmer's Markets who have been Fined, Suspended, or had their Producers Certificate revoked from the second quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of 2013. If you click on "Inspection Home" and then under "Certified Farmer's Market Program" scroll down to the bottom of the page to Enforcement Actions you will see the list of farmers and the rules they violated.
Healthy Family Farms, one of the vendors you trust, has broken every rule in the book. A Google search will reveal many articles describing the various shenanigans that Healthy Family Farms has been involved in over the years.

Mar 08, 2014
mary c in Los Angeles Area

Fresno Tostada Compuesta

If my memory is right, I do think it was Estrada's Spanish Kitchen. Maybe some of the other posters who also dined there will know.

Dec 10, 2012
mary c in California

Fresno Tostada Compuesta

Jeff......YES!!! You described the Estrada'sTostada Compuesta perfectly. I had forgotten about the salsa topping. Thank you for your great post.

Dec 09, 2012
mary c in California

Fresno Tostada Compuesta

Melanie.......I checked out some Yelp reviews of the Estradas in Colma and many of the reviewers mentioned the "sizzling salad", which does sound alot like the Tostada Compuesta from the old Estradas in Fresno. Do you think it is the same family??

Dec 06, 2012
mary c in California

Fresno Tostada Compuesta

I grew up eating at Estradas, both in Fresno and Visalia and ALWAYS had the Tostada Compuesta. Like you, I've never found a restaurant tostada that comes close to the wonderful Estrada's version. I have created a tostada that might be a close second. I can't remember if the Estradas Tostada had crumbled cooked chorizo sprinkled on top of the fried tortilla and refried beans, but that's what I do and then add sprinkle of grated cheddar. Then a quick trip under the broiler to get the chorizo, cheese and beans piping hot. Immediately top with a mound of finely shredded ICEBERG lettuce that was tossed in a simple vinegar & oil, salt & pepper dressing.
I miss so many of the wonderful things I grew up eating in Fresno and especially that fabulous Tostada Compuesta!!!!!

Dec 06, 2012
mary c in California

Best Breafast Sausage

Will....I agree, Broadbent's country sausage is very good. I've ordered bulk sausage many times from Broadbent's and Father's Country Ham's and have never been disappointed. I haven't found anything comparable in So. Cal.

Nov 07, 2012
mary c in Los Angeles Area

Best Breafast Sausage

Not local and not sure about their farming practices, but Father's Country Hams from Kentucky has been in business since 1840 and makes amazing breakfast sausage. During the holidays they also offer their Holiday Pig Country Sausage which is more highly seasoned than the regular country sausage. All of their breakfast sausage is hickory smoked in a cloth bag and is delicious. Checkout their website at www.fatherscountryhams.com. I think Mr. JudiAU will love it.

Nov 05, 2012
mary c in Los Angeles Area

Ventura/Oxnard help?

I totally forgot about Mrs. Olsen's on Hollywood Beach. Breakfast is always great and they have a fish sandwish at lunch that is really good. Since it is very small and very popular, getting in at peak times can involve a wait. Anxious to try Bonanos Peruvian in Ventura.

Feb 05, 2012
mary c in Los Angeles Area

Ventura/Oxnard help?

Piero.......What is the name of the restaurant in Santa Paula and which exit off of 126? I'd like to check out their website.

Feb 04, 2012
mary c in Los Angeles Area

Ventura/Oxnard help?

Also LOVE Cuernavaca on the avenue in Ventura. All of the small "street tacos" are delicious, but the al pastor & potato & chile are especially good. The chorizo torta is wonderful. They also have a great array of very tasty salsas.
As far as high end or fine dining, your best bet would be to head to Santa Barbara. Since Brooks closed in Ventura Dec. 31, there is just nothing worth suggesting in this area.
Enjoy your stay at the beach!

Feb 04, 2012
mary c in Los Angeles Area

Spokane Food Delivery Options

Thank You so much for the info. Food to You sounds like it might be a good option.

Jul 25, 2010
mary c in Pacific Northwest

Spokane Food Delivery Options

I live out of state and am trying to find a restaurant or personal chef that would deliver meals to a relative in Spokane who is recovering from a serious illness. Any tips or ideas would be appreciated. Thank You!!

Jul 24, 2010
mary c in Pacific Northwest

Going Fishing early Saturday morning out of Oxnard-Where to get good lunch fixens?

Either stock up before you leave Pasadena or Brent's, in Westlake Village, would be my suggestion too. There is nothing in Oxnard, other than the typical grocery store deli counters.

Jul 13, 2010
mary c in Los Angeles Area

Brooks in Ventura?

Ventura County is really the land of chain restaurants and for Ventura, Brooks is one of the better chef owned restaurants. However, it can be hit or miss. Recently the chef seems to have changed the concept and is now offering more "starters" or small plates and fewer dinner entree options. The last time we were there, since there were so few choices for dinner, we ordered strictly from the "starter" menu. The calamari appetizer and the mussles were very good, the other things we tried were so-so. It is possible to spend quite a bit on the various small plates and leave hungry and feeling like for the money spent, a trip into LA would have been a better choice for dinner. Please report back and let us know your thoughts on dining at Brooks.

Jun 24, 2010
mary c in Los Angeles Area

Need a weeks worth of food in Fresno

Like you, I miss many things I grew up eating years ago in Fresno. For Basque, go to the old Basque Hotel in downtown Fresno. It looks as it did 40 years ago and the food is unchanged as well. For Armenian, try Bedrosian's Armenian Deli at First & Ashlan. It is a small family business with a nice selection of Armenian favorites. I think Bedrosian's closes at 6:00pm, but you could get something to go. Also, not exactly near the Tower District, Nina's Bakery is a wonderful little gem at West & Shaw. Nina's stuffed grape leaves are fantastic ,as are all her Armenian Desserts. Nina's is a wonderful place to stock up on all sorts of wonderful Armenian foods and goodies before heading home.
One last place that is totally unique to Fresno is The Berrock Shop at Bullard & West. They have wonderful, fresh baked berrocks that will bring back wonderful memories of growing up in Fresno. You won't go hungry in Fresno!

