Archive for the ‘Things to do in Marin’ Category

Where in Marin Are We This Week?

August 20th, 2014 By George Crowe

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Here’s this week’s photo from photographer Jackie Warner. Can you guess where in Marin County this was taken? It’s not a super tough one. Take a shot in the comments below!

Belcampo Meat Co. at Marin Country Mart

August 18th, 2014 By jacquelynw

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You don’t need a pair of skinny jeans or a handlebar mustache to know that food trucks are bringing to life the next generation of culinary genius.  They are no longer the dark and scary counterparts baring stale doughnuts and questionable tacos of my early years. They are the innovators. They are the mobile front lines that combine fearless entrepreneurial spirit with groundbreaking culinary invention.

It’s no surprise then, when you arrive at the Marin Country Mart on Sunday between 11 and 3 to find the place crawling with hipsters, families and people who forget they aren’t supposed to bring their dogs. The big draw? The event that is now widely known as Off the Grid. There you are likely to find a rainbow assortment of diesel fueled engines serving up anything from lobster rolls, deliciously creative tacos, Asian fusion sandwiches to (of course my favorite) BBQ.

I survey the terrain, trying to decide which line of deliciousness I want to commit myself to for the next 30 minutes. Indecision paralyses me for a moment, when the idea hits me: shop first – eat later.

Since I’m already at the Marin Country Mart, and knowing that I’m hosting a dinner party later in the evening, it only makes sense that I take advantage.  I first head to Rustic Bakery for some sweets, then pop a few doors over to the best butcher in Marin. I’m in search of the crowd pleaser. In Belcampo speak, they call it a Tomahawk Ribeye. I call it meat flavored love.

I walk into the Belcampo store front, and am greeting by, thankfully given the size of the knives they are holding, two friendly butchers, eager to help with everything from cuts of meat, to spices, condiments as well as wine. But, as I am looking around the store, I notice something I didn’t notice before – there is an entire restaurant back there. Chairs, tables, napkins. Like real napkins. The kind that you fold and not the kind that comes on a roll. It was literally the whole deal. I take a peek on the menu, and realize that the last thing I want to do is wait in line for a sandwich and then eat it on a picnic table outside alongside humanity. I want to sit down in this cozy spot and see how the expert linguists of meat serve it themselves.

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My family and I press pause on our meat order at the counter, and saunter over to the dining room with new found vigor. We sit down.  Immediately sit down. Their brunch menu has everything from salads and frittatas to hamburgers and French dips. And, thankfully, for my vegetarian 7 year old, French fries and grilled cheese.

Our orders came quickly, and as soon as the plates hit the tables I’m grabbing a taste of everything. We had a hot dog served in a brioche bun.  Chili that would engage the most elitist Texan.  And a grilled cheese sandwich that I had to arm wrestle my usually hunger striking 7 year old for even just a bite. I couldn’t believe this place hadn’t hit our radar before, despite the countless times we had come in.

The food was so amazing, I felt compelled to share. While I love the idea of not having to wait for a table when I arrive, this is one of Marin’s best kept secrets that just isn’t fair of me to keep.

So, next time you have a special occasion, like your boss is coming to dinner, or your cooking dinner for your wife’s birthday (or maybe your celebrating that its Monday, or Wednesday or Thursday) head over to Belcampo for the meat. But maybe sit a spell, have a sparkling water or a glass of wine, and check it out. I think it could be life changing.

Jacquelyn Warner is a Marin based photographer. She was born in LA, raised in Texas, and has been sipping, dipping, hiking, bbqing, shopping and drinking here in the Bay Area for the last 14 years.  She remains constant in her endless search for the perfect spot for just about anything in Marin.

Fairfax Farmer’s Market

August 6th, 2014 By jacquelynw

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No one would ever accuse me of being a “hippy.”  Not by a long shot.  Sure, I live in Marin and vote accordingly, but “hippy?”  No.  Not that I have anything against the hippy culture, of course.  I just like wearing commercial perfumes over patchouli and have never been a fan of tie dye.

Which is why I always found it so curious that everyone would always tell me about the Fairfax Wednesday afternoon Farmer’s Market.  The funny part is, they would tell me I would love it, and in the same breath describe it as a cute “hippy dippy” (which doesn’t sound like a positive phrase, if you ask me) collection of crafts, music, yummy food and organic produce.

At the description, my mind would flash to the overly crowded Noe Valley Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings.  I would picture the tiny parking lot where they would bring in a handful of tents, throw some chalk down for the handful of toddlers, bring a couple of folk singers and make the already congested area even more annoying.  Picturing a version of that in down town Fairfax didn’t really sound appealing.  So I spent my first entire year in Marin completely avoiding it.  Naturally.

