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Summer is coasting along and I've been taking it easy these last few weeks. As the weather heats up, it is more tempting to visit the breezy Del Mar areas! We were gifted a $15 voucher from our neighbors and chose to have lunch at Beeside Balcony, followed by a visit to the Del Mar Farmer's Market.
On Saturdays, especially around summertime, Del Mar gets busy fast! We scored a parking spot in the residential area a few blocks away from the restaurant. Beeside Balcony is located on the second floor, with a covered patio facing the westward seas. I also enjoyed seeing cute succulents displayed along the walls.
Balcony Burger ($18) - grass fed lamb, shallot jam, tomato, fontina cheese, brioche bun, side of Beeside Saald
The burger was on the pricier side but since it was unique with grass fed lamb, we just went for it. And after one bite, I did NOT want to share with Dennis... The juiciness of the burger made me forget it was made with leaner lamb plus the fontina cheese and that sweet jam really meshed with the soft brioche bun. I swiftly ate my half and with puppy-eyes, handed Dennis the rest... perhaps 45%? =)
The side of salad was a pleasing portion too. The veggies were fresh tasting and I thought it was the perfect amount of tzatziki dressing to keep it light and summer healthy. I got my greens in that day! The whole entree was a very filling size and we would definitely get this again.
Lamb "Gyro" ($15) - free-range leg of lamb, arugula, red onions, tomatoes, tzatziki
The restaurant is known for their lamb so we had a second helping through this dish. Some pieces of lamb seemed a bit chewier than others but overall, the flavor was lightly seasoned and not too gamey. We especially enjoyed the generous pita bread underneath which had a nice fluffiness and very light toast. The veggies that accompanied this were just right for rolling up mini pita bites with the meat. Otherwise, we weren't sure if this could be handled easily as a super pita! This dish overall felt much lighter than the other entree.
Service was friendly and prompt by our server Alyssa. Dennis remarked that she looked like Winona Ryder! Oooh. We left the restaurant content but were thinking we might snack a little more afterwards!
Del Mar Farmer's Market
We had passed by the farmer's market on the way to the restaurant and made sure to check it out before we headed home.
One of my favorite sights at a farmer's market... the produce! The vivid strawberries were temptingly plump and fresh.
I love seeing the locally grown vegetables for sale by neighboring farmers! We sometimes buy items if we plan to do any cooking (time permitting).
Need some flowers to brighen your home? Lovely bouquets available too and the price isn't too bad!
One of our stops that day was A Very Aunt Mary's booth (facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Averyautnmaryitaliancookieco/). This sweetie pie and her husband Frank run the business together and had Mikey helping them out. Each week they sell about 8 varieties of treats while rotating in an additional 4 or so.
This was our little cannoli treat which we ate Lady and the Tramp style! So romantic haha!
These are the other treats from our cookie box. On the right is one of the best sellers, the lemon cookie, which packs a citrus zest with a touch of sweet from the frosting. The texture is also slightly bouncy and has a delightful mouth-feel. The pistachio bite in the back is tasty though a little too much powdered sugar for my preferences. The biscotti has a slight almond taste with a nicely toasted edge. Seriously though, you should easily find a cookie to love from here! Definitely stop by to say hi to Aunt Mary and try her delicious cookies!
Another stand we visited was East African Cuisine (facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/East-African-Cuisine-376620789057964/). It's not a cuisine we often have so this made us very curious to try the food!
Here's our plate which was around $8-10 I think? Just the rice by itself had so much flavor, maybe some fennel and tumeric in there. It felt like an adventure in every bite. The chicken was tender and mild with salt and pepper seasoning. The side of lentils had this amazing texture, something you'd want to chew on, soaking in a yummy sauce. The black eyed peas had a uinque taste too, much better than the ones I have for good luck for the new years (family tradition). I wouldn't mind more in this form! We'll have to try more of her food next time we see her at the market!
At this point, we absolutely had no more room for food... There are plenty more food vendors that we'll save for the next farmer's market! Let us know if you have some favorites we need to check out!
1201 Camino Del Mar #200
Del Mar CA 92104