A Day Spent in Point Reyes

On any typical weekend in San Francisco, you can find the road to 101 North jammed with cars filled with people in search of sun over the Golden Gate Bridge. On one such recent weekend, my family packed our car early Saturday and headed out to Point Reyes, a protected national seashore on the west coast of Marin County. A favorite sunny destination for my family, I have fond memories of day trips out to Point Reyes since my early childhood.

On this particular outing….

We started at Bovine Bakery (11315 California 1, Point Reyes Station, CA) where you can find a line of people waiting out the door in the morning for traditional, tasty pastries. They are not out of this world, but certainly make a delicious breakfast.

The morning bun:

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The blueberry buttermilk scone. They make their scones on large sheets and cut them into huge triangles. The scones are more moist and much tastier this way.

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The blueberry buttermilk scone and the fancy scone. (I personally prefer the fancy scone.)

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Bran Banana Blueberry Muffin (surprisingly and delightfully tasty for something that looks so healthy):Image

Then we headed over to Tomales Bay Oyster Company (15479 Highway One,  Marshall, CA 94940). You can reserve picnic tables there in advance. In our case, we simply arrived early (they recommend before 11 AM) and claimed an open picnic table. We hung out for awhile (No, we did not eat raw oysters before 11), before buying our oysters to have for lunch. We had bread, butter, homemade mignonette, and garlic butter to accompany our oysters eaten by the seaside.

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The scene at Tomales Bay:

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One fresh, raw oyster, shucked by yours truly:

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One cooked oyster, grilled on the grill provided with our picnic table.

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Limantour Beach. This beach is very nice and is never very crowded, but on this particular day was very windy. We did not stay very long.

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And of course, we had to stop by Cowgirl Creamery at Tomales Bay Foods (80 4th Street, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956), my favorite local cheese manufacturer. My personal favorites are their Mt. Tam and Red Hawk cheeses.

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On our way home we stopped at Fairfax Scoop (63 Broadway Blvd  Fairfax, CA 94930) for some ice cream. Fairfax Scoop makes their own organic ice cream (it is quite creamy and definitely on the softer side) in interesting flavors that all stem from very local products. My favorite part though was their waffle cups and cones, which they make fresh in the shop.

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Vanilla Honey Lavender (their most popular flavor, it is to die for) and Raspberry Sorbet:photo 3

Vanilla Honey Lavender and Controlled Burn (cinnamon with ginger and red chile, also surprisingly delicious):

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A note: I did get extremely sick with food poisoning for the night and day after this outing. Most likely, it was from a bad oyster. No one else in my family was disturbed. If you are worried/concerned, however, there is approximately a 1 out of 4 chance of sickness.

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Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

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Nothing is as quintessential San Francisco as a morning at the Farmers Market.

On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays the plaza in front of San Francisco’s Ferry Building transforms into a popular Farmers Market.  When my family first started going, the market was small with simply a handful of farmers outside the building, but now the Saturday market has drastically expanded, hosting 100+ vendors, and drawing local and tourists alike.  The market sits right by the Bay and boasts a view of the Bay Bridge to enjoy as you shop. The outdoor market has an abundance of produce and artisan food products, and all of the Ferry Building’s usual restaurants and vendors are open too.  This morning I went with my sister, mother, and grandmothers.  Produce wise, we picked up some great squash blossoms (perfect to be stuffed with goat cheese and fried), Ranier and Bing cherries, apricots, cheese, bread, and a great Mediterranean roasted eggplant spread.  While shopping with Blue Bottle lattes in hand, we also snacked on a savory breakfast muffin with a poached egg inside from Craftsman & Wolves, a strawberry rhubarb galette, a sticky bun, and a donut muffin from Downtown Bakery (along with the various samples we encountered).

Our favorite vendors in general and from today:

Frog Hollow Farm (great stone fruit and preserves)

Dirty Girl Produce + Green Gulch Farm (veggies)

Cowgirl Creamery + Andante Dairy (cheese)

Downtown Bakery (pastries)

Acme (bread)

Marin Gourmet (hummus, aubergine spread, and baba ganoush)

Fatted Calf + 4505 Meats (meats, especially cured meats)

Saint Benoit Creamery (yogurt)

Blue Bottle (coffee and liege waffles on the weekend)

If you live in the city or are simply visiting, the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is a great place to spend your Saturday mornings.  Whether you are shopping for your week’s groceries or simply there for a snack, it is a truly a San Francisco treat.

– S

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