Once or twice a month, I pick up a mystery box from Mariquita Farms. Mariquita used to sell at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market but now mainly supplies restaurants and their CSA.
In Julia's words, mystery boxes are "Guerilla vegetable deliveries: Not a CSA, we have one of those. More like a taco truck-meets-the farmers market. No prepayment, no credit cards." Boxes, which are really large plastic bags contain a wide variety of products, that change with the seasons. This week they ranged from orange cauliflower to watermelon radishes, to baby leeks and kale. You can find out more about the program here: http://www.mariquita.com/Farmers%20Market/ThursdayNight.html
I find it both a great bargain--it is an enormous bag--and also some of the best produce available. One of my favorite parts has turned out to be the "mystery" aspect. I've experimented with new vegetables and combinations almost every delivery.My daughter was very excited tonight that the box included potatoes, one of the things that she signed up to contribute to her classroom's "Stone Soup."
Tonight's delivery was at Piccino in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco. http://www.piccinocafe.com
Piccino is a great favorite of mine as well as one of my daughter's preferred restaurants in SF. As I stand in line for our vegetables and bring them out to the car, she heads inside to choose a table and to order, always, a cheese pizza with no green. She reports that it is the best pizza in town.
As for me, I have a little more variety depending upon availability. If the chicken livers are available I often order them and or the meatballs. Tonight I had a sausage pizza with two eggs added on top. For those who have not had egg on pizza I highly recommend trying it. The pizza is presented with two lightly cooked eggs, yolks still runny. In my case I slice them open right away and spread the yolks on all of the slices.I've had this at several Bay Area places including Gialina, Pizzaiolo and Pizzetta 211.
Following our pizzas, my daughter always orders lemon tart with extra whipped cream. I would comment, but fighting her for tastes can be hard. I will say that one of the things I love about Piccino is how they treat my daughter. Although it is very small and can get busy, the wait and kitchen staff have all been kind and accommodating again and again.
Now it is home again, just time for bath and homework before bed for her and a glass of syrah for me. I'm very curious to see what the Mullineux tastes like today.