Old Basque Hotel
1102 F Street

Bedrosian's Armenian Deli
3051 E. Ashlan (First & Ashlan shopping center)

Nina's Bakery
2022 West Shaw (at West)

The Berrock Shop
2016 W. Bullard (at West.....Save Mart Center)

Oct 02, 2009
mary c in California

Santa Paula- for end of September

Sad to say, "a great dinner" is not possible in Santa Paula. If you are willing to drive to Ventura, I highly recommend Brooks Restaurant located at 545 E. Thompson Blvd.
Good Luck!!!!

Sep 03, 2009
mary c in Los Angeles Area

Fresh, healthy takeout food in Oxnard

I glanced at their website and didn't see any hours listed. I know they are closed Sundays. You should call and check on the hours. Sorry I can't be of more help, hope you will give it a try.

Jul 09, 2009
mary c in Los Angeles Area

Fresh, healthy takeout food in Oxnard

There is a little place in downtown Oxnard located in the old Woolworth Building on the corner of 4th Street and A St. which might be what you are looking for. It is called Fresh and Fabulous www.myfreshandfabulous.com. The owner is a registered dietician and she prepares wonderful salads, sandwiches and delicious soups, as well as various cookies and baked goods. You can sign up online to receive weekly menu updates and specials. You can eat there or call your order in for pick up. They do a very good job. Other than that, there isn't much to recommend for healthy take-out in Oxnard.

Jul 08, 2009
mary c in Los Angeles Area

Ventura Lunch Ideas

I agree! Taqueria Cuernavaca is great, but I think the OP was looking for something close to the Ventura Courthouse and the Ventura Ave. area is quite a distance away.

Apr 14, 2009
mary c in Los Angeles Area

Ventura Lunch Ideas

I Love Sushi 5722 Telephone Rd. in the Vons center, across the street and within walking distance from the Government Center in Ventura, is popular with locals. Except for chains there isn't anything on Victoria. There are a few options in downtown Ventura, but that is too far for a lunch hour.

Apr 14, 2009
mary c in Los Angeles Area

Cuernavaca Taqueria, Ventura

Snackish..........Thanks to your original post we are now regulars at Taqueria Cuernavaca. In addition to the amazing small tacos, the tortas are fabulous. What a great little place!!

Feb 10, 2009
mary c in Los Angeles Area

Wrongheaded Assault on Slow Food

Cheesemonger......As a small organic farmer, who was once an active member of Slow Food, my experience mirrors yours. We participated in many events and donated vegetables for several Slow Food fundraising dinners. We even had one of our vegetables inducted into the "Arc." After many years of membership, I started feeling that most members of my Convivium were more interested in the the social aspect of the events, rather than actually supporting the small growers attending the local farmer's markets. The convivium I'm referring to, is one of the largest in the country and was initially headed by a well known local chef, who was very involved with Slow Food both internationally and locally. I came to the realization that even this chef, who headed the convivium, wasn't supporting the local growers at the largest Farmer's Market in the country. On various occasions, I was asked to let the chef know when certain products were in season. When I'd call the restaurant I was told they were obtaining their vegetables from their "wholesaler." The only time I would see the chef at the Farmer's Market was when the market was being used as a backdrop for a photo op. I became disheartened and dropped my membership. I believe in the philosophy of Slow Food and hope that my experience is unique. Hopefully, other conviviums are actually practicing what they preach.

Mar 30, 2008
mary c in Food Media & News

Any suggestions for Ventura or Carpinteria?

Zookers on Casitas Pass Rd. in Carpinteria. Inexpensive, casual & good.

Aug 05, 2007
mary c in Los Angeles Area

Recent Ojai experiences? Auberge? Other higher end?

Could it be Boccali's??

Jun 21, 2007
mary c in California

Quiet Please: Anywhere Left to Go? And I don't want to bump elbows or know about your trip to Paris

You've really touched upon some restaurant issues that have become deal breakers for me too. It seems most people don't seem to mind being crammed in like sardines and having to endure loud conversations from adjoining tables. Have you tried Josie in Santa Monica?? It might be what you are looking for.

Jun 17, 2007
mary c in Los Angeles Area

Palm Springs Valentine's Day "Dive"

Just what you are looking for.....Great Mexican food in a VERY casual setting, right off
Hwy. 111 in Cathedral City. A local favorite!!
El Gallito
68820 Grove St.
Cathedral City, Ca
phone 760 328-7794

Feb 10, 2007
mary c in California

FAVORITE SANTA MONICA / WESTSIDE CHEFS [moved from L.A. board]

Noah.......Chef de Cuisine at Wilshire
Jill.......Chef de Cuisine at Josie
Josh.......Chef de Cuisine at Joe's

Dec 14, 2006
mary c in Not About Food

Gigot de Sept Heures, LA Times - DON'T DO IT!!

Yep! It cost a pretty penny. No yummy Shepherd's Pie for us. The version I made, called for blending the veggies with the cooking liquid. After doing that, I was left with this incredibly thick and blah tasting gravy. None of the ingredients, from the cognac, red wine and all of the veggies could be tasted. Even the lamb, which had been cooked for 7 hours in a bottle of wine and 1/2 c. cognac was pretty flavorless. Needless to say, that recipe is now in our local landfill.

Dec 13, 2006
mary c in Home Cooking