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Jul 30, 2006 08:24 PM

Temescal almost all organic Farmers Market – Bay Breads (!), Little Laloo’s, Andy and Cindy's Thai Cuisine, BERRY-LICIOUS Broda

This is my favorite market in the East Bay. It might not have three or four of the big hitters that the Saturday Berkeley Market has, but it is SOO much more pleasant.

The market is under shaded trees, there is plenty of parking and being Sunday, you don’t have to race to the car to beat the meter people. There are no street people or political things to put up with. There is live music. It is just a totally lovely experience.


The big find for me was Broda farms and their berries. They also had some excellent summer squash (some with flowers attached), tomatoes, and other veggies. Berries were 2 for $5. I bought one of each type:

- black raspberry – subtle raspberry taste, dry berry, in a good way. Very delicate.
- white raspberries – best I’ve ever had, perfectly ripe, juicy and sweet. Beautiful berries with a hint of apricot taste.
- marion berries – plump, juicy tart with a hint of sweetness
- blackberries – huge berries (for a berry), but much too tart. The super ripe berries had an unpleasant backtaste to me
- ollalie berry – juicy and tart yet pleasantly sweet
- raspberries – HUGE red berries, perfect raspberry taste. Highly recommended.
- Blueberries – a nice sweet mid-sized berry with good blueberry taste.

I’m so glad I learned that keeping berries in glass jars keeps them fresh for at least a week.

Serendipity Farms – This is their first farmers market. The woman was really showing pride and enthusiasm about her tomatoes, so this is where I shopped for those. They also had this beautiful purple basil in a stunning shade that had the most wonderful warm, spicy fragrance that is so nice, the bunch is sitting in a glass on my desk right now. The tomatoes were the best looking in the market and there was a new variety I hadn’t heard of before, pink something or another ... wish I could remember the name. Prior to this the farm only sold to Trader Joes and Whole Foods. That might not sound like the best rec, but this was stunning produce straight from the farm and those tomatoes are very tasty. They also has lovely carrots in various colors.

Other vendors and I missed a few -

Pinnacle Organics – melons, tomatoes, greens, and other produce
VB Farms – Organic Strawberries
Mt Marian – nice peaches, plums, nectarines and red flame grapes.
Rainbow Orchards – My favorite apple cider people in California, from Apple Hill. They were just selling blueberries this week. Unfortunately they were the big not too flavorful California type. I’ll wait for the cider and apples.
Happy Boy – GREAT greens & veggies. There were some nice melons this week too
Lucero – those great tomatoes
Kasliwase – produce – didn’t pay close attention
Hamada – I am almost certain they were there


Glaum’s organic free-range eggs – Organic fed diet – hand-gathered.

Spring Hill is there with their cheeses. Didn’t look closely

LaLoo’s is selling all flavors of their goat milk ice cream (vanilla snowflake, black mission fig, deep chocolate, chevre chifton, pumpkin spice, chocolate cabernet, strawberry darling, molasses tipsy cake). ALSO they are now packaging their ice cream in single serving cups ($2). They only have vanilla and chocolate in that size currently. Even though this IS national ice cream month, I have done far too good a job of celebrating it this last week and I could not eat another bite of ice cream. Had to pass on LaLoo’s this week)


Shogun fish


Hoda Soy – soy products

I think there was an organic baby food stand in the arts and crafts section. Interested in neither, I didn’t walk over that way.

Very nice flower vendor, but didn't catch their name.


Olinda Ridge Olive oils & olives – Three types of oils, one organic. The two I tried were nice and buttery. I’m sorry I ddn’t buy a bottle now since I bought all those tomatoes and basil and am planning a trip to Cheeseboard for some mozzarella. It was too early in the morning for me to sample olives.

Big Paw – Olive oil and vinegars. I like Big Paw, but I overheard a customer mention that someone at Big Paw died this past year. Not sure who.

Happy Girl – I think Happy Boy split off the canned veggies under a new name

East-West Gourmet – hummus and other sort of things like that. Mid-Eastern bread. The spinach bolan looked good


Roasted corn and potato stand
Philipino food stand
Donna’s Tamales
Mi Fiesta Mexican Food
Sukki’s – can you call it a farmers market if Sukki’s isn’t there?
La Marea of the Sea – oysters and clams on the half shell
Andy and Cindy's Thai Cuisine – Here’s Morton the Mousse’s write up on them from the Saturday Berkeley Market


Sternteller – Stollen drops, pretzels European bread. They make excellent soft pretzels. They are also selling pretzel-bites, the size of a donut hole. The stollen drops are hard little biscuit-like cookies that would go well with tea. The ingredients (organic) mention almonds and candied fruit, but the fruit seems more like currants to me.

