Reminder: Santa Ana Farmers Market Begins TODAY

As we announced last month, after years going without, Santa Ana finally regains its farmers market beginning today. The market--I'm apparently not allowed to call it a tianguis--runs from 2 p.m.-8 p.m. today and every Thursday on the promenade in front of the Yost Theatre, near the Playground.

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Santa Ana Finally Regains Its Farmers Market

After years of going without one, Santa Ana is finally regaining its farmers market. There's every reason for Santa Ana to host a large market downtown, given the population, the proliferation of market-driven restaurants, and the long tradition of open-air produce markets in Latino cultures.

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An Exploration of Steamers Jazz Club: The Good, The Bad, and The Magnificent Cocktails

LP Hastings
The Red Wedding; The King of the North is no longer available...

Steamers has been in Fullerton a long damn time. Like before obnoxiously drunk college kids realized there was no better place to get in fights, pee on walls, and just generally go buck wild-long time. But its seniority and location a ways down from the hobbling girls trying to cross the street has made it one of the few good places to hang out on the weekends in Downtown Fullerton.

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Orange County to Have a Real Food Market In--Where Else?--Downtown Santa Ana

The retrograde morons who populate the comment sections of the Orange County Register never miss an opportunity to claim that Santa Ana is Little Mexico. Now, we have no problem with that designation--the city's got a Latino-only council, there's a (much-maligned) Consulate of Mexico on Broadway, and as you walk down Fourth Street La Cuatro, the hawkers are telling you what's available in Spanish--but there's no way this is a Mexican town, not without a mercado.

For years we've driven past the water tower in Santa Ana proclaiming it to be "Downtown Orange County" and snickered. Sure, right, whatever. But a funny thing happened while we were laughing: the crowds in downtown SanTana started to be a lot more diverse. Now, taquerĂ­as sit shoulder-to-shoulder to craft cocktail bars; art galleries with jazz music on share buildings with paisa sports bars bumping Bandamax; there's a revitalized theatre, an independent bookstore, a much more diverse dining scene, and many of the accoutrements of a central city, but there's never been a central market. For that matter, Santa Ana doesn't even have a farmers market. 

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Best Kept Secret At SoCo: Sourcing Saturday At Fixtures Living

Anne Marie Panoringan

We admit it. We love The OC Mart Mix. For all the tea, oysters, cocktails and meetings we hold there, you'd think it was our second home. Yet for all the fabulousness within that complex, we discovered something even more engaging. Let us explain.

Before N'ice Cream and Deer Lovely, South Coast Collection was a berm of furniture stores; Stores we rarely stepped foot in. We wandered into Fixtures Living to catch a cooking demo (Love you, Sam Zien!). Besides standing in awe of the pimped-out kitchens, unlimited beverage service and Sanctuary, we learned about an event too good to be true. The description read as follows:
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Eat This Now: Sola Jams

Sola's sweet selections

The good hawkers at a farmer's market have a way of luring you closer to hear their pitch. Without that skill, I would have kept right on walking past the Sola Jam booth at the SoCo Farmers Market and their selection of freshly-canned fruit preserves.

At their market booth, Sola samples six or so varieties of hand-jarred preserves in traditional, as well as inventive, original flavor combinations. "Irresistible Strawberry," spiked with balsamic vinegar, tastes straightforward yet special at the same time. Thickened only with the fruit's natural pectin and a little bit of sugar, this home-made fruit preserve has a looser, juicier consistency than store-bought jams gelled with a ton of added sugar and pectin.

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"Health & Wellness Day" at The OC Mart Mix This Saturday!


Seen the gyms lately? Packed. Need to know why? Just look down at that spare tire. Tsk tsk. Yes, it doesn't take a genius to figure out where that fourth helping of mashed potatoes and gravy went, and why January is a slow month for restaurants but a busy one for fitness centers.

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Greek Mama Spreads: A+ for Taste!

Nice bowls not included

One of the best students I ever had was a SanTana wab named Julio. He aced two of my classes at Cal State Fullerton--and if you know anything about my teaching style, you'll know that I give out as many As as I give praise to Rick Bayless. Anyhoo, Julio and I have stayed in touch, as he's a big fan of the Weekly and all the desmadre we stage.

A couple of weeks back, I checked in on what he's doing--getting a master's degree from Long Beach State, but also hustling for a company called Greek Mama. Had I ever heard of it? You know it!
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[UPDATED: DATES FOR THIS WEEKEND] At the Market (Soon): Hatch Chiles!

Dave Lieberman

[UPDATED Aug. 1] See the latest updates to the list at the bottom of this post.

I'd never had a Hatch chile until I moved to California and married a girl whose family used to live in New Mexico. Now I can't get enough of them. Chile verde, stuffed chiles, hot sauce, rajas con crema, stewed with potatoes and ground beef...

I've got a lot of company. Southern Californians go crazy for the long chiles, causing lines and occasionally fistfights in lines at the temporary roasting stations set up around the Southland. They're only available three or four weeks a year, and that time is swiftly bearing down on us.
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Cool App: California Farmers' Markets

Here in OC, we're in no short supply of wonderful farmers' markets, but figuring out which one's happening on when takes some strategizing. Enter California Farmers' Markets, a handy app that sifts through a constantly updated database of 500 markets and sorts them by neighborhood, time, day of the week and/or distance from your location. Once you select a farmers' market, you can get directions or go its official website. Fresh peaches, plums, carrots, kettle corn are all just a click away. 
The app is free and available for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

Follow Stick a Fork In It on Twitter @ocweeklyfood or on Facebook! And don't forget to download our free Best Of App here!

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