For the one year anniversary of this blog I finally got around to an often-discussed and easily accessible food marathon; The Farmers Market Food Marathon (FMFM, Double FM or FMSquared). Located in the hell that is the Grove, I rarely can be found at the Farmers Market on a Sunday. I grew up there though. My grandparents would take me there for lunch. My mom worked in a clothing boutique there before I was born. It's full of memories from my childhood and remains a nostalgic place. What better way to combine the warmth of days gone by with the satisfaction of a four-stop marathon including some of the world's finest cuisine.
Like any good marathon it started with breakfast. Dupars is known for their pancakes and started with two, light fluffy, delicious syrup-covered treats despite how filling they are.
I wanted hash browns too, but decided against it for the sake of pace.
Next up was a quick stop at Light My Fire to buy a bottle of Marie Sharps hot sauce.
It would compliment every meal from that point on.Marie Sharps is the pride and joy of Belize. It can be found as often as you find ketchup in America. It's a perfect blend of heat and flavor .The next stop was Pampas Grill, the Brazilian churrascaria.
It was a dangerous stop because they serve large portions and have a lot of filling side dishes. The meats (beef, chicken, sausage, lamb) are sliced off the skewer as you order.I went with the sirloin cap, lamb leg and garlic chicken.Sides included fried yucca, yuca cornmeal with bacon, a plaintain and the best thing on the marathon sausage and black beans.
The meat was ok... the chicken was not my favorite, too gamey and almost undercooked in the center. The sirloin edges were brilliantly charred.
And what could follow that up better than tacos from Loteria Grill.
Loteria is often referred to as one of the best taco stands in LA. I appreciate the food and decor, but realize it's not the most authentic in town.
The menu features a wide variety of fillings for your taco, burrito, tostada, sope or lettuce cup. Four types of vegetarian choices include cactus, zuchini, mushroom and potato. You can get chicken in a spicy pumpkin-seed and peanut sauce. Pork comes slowly roasted in a banana leaf with citrus pickled red onions and chile habanero.I opted for the Tinga de Pollo- Chicken stewed in Chipotle Peppers and Loteria's homemade chorizo. It's my favorite kind of chicken, the kind that's cooked with pork.
I also had the Carnitas en Salsa Morito- Carnitas in a spicy and smoky Chile Morita sauce. Served with avocado. (Sidenote: chile morita means "little blackberry" in Spanish. A Chile morita is a dark reddish-purple color. Often the morita is referred to a smoked serrano chile, but this is inaccurate. Both the tipico and the morita are smoked jalapenos -- the difference is that the morita is often made from a smaller variety of ripe red jalapeno and it is not smoked nearly as long as the tipico. The morita remains very leathery and pliable.)
The Tinga blew away the Morita. Even before I hit them with Marie Sharps, the flavors and consistency of the Tinga were outstanding. Tacos make for perfect marathon food- small, quick and flavorful but not too filling.
On to Singapore's Banana Leaf, the place I was most excited for.
I talk about Rasa Malaysia a lot, because her food and photography are fantastic. I rarely get to eat her food though, so this is the closest thing...
The Rendang Chicken/Beef was the noteworthy choice but at the end of the marathon I couldn't do it. I went with the Mee Goreng instead.
Savory Indian pan-fried noodle dish served fresh and hot with tofu (in this case). Singapore's Banana Leaf cooks each dish to order, so it took longer than most Farmer's Market stalls.
It was worth the wait, as the oniony noodles with a good spicy kick were excellent.
And so ended another great marathon. It was the first walking-only marathon, definitely the spiciest and probably the shortest in mileage.