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LV farmers markets, other local foods?

c
cynbad Aug 25, 2008 11:13 AM

Is there a great farmers market in Las Vegas or the surrounding area that would be worth a visit on a future trip? With each trip to Las Vegas, I wonder about the regional, non-casino-based food culture in town. Our server at Enoteca San Marco last week hinted at regional/seasonal elements of their menu and I should have asked her for more specifics, but wasn't in a quizzical mood that afternoon I guess. Will starting asking more questions about local provenence of ingredients on upcoming visits, especially dining off-Strip. But just curious in general if there are local farmstead cheesemakers, grass-feed beef producers, other artisan or small-production food businesses worth seeking out on menus in and around Vegas. The only obviously local ingredient I see on Rosemary's current online menu is Nevada peach coulis for the foie gras. I know it's the middle of the desert and all, but thought perhaps small farm operations could be found in the area.

  1. janetofreno Aug 27, 2008 11:39 PM

    Not many farms in Vegas. Simple reason: not enough water; too many houses. The only one I know of is Gilcrease Orchard, a U-pick orchard in the northern part of the valley. (You'll find other threads about it here).

    I have been to one of the local Farmer's Markets and was sorely disappointed.

    Plenty of good ethnic food in town, but I suspect most of their ingredients, like most of the food in Las Vegas, comes from Southern California (with a little from Southern Utah thrown in for good measure.)

    3 Replies
    1. re: janetofreno
      c
      cynbad Aug 28, 2008 12:47 PM

      Thanks, appreciate the feedback. I'll do a little more board-searching for Gilcrease and other orchards/farms on the site. Admittedly spoiled by our farmers markets in Seattle!

      1. re: cynbad
        janetofreno Aug 28, 2008 11:09 PM

        btw, another resource you might check out is Winder Farms (www.winderfarms.com). They are based in Southern Utah. They deliver weekly in the Las Vegas area...if you agree to a weekly order for at least six months they will give you a cooler for free, along with ice packs. You leave it out the night before the delivery will come....it comes early in the am. You can skip a delivery or change your order online.

        They do have organic produce, and do a produce box similar to CSAs....sometimes the quality has been wonderful, other times just eh...but I kind of like the surprise. You can also order some produce items separately...I really like their red potatoes. Actually, IMO their best products are their dairy products...fresh milk and wonderful organic plain yogurt. Also free-range brown eggs. Not cheap, but consistent with similar products in the store, and no gas spent. There is a small delivery fee (around 3 dollars). Winder Farms also has non-organic items and bakery items....I recommend the old fashioned donuts!

        And speaking of eggs, there IS the Egg Lady. She has a home on Grand Teton St. east of Durango (Its on the back side of Gilcrease Orchard). Look for a very large lot with lots of trees and an older home surrounded by tract homes. There is a big sign on the fence saying "Fresh Eggs." If she has eggs for sale, the gate will be open, otherwise its closed. She also has an entire menagerie in there...fun place to take the kids (goats, chickens, ducks, quail, shetland ponies, etc....). The eggs are great; heck, if you hang around long enough you'll probably see them laid. And those are definitely free-range chickens. And if you ask real nice she'll find you special treats like raw desert honey. Its almost like a drug deal: she'll tell you to "come back in an hour and I'll have the goods for you.." Worth a visit if only for the entertainment value....

        1. re: janetofreno
          c
          cynbad Aug 29, 2008 07:19 AM

          Outstanding, thanks! I had been to that Winder Farms web site and glazed over a bit when I saw ALL the products they have, complete with prepared foods. Good to know that the dairy part, their roots, is a stand-out offering they have. The Egg Lady sounds like a hoot, will explore that as well. Cheers.

    2. b
      brisket Aug 29, 2008 12:28 PM

      There's a Farmer's Market in the park near my house. It's about a 5-minute walk, but I'm not sure it's even worth that trip, generally speaking. The produce comes driven in from California, and is of a perfectly fine standard, but rarely am I blown away by anything. Lately there's been 2 stands selling actual produce -- one a mixture of the usual suspects, the other only strawberries.

      As janetofreno says, there are few farms here. This is the desert; it's extremely inhospitable for any type of agriculture. Outside of agriculture, there doesn't seem to be much of an artisan food scene in this town, either. I'd imagine that's a product of general tastes, as well as a large group of consumers that would forgo quality local artisans for more well-known name brands (regardless of quality).

      I'd imagine the "regional" elements the server was referring to were things from California. One restaurant at the Rampart Casino in Summerlin was recently advertising specials one night a week from the Santa Monica Farmer's Market...

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