Greanlea – From San Jose. Famous for their cinnamon bread. It is full of cinnamon. Lots of samples, so you can decide for yourself. They also had some pound cake type of breads.

Bay Breads – YEAH! They are on this side of the bay. They have the almond croissants, many of their breads AND !!! loaves of sliced bread. I bought the sliced sour dough.

Feel Good Bakery – I was kind of bakery-d out by this time. If you are familiar with Feel Good ... here it is.

Bakesale Betty’s – All of Bakesale Betty’s items that don’t need refrigeration.

The only downside was the market manager who has the personality of a Food4less generic potato.

I asked if they might put a little more info about where the market was on the website. I had no clue that Claremont connected to Telegraph. It is that odd street that veers off to the right across from 52nd ... one block up from Bakesale Betty’s. As far as saying it was in the DMV lot ... well, I had no clue there WAS a DMV in that area. This is not my neighborhood. The potato-personality man not only felt EVERYONE knew where this was located, he rolled all his eyes at me ... to my face. It was the only unpleasant part of the farmers market. All I want was a little small map on the website. Is that so difficult? Does that deserve eye-rolling?

That’s ok. Nice job of putting the market together.

Here's the link to the website with address and hours

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  1. I went by the other weekend, seemed mostly *not* organic to me.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Well, Robert ... you are wrong ... flat out wrong.

      Didn't read the board before posting. Here's Hungry Hippo's post. Different opinion on the market.

      The one thing I disagree with is the space. I thought it was very roomy compared to Ferry Plaza. It reminded me a little of the old Green Street location in terms of set-up ... only roomier with better parking ... and I liked the music ... it ain't the SF Symphony, you know ... it's a farmers market.

      Also, I can just carry that watermelon to my car. I don't have to walk three blocks and take the elevator to my car in a parking garage.

      The one thing I did miss is no honey stand. They need to get Marshall's in there.

      I will say the crowd was a little in-bred Berkeley ... people talking about their tv deals and the food crowd that knows each other. I had one person who backed their bike into me ... my back was to them ... not only did NOT apoligize but gave me a look like it was my fault for standing there.

      That can be remedied by going early. Those type of people like at Ferry Plaza are not the early risers.

      1. re: oakjoan

        Wow, just reading that you could tell I call it El SoBRAHntay. I will correct my pronunciation.

        If you are ever in the South Bay, it is san-a-zay.

        1. re: rworange

          Thanks for the write up, I'll have to check it out soon. Curious to try a new egg source as B&B hasn't been around much lately.

          There's a special place in hell reserved for people who walk their bikes through Farmers' Markets. Is that $100 Kryptonite lock just for decoration? It's particularly irritating at the Tuesday Berkeley Market which is extremely cramped due to the nearby construction.

          1. re: rworange

            I hope my post didn't come across negatively, because I actually liked the Temescal market a lot. I agree that it's roomier with more walking space, I just thought the vendors' spaces were smaller and they brought less supply with them. Another downside, which I forgot to mention in my post, is that a lot of the owners didn't come (e.g. I asked at a few fruit stalls when they expected to have Flavor King pluots out, and most didn't seem to know the varieties of pluots on their farms). But, I don't think it's trying to be a big destination market, which is a good thing, and it's a nice environment (except for the music, rworange, it does stink!). That said, I don't think it would be fair to Temescal to compare its market to the Ferry Building or even the Berkeley market yet, which is good because I hope it doesn't get too crowded.

        2. went today and was so impressed with the entirety of the market. almost completely organic, people milling about, families, chefs, and just wandering to check it all out. it's not overwhelmingly big so you can do a once over and then decide.

          the Pinnacle Farms stand was great. I needed a really ripe crimson and yellow watermelon and the guys chose them for me. they hit it spot on.

          I tried the cinnamon bread and died. cannot buy that as i would sit in the park and eat it all day long, and not share.

          i think it is the perfect size and since i haven't been to the berkeley farmer's markets, i love it. i do like the ferry plaza, but only when there aren't a million and one people that don't know where they are going...and i am not willing to get up that early!

          3 Replies
          1. re: Doodleboomer

            Thanks for the feedback on Pinnacle. I didn't really check them out too well. The watermelon at Happy Boy had the most amazing sugary smell, but the taste wasn't quite there yet, so I just walked by Pinnacle. It is nice that they are right by the street so I can pull my car up next to them and not have to haul a melon a long way.

            Does anyone have comments on Feel Good? Anything they make that is particularily delicious.

