Three Stone Hearth - Outstanding New Farmers' Market Stand (and CSK)
There's a new prepared food stand at the Saturday Berkeley Farmers' Market. Three Stone Hearth sells a weekly stew (one veg, one meat) and a ceaser salad. These are some hard-core Berkeley foodies - their ingredients are superlative and (more importantly) they know how to cook. My bowl of lamb tagine was delicious - perfectly cooked vegetables and garbanzos, flavorful lamb broth and a cooling dab of Strauss yogurt. This is everything that the soup at Soop aspires to be. The raw egg Ceaser with Blue Heron little gems was also excellent (though I didn't really care for the whole grain crutons). The prices are a bit on the high side ($8 for a bowl of soup) but considering where they're sourcing the ingredients from it seems reasonable. They sample the soup so you can try before you buy. They say the stew will change weekly.
I checked out their website today and it's a fascinating organization. They recently purchased a worker owned kitchen in West Berkeley and are starting a Community Supported Kitchen. Like a CSA box, but with prepared foods you can choose from. The thing that really jumped out at me is pastured beef and lamb stock which is almost impossible to find. They also have nut butters, salad dressings, sauerkraut, "grab and go" items like tamales and pot pies. Everything is made using the best ingredients available. The buy-in seems a bit prohibitive ($200 upfront to start plus a minimum $60 order) but if the stuff at their FM stand continues to impress me I'll seriously consider it. If I do pursue this I will report back. It certainly seems like a concept with a lot of potential.
You can find out more information their website: threestonehearth.com