This morning J. and I had a free Saturday morning. We weren’t meeting friends to run, we didn’t have a million chores to do and we weren’t too exhausted to leave the house. This combination rarely occurs so we thought we would go out and explore Gilbert Farmers Market, not far away from our place.

Anyone who knows Melbourne, knows that we are completely spoilt with one of the best markets in the Southern Hemisphere, the Queen Victoria Markets. These open air markets are hard to compete with and I knew I wouldn’t find anything similar here in Phoenix but I was hoping the Gilbert Markets would offer some farm fresh fruit and veggies and other goodies.

The markets were fun, they were small but there were a couple of fresh fruit and vegetable stalls where we got somegreat produce. There were places selling meat (organic, grain fed), cheese, pickles and pastries. We stopped at one place and bought a quiche for a us to nibble on. J. bit into it and realised we really needed to heat it up, so that will be a snack for us later on today. We bought some loose leaf tea, jasmine oolong tea. We have a nightly routine in winter of finishing the night off with a pot of tea and had run out of supplies brought from Australia. I was really happy to find that stuff. There was also an Italian bakery stall where we bought a loaf of semolina bread, to see if I have found another place for us to get delicious bread.

Our favorite stall was Grandma’s Kitchen. This stall had an assortment of “jellies” or “jams”. We taste tested nearly all of them but were incredibly impressed with the habanero jam. Sweet and spicy all at the same time, it will be a great accompaniment with cheese and crackers. We actually went back to this place and bought a couple of extra bottles for gifts.

After the markets we wanted to get some lunch. None of the stalls or food trucks at the markets really had anything we craved so we thought we would just stop by Tortas Ahogadas on the way to do our grocery shopping. This plan was changed when we drove past a park with signs saying “Art & Vintage Car Show with Gourmet Food Trucks”. We thought we would give it a go, plus J. got to look at some Ferraris.

There were a 7 foodtrucks to choose from… icecream, crepes, philly cheesesteaks, burgers, hawaiian food, soba noodles, fry bread… we chose what we thought would have the most interesting and tasty food. Since J. said Philly steaks were boring I went with the fry bread truck, Emerson Fry Bread and he went with the Hawaiian food, Island Loco.

Fry bread is an Artisan Native American fried dough, I found it similar to a tortilla or pita bread. There were lots of options to choose from and I decided I would go with the one they were promoting as a “healthy choice”, the Daisey. This meant my fry bread was actually not fried but rather what they call dry. I thought this was a better option. The Daisey was grilled steak, cheese, spring mix, cucumber, tomato & creme fresh on the flat bread. The server handed it to me and told me to eat it like a taco.

The steak was marinated beautifully, with such amazing flavor. The fry bread was soft and delicious and all the topping were fresh and crunchy. For a quick lunch from a food truck I was really happy. Fresh, delicious and filling … the best things.

J. couldn’t order anything but the Kalua Pork Plate lunch at Island Loco. We loved this stuff when we were in Hawaii and it isn’t something you find very often. The pork came with rice and macaroni salad. There is something about Hawaiian style macaroni salad that takes us back to the beaches of Kauai. It is one of those strange comfort foods that reminds you of awesome vacations and delicious lunches by the beach. J. has had his share of Kalua pork and he said this was as soft, tender and flavorsome as any he has had. If they had have had ahi poke it would save us our next trip to Hawaii.

After we had lunch we wandered through the vintage cars and art. The cars were pretty cool and I know J. enjoyed looking at them. This was a great and unexpected little detour but we got food and that always makes us happy. We then headed off to do grocery shopping with our bellies full and a new market to visit once in a while.

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