Summer Saturdays in Taos usually include a morning trip to the Farmer’s Market on the Plaza.
Some people make a point of getting there as early as possible, grabbing a cup of coffee at the World Cup Cafe before making the rounds of the stalls before making the difficult decision about what and where to purchase.
The Farmer’s Market is a cornucopia of abundance this time of year. We have a very short growing season at this altitude so buying local is like buying gold in our neck of the woods!
I usually head over there at what I like to think of the more civilized hour of around 10am. By then I’ve had my morning walk, done my morning chores and am ready to face the day (and the world). I have found that by that time, there is still plenty of produce to be had and the more rabid shoppers have already departed, making for a much more relaxed experience.
A couple of weeks ago, drawn by the flowers blooming along the John Dunn Shops Boardwalk, I decided to start at the Bent Street Cafe and Deli which was acquired a year or so ago by Kimberly Armstrong after the loss of her husband (Chef Rene Mettler ) has subsided and she was able to realize a long time dream of owning the popular Deli. The couple started the local favourite Trading Post Cafe in Ranchos over two decades ago, which Kimberly still owns and runs.
“Rene and I had talked about it for years,” she told me when she first bought it, “so when it came up for sale, I didn’t hesitate.”
Word soon got around that Kimberly had totally upped the ante in an eatery already known for its Farm to Table approach; fresh and often local and/or organic food has long been the norm at the Bent St. Deli.
Kimberly was there when I arrived at around 9.30, chatting with patrons while bussing tables as is her want. She is and always has been an incredibly hands on restaurant owner, wearing several hats at once.
Today she was getting ready to go into the kitchen to cook for a (regular) party of Tibetan Buddhist Monks whose dietary restrictions include “no garlic, no onions and only certain spices.” She explained.
“I’m making them a salad with poached pears and goat cheese, a chilled avocado soup and a couple of other dishes with the freshest ingredients I could find.” She told me as I sat at a table outside, beneath a shady umbrella.
There were a lot of people out already, strolling along the boardwalk, and we both greeted many we knew. The joys of living in a small town!
The sun was climbing in the Heavens and the morning was warming up fast. I ordered a Cafe Americano while I perused the breakfast menu.
I decided on a classic breakfast of bacon, eggs, a side of salsa with no potatoes or toast.
It arrived with both which I pushed aside. The eggs over medium were perfect as was everything else. One more cup of coffee and I was ready to depart my shady haven for the hustle and bustle of the Plaza.
I decided I’d make it a more frequent Summer Saturday ritual as I strolled down the boardwalk, smelling the roses and other flowers that bloomed everywhere I looked.
For more on the Bent Street Cafe in the John Dunn Shops, please visit their site linked below this post.
All images c/o Bent Street cafe and TFM