Sunday, August 18, 2013
Earthbound Farms – Lunching with my Favorite Salad
Another big highlight for me during our stay in Carmel a few weeks ago was visiting Earthbound Farms, a familiar place to me only by name, as I buy their salad greens each week. I got excited when I saw their farm, while on our way to Carmel Valley Ranch, where we were staying.
I made Dan promise me that we can stop in for lunch the next day, so I can make myself a farm fresh salad.
To say that the atmosphere at Earthbound Farms is magical is an understatement. Situated in Carmel Valley, the farm is surrounded by nature’s finest beauty, including colorful rolling hills, tall redwood trees and just spectacular countryside.
The property is large, but not overwhelming, consisting of the actual farm land, a general store and café, as well as an outdoor sitting area, and a few smaller gardens that cater specifically to visitors.
Staying true to its rustic vibe, the café is very casual and the salad bar is self serve, which I like. Featuring all of their different salad greens including arugula, fresh spinach, a spring mix, kale and other varieties, it’s all there for you to make a colorful, healthy lunch creation. Of course they have other fixins too such as a tasty roast beet salad, dilly beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, a quinoa salad and other yummy things. It was fun to see everything decked with the Earthbound Organic logo, as it also educated me about other products they carry such as all sorts of fruits and veggies (not just salad), as well as pre-packaged goodies such as granola, cookies, nuts, and other natural snacks.
Salad and More!
As I already hinted above, I chose to make a farm fresh salad at Earthbound's little cafe, which was a lot richer and vibrant than the salads I make at home. Consisting of their signature spring mix greens, I also added other things such as roasted beets with onions, a crunchy bulgur salad, edamame beans, tofu, a mixed bean salad and tied it all together with balsamic dressing. Taking the salad outside and eating it in the open fresh air, it tasted wonderful and nourishing. It was satisfying to respect the earth from which this food came by eating it right on Earthbound's premises.
Dan ended up getting a grilled cheese sandwich at the cafe, which was also hearty and delicious. We appreciated the normal portions, especially while on vacation when it's so easy to overindulge.
As you can see from the above picture, we couldn't resist a little portion of garlicky dilly beans, which we took with us and ate during a BBQ we had during our stay in Big Sur. More on that soon...
Since the cafe was super informal and really just a grab and go kind of place, it was fairly inexpensive, setting us back about $20 for our food and drinks.
If you're travelling to this lovely part of California, I highly recommend stopping at this charming, natural place. I'll never look at my ordinary salad the same way again.
Earthbound Farms - 7250 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel CA 93923