A liquor store on a quiet street corner, New Daly City Market might be easy to pass by were it not for the enticing aromas of roasting beef and dutch crunch rolls toasting that waft out from within. Inside, just past the bottles of spirits, wine, and beer is the source of the scents: a small sandwich counter stocked with crisp vegetables, deli meats, and gourmet cheeses. There, skilled sandwich makers bustle about behind the counter, spreading garlic sauce onto crunchy loaves before layering on the likes of turkey and pepper jack cheese. Once sandwiches are wrapped in crisp white paper, customers take them out to the patio chairs on the front walk to dine alfresco or share by lobbing them newspaper-delivery-style at a friend’s front door.
Since 1955, the family behind Save More Meat Market has been filling their display cases with quality cuts of USDA Choice meat, now sourced from the local Harris Ranch. They stock everything from meatloaf to short ribs and shrimp meat, all of which stand to be transformed into hearty dinners in the comforts of home. Handy animal diagrams hang behind the counter, informing patrons where certain cuts of meat are found on the animal, such as chuck beef—located near the cow's neck—and rib meat—located on the cow's hind legs.
Dinner can be a hectic affair, and some families find that getting a filling, nutritious meal onto the table every night is sometimes exhausting. Knowing that dining out every night can quickly break the budget, entrepreneur Jay Cornwall decided to bridge the gap between takeout and at-home meals with a menu of freshly prepared pasta, ravioli, sauce, and entrees that can be fashioned into a full meal in less than 10 minutes. Every day, his chefs create a selection of 24 pastas, 15 sauces, and a signature entree, as well as mac 'n' cheese and lasagna. Chefs also curate a range of sides, bread, and wine, and even offer pairing advice on complementary flavors.
Next to heading to the beach or holding a funeral for your space heater, hanging out at a county fair is a bona fide sign that summer has arrived. At San Mateo County Fair, visitors ring in the season in multiple ways. As they stroll the sprawling grounds, they can snack on various classic fair cuisines including BBQ, pizza, corn dogs, and funnel cakes. They can peruse a petting zoo, get dazzled by the Chinese Acrobats of Hebei, and witness a balloon artist twist his chosen medium into animals. Visitors can also catch concerts by renowned acts including Air Supply, Brian McKnight, and The Marshall Tucker Band.
In 1976, two UC Davis graduate students bought 20 acres of land in the highly arable Capay Valley. One of the students, Kathleen Barsotti, was working toward her master's degree in ecology and was determined to grow vegetables and fruits in an eco-friendly way: organically. The organic-food movement hadn't yet entered the public consciousness, and Kathleen worked overtime to convince restaurants, stores, and consumers of the taste-able merits of her process. Over time, given the possible health and environmental benefits of certified organic food, she succeeded. The farm sprouted to 300 acres to accommodate the increased demand. Today, a second generation runs the farm as well as a shop inside San Francisco's Ferry Building. Dubbed Farm Fresh To You, the store furnishes customers' bags or portable cornucopia horns with all sorts of soil-sprouted goods, including heirloom tomatoes, sweet peas, and fresh asparagus. The farm also teams up with fellow Yolo County and Pacific Northwest farms to deliver boxes of seasonal produce to area homes.
One of the nicest things about Jump Start Coffee & Whole Foods is the way that the smallish shop interacts with its earlybird customers. Locals freshly roused from their homes in the hills, commuters greeting the newness of the day on their walk to the 24th Street BART station; all are welcome inside for a simple sunrise pick-me-up. A notch above the standard first-thing-in-the-morning café – and more full-service than corner stores that sell liquor, cigarettes and sad produce -- Noe Valley's Jump Start is a simple neighborhood classic. It's a deli that caters to the local work-from-home crowd and a coffee shop where ordering an extra shot of espresso won't get you the evil eye from the purist barista. Any day that starts with a bagel and a schmear from this happy-go-lucky spot is going to be just fine.