            I forgot to mention that there is a citrus vendor too. They had the look of that vendor that sells at FP, but I wasn't in the mood, so I passed. Also there was someone selling sprouts, probably the same vendor that sells at one of the Berkely markets. Again, a few more fruit vendors that didn't have signs and I didn't have time to explore. It also seems there was another food stand between the roast corn place and the Filipino place.

            Yeah, I really like that size for Temescal. I really like doing that once over and then going back to select the best. Ferry Plaza just winds up being my specialty market now when they have something no one else has ... and to tell you the truth, you can get most of their stuff elsewhere.

            But the way FP is now, I have to buy as I see it, not tour and taste de market first.

            The other nice thing about Temescal is they have LOTS of room to grow ... and it is on a quiet street, so pulling up my car for that watermelon vendor isn't going to block traffic.

            There's even a little coffee shop across the street if you are not into Blue Bottle. Haven't checked them out yet.

            For a market just out of the box, this is an excellent job.

            1. re: rworange

              I picked up a sweet and a sour baguette from Feel Good yesterday as I happened to be there. I'm spoiled by Acme.

              1. re: rworange

                I adore Feel Good's walnut levain. Very generous amount of walnuts, a nice dense loaf. It's so tasty, when fresh, for a sandwich w/ a sharp cheese and fresh tomatoes and lovely, too, the next day, toasted and with honey.

                They make an excellent cheese and pumpkin seed bread stick. Not enough bakeries do stuff w/ pumpkin seeds, if you ask me.

                I've heard raves for their croissants, but haven't tried 'em myself.

                Their sweets, eh. They do a brownie w/ dried cherries that is very dry and the cherries are just odd, but I don't like cherries and chocolate. The kids really like those lemon-glazed cookies which = they must be very sweet!

            2. Thanks for the great post, rworange. There's also a breton crepe vendor there...had a delicious bacon, creme fraiche, tomato and scallion crepe yesterday morning. Split it w/my neighbor, and it was very filling, $6 I think. Plus the crepe guy flirts in French. Also Blue Bottle coffee. A New Orleans style iced-coffee went very well with my crepe.

              Another perspective- I live in the Temescal and we really don't have any local groceries, gotta get in the car and go to Safeway or up to Piedmont Ave. So having someplace I can walk/ride my bike once a week and do most of my shopping is simply heaven.

              The funny thing is I have heard some community grumbling that it's not in Temescal (I think the DMV is technically Rockridge), but I think that's ridiculous, as it's only a 15 minute walk or so from the farthest reaches of Temescal.

              5 Replies
              1. re: ace

                The DMV is two blocks from 51st and Telegraph and I think it's right on top of Temescal Creek. Seems like Temescal to me.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  I think you're in the minority, Robert. Not all of Temescal Creek runs through the Temescal, it starts in the hills and runs through Emeryville. My guess is that most/all of the folks who live north of 51st St. will tell you they live in Rockridge.

                  1. re: ace

                    Maybe, but if they called it the Rockridge Farmers Market, people would expect it to be near the BART station.

                2. re: ace

                  That was it ... the crepe place. Thanks for the update on that.

                  Oh my ... BB iced New Orleans coffee and crepes. I think I know what breakfast is next week.

                  There are a few little plastic tables like at Ferry Plaza's Green Street location. It would be really lovely if they could set up some picnic tables under some of the trees for eating the prepared food. That would be really pleasant.

                  1. re: ace

                    Up until this year, I lived in Rockridge for 8 years and I always considered the DMV lot to be Temescal. It's only one block north of 51st and a couple of short blocks up Claremont. Never heard any Rockridgers claiming the DMV with pride 'til there was a farmer's market there.

                  2. Yup, the times they are a changin' (for the Temescal). When I bought my house at 43rd/Telegraph in 1999, that area was referred to by realtors as "Baja Rockridge." Now the area below 40th St. is sometimes referred to as "Baja Temescal." Welcome to the Balkans, um, I mean North Oakland.

                    I didn't mean to start an argument, just saying that there were some angry people on the Temescal Yahoo Group when it was announced that the Market was going to be at the DMV, because they don't think of it as being in the Temescal. But if it is, fine by me.

                    1. Did you happen to catch what kind of food they were selling at the Pilipino stand?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: coolbean98

                        The only thing I was paying attention to was the lumpia because I have some banana sauce and it is supposed to be good with lumpia. They had two kinds, chicken and something else.

                        1. re: rworange

                          Ah, banana ketchup! I've never had it with my lumpia (I like to stick to vinegar) but my dad was nuts for it on pretty much anything (even just rice). I'll check it out!