San Leandro’s Downtown Farmers’ Market

As I reported before, San Leandro has a new Farmers’ Market, this time downtown. The downtown market is located on Parrot street, in front of The Englander and will operate throughout the summer on Wednesday evenings from 4 pm – 8 pm. The market was inaugurated yesterday, with a ribbon cutting ceremony involving the local politicos.
I think I like this farmer’s market more than the one at Bayfair – which seems to be getting smaller. For one, it has more activities for children – including a stand where you can get elaborate balloon animals/characters made for only $3, another where you can get a caricature made for $10 (this was not a cheap trip to the FM) and one with face painting and so forth (which we fortunately avoided). They also have activities for adults, yesterday was cooking demonstrations (which I didn’t stay for). They’ll also have family entertainment, live music and wine tastings in subsequent Wednesdays.
As you would expect, there were several fruit and veggie stands – lots of ripe strawberries, cherries and even raspberries. There were a couple of bakeries, one stand selling honey, one selling Indian breads & spreads and another one a variety of dips. There was a flower stand, a fish stand and an egg stand – which means that if we miss the quail eggs on Saturday, we’ll be able to get them on Wednesdays.
As far as food went, there is a tamales stand, a stand selling foot-long hot-dogs and teriyaki sticks ($6-9, I think) and The Englander has a burger stand. Unwisely, we decided to eat at The Englander instead, so we didn’t get to actually taste the food from there. Next week.
I’ve heard rumors that Zocalo may open a stand at the farmers’ market to sell its beans.
Here are some pictures of the market:

New Farmers’ Market in San Leandro

Mike (my husband) reports today in San Leandro Bytes that the city council will be voting on allowing a new farmer’s market to operate in San Leandro. This market would operate downtown on Wednesday evenings from 4pm to 9pm starting on May 14, 2008, and continuing through October 22, 2008. I, for one, would really like to have it!
More information at

Joaquin Deli to be sold :(

I’ve written here before about how much I like Joaquin Deli before. It serves the best sandwiches in San Leandro and offers a quirky assortment of Eastern European products. Its roasted pork shoulder is also to die for.
But Joaquin Deli is closing. The building is up for sale – and there is no guarantee the new owners will want to keep the deli. Indeed, the current owners seem to think not as their flyer says that the downstairs could be used as as “medical/dental office”.
Apparently the business is not doing badly, but the owners are just tired of running it. Still, it can’t be doing that well if they’re not trying to sell the business itself. So I’m not optimistic. I’ll just have to say goodbye to those delicious sandwiches 🙁

And a note on Safeway

Our Safeway (the one on Washington Ave. in downtown San Leandro) got yuppisized last summer, and the process seems to continue. Today I found that they’re selling Bhutanese Red Rice, forbidden rice and another gourmet rice which until recently I had to go to Berkeley to find. They had some cool multi-colored couscous, though no Israeli couscous yet. And they are expanding their line of organic products, they have organic ice cream now (haven’t tried it yet). Stil, I couldn’t find any Jerusalem artichokes there either.

PW Supermarket

I’ve been in San Leandro for almost 6 years now, and yet I just discovered PW Market in Castro Valley. I’ve received their flyers all along, but as they weren’t local to me I always just tossed them in the recycle bin. Then my friend Regina mentioned she was going to go there to get some pastries for our tea last Sunday and she took me along.
PW could be described as a quasi-upscale supermarket. Most of the products it carries are those that you can find at most supermarkets, but it does have great meat and deli departments. Granted, we’re only a couple of days from Thanksgiving but when we visited they had goose, pheasant and rabbit available in addition to turkeys and chickens. Their meat department features prime-grade beef (something which is hard to find at retail stores) at very reasonable prices. Their lamb offerings, however, were poorer. The two racks of lamb I saw looked sad and I couldn’t see any lamb shanks. They did seem to have a large variety of seafood, however.
We were quite impressed by their cheese section, it didn’t feature many local favorites like Whole Food does, but there was a wide variety and the one French brie we got was delicious.
Their deli offered plenty of pasta-style salads, and their bakery section though small is very nice. We got a couple of lemon bars, a little mocha cheesecake, some scones and an apple bread pudding and they were all delicious.
On the minus side, they didn’t seem to carry much in the exotic ingredient category. I couldn’t find either Jerusalem artichokes or Israeli couscous there.

Safeway Delivery Code

for this week is FREEDEL3
(one more flyer into the recycling bin)

Crossroads World Market

I just found an ad for the Crossroads World Market in Hayward. I want to throw the ad away, but I want to make sure I remember the information so I can go check it out sometime. It sells Greek and European delicacies and I definitely need to go to check it out.
Crossroads World Market
230 Jackson St. (at Soto next to DMV)
M-Sa 9-7, Su 10-5

Safeway online coupon

free shipping with a 50 minimun order: FREEDEL2

La Plaza Market

La Plaza Market AKA La Cubana is a Latin market in the San Fernando Valley. My father shops there for Argentine meat cuts for their weekly asado, and they have a plethora of other products imported from all over Latin America. From Argentina they have several brands of cookies, dulce de leche, yerba mate, and even things such as flour (why?). It’s pretty cool and I recommend it to anyone in the Valley.
La Plaza Market
19239 Roscoe
Northridge, CA

Casa Lucas

Casa Lucas Market (Number 2, the first one is in San Francisco) is a pretty cool Latin American market on East 14th in San Leandro. As you would expect they have a large selection of Mexican products, but they also carry an eclectic selection of other Latin American products. It’s a relatively small store, so their selection /is/ limited.
I usually go there to buy empanada shells (tapas para empanadas), they also have a nice selection of yerba mate (including in little bags) and a few canned jams and Savora mustard, for some reason. They only have small jars of dulce de leche, though. They did have Havana alfajores (no habannets, though), at $1.60 each they are expensive (about 3Xs what they cost in Argentina) but ooooh, so good.
Anyway, in today’s trip I was able to find cassava (manioc) flour which I need for my Bahian meal (they also have white & yellow corn flour, rice flour and even banana flour) and guaran