Ask a local. That’s always the best way to get the inside story about a place you’re visiting. And when that local also happens to be a travel writer, all the better…
As I’m road-tripping down the California coast, a fellow travel writer — Indie Traveler Sara Benson — tips me off to the San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market that runs every Thursday evening year-round. I love wandering through markets, but I’m surprised when Sara and I wander onto Higuera Street and find a full-blown, music-fueled street party in progress.
Alongside the stalls brimming with giant artichokes, fresh strawberries, ruby beets, and oranges large and small, are honey makers and nut vendors, student farmers and grizzled field hands, one group preaching evangelical salvation and another promoting the virtues of atheism.
It seems like nearly everyone who lives is this central California city of 45,000 has come out for farmers’ market night.
And it’s not just for the berries and beets. An entire section of the market is devoted to street food!
We weave through the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds toward the aroma of grilling meat. Sara tells me that the market’s “signature dish” is a barbecued tri-trip (steak) sandwich. Alas, one vendor is already sold out and the other two have multi-block-long line-ups.
As I’m weighing up whether to brave the lines — how badly do I need to try the barbecue? — I spy a tamale vendor.
Chile verde tamales? Sold!
I’m glad I asked a local and found this farmers’ market party!
Many thanks to Sara Benson for her California travel tips! And if you’re heading for Las Vegas, she’s the gal to know: she’s the author of the best-selling Viva Las Vegas, Baby! travel app.
Got your own travel tips to share? Every Wednesday, you can share a photo or post about own food adventures as part of the WanderFood Wednesday blog carnival. Here’s how:
- Post a food photo on your site.
- Add a brief description about the photo — or a longer food-focused post — and include a link to WanderFood Wednesday.
- Add your blog name and post title to the “Mr. Linky” form below, with a link directly to your post (not to your main blog). That’s it!
[mrlinky owner=wanderfood postid=08May2012 meme=2888]
About the “Hit the Road Hungry” Road Trip
I’m doing a solo road trip from Vancouver to Los Angeles, working with a company called Hit The Road that pairs people who want to take road trips with people who need their cars moved. I’m delivering a forest green 1998 Honda Civic for its owners who are moving from British Columbia to southern California, and I’m eating my way down the west coast.
The previous posts in this series are:
When Plans for Pie Go Awry
Pok Pok in Portland
Living The Serious Coffee Lifestyle in Portland
Bites By Bike, with Portland’s Pedal Bike Tours
Taste of Korea: A Taste of the Food Cart Scene in Portland
I Should Have Had the Deep-Fried Pickles
Winding Through the Redwood Forest
Ten Thousand Buddhas, One Highway Patrolman, But No Lunch
Time for Biscuits and Gravy!
California Cuisine at La Bicyclette in Carmel
I hope you’ll continue to follow along as I “Hit the Road Hungry!”
Photos © Carolyn B. Heller