The first sign that I might be making a hasty decision about the Wednesday night Fairfax Hippy Fest was when I was having dinner at a friends house.  They revealed the most delicious pre-roasted chicken from a bag, still steamy hot, and started carving.  First of all, not having to make dinner is such a plus.  And sure, you can get “warm” chickens every where.  But this wasn’t a normal “warm” chicken.  It was so hot and delicious, that the addictive smell wafted into every corner of the house, promising home roasted deliciousness.  It didn’t stop there.  There were potatoes, and grainy and crunchy rosemary salt that I could almost stick my tongue directly into.  I refrained.  Afterall, I was a guest at someone else’s house.

I could go on about the chicken, but the point was, it all came from the Fairfax Farmer’s Market.  Wow, I thought.  Maybe I should just check it out.

Coincidentally, the next week, I got an invite from some friends to join them there.  With the roasted chicken still fresh in my mind, I agreed.   I arrived on bike, although I could have easily have driven.  Sure, it was crowded, but there were still plenty of parking at that point.  (Side bar, I go several times a month in the summer and almost always drive – and have never not been able to find parking.)

When I arrived, yes, there were the folksy singers, and the throngs of toddlers dancing in circles, but it wasn’t a parking lot.  It was the lush green center of Fairfax, under the redwood trees.  It was warm, but shaded, and there were blankets thrown everywhere with neighbors laughing and sharing snacks.

I found my friends, spread out on several blankets, letting their kids play around them.  There were piping hot sweet and savory crepes on sale, delicious grilled sandwiches and beautiful baked goods.  And of course, there were the chickens.

I sat down and for the next two hours I felt like time stood still.  Everyone was laughing, sharing sandwiches, lush ripe strawberries, cherries and plums.  Kids were getting faces painted, and donning balloon dogs and swords.  After a long work day this beautiful scene before me was such a pleasant alternative to grocery shopping in florescent lights and cooking.

Am I a hippy convert now, you may ask?  No, I wouldn’t say so.  But, I certainly see the merits in going native.

Jacquelyn Warner is a Marin based photographer. She was born in LA, raised in Texas, and has been sipping, dipping, hiking, bbqing, shopping and drinking here in the Bay Area for the last 14 years.  She remains constant in her endless search for the perfect spot for just about anything in Marin.

Where in Marin Are We This Week?

August 4th, 2014 By George Crowe

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Here’s this week’s photo from photographer Jackie Warner. Can you guess where in Marin County this was taken? Take a shot in the comments below!

Summer Camps for Marin Kids

March 5th, 2013 By Julie Segura

It’s that time of year again when you need to start planning for your kids’ summer activities. Either of these resources can help you make a decision that’s right for your child.

Check out Marin Magazine’s Summer Camps Guide which has listings for a wide variety of day and overnight camps, or you might want to stop by the Marin Camp Fair being held at Dominican University this Saturday, March 9 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. More than one hundred day and overnight camps for kids from Preschool to High School will be sharing information about their programs. There will also be a bounce house, professional hula hooper, free pizza and door prizes for the first 250 families.

Location: Dominican University of California Campus, Conlan Gymnasium, 1475 Grand Ave, San Rafael.

Brunch at San Geronimo’s Two Bird Cafe

February 11th, 2013 By Stephen Pringle

For one of the the best brunch restaurants in all of Marin head out to the Two Bird Cafe in San Geronimo. What a great way to wake up on the weekend. The food is amazing and the service is top notch. We got up and went to breakfast there last Saturday with the kids and were blown away buy the yummy french toast and the best pancakes we have ever had. The ambiance is rustic and relaxing. We headed out to Point Reyes after that and spent half the day in West Marin. A great way to relax and start the weekend.

A Great Time for a Hike to Cascade Falls

December 22nd, 2012 By Stephen Pringle

With all the rain we’ve had over the last month Marin’s waterfalls are roaring along. One of our favorite spots is Cascade Falls in Fairfax. It’s a 15 minute hike to get to the falls and the walk is beautiful. You walk along the river the whole way and it’s a good way to get the kids out of the house during the holidays. Parking can be tough at the end of Cascade Drive where the trail starts, so keep this in mind but there is usually some parking down the road a bit if it gets full at the end. One of the main reasons we live in Marin is our close connection and access to natural beauty, and there’s nothing like waterfalls in the winter.

Spicy Salsa and More at El Huarache Loco

November 28th, 2012 By Stephen Pringle

El Huarache Loco Restaurant in Larkspur is one of my favorite places for lunch or brunch in Marin. They opened earlier in the year at the Marin Country Mart and have been a hit ever since. They make their tortillas right on site and everything is really yummy and healthy. Try their salads and incredible tacos, and they have the best salsa bar around…the spicy selections make me happy. The Country Mart is the coolest place to hang out on Saturdays. They have a farmers market and tons of cool shops. We like grabbing a big table outside and just letting the kids explore around the fish and turtle pond, or hang out on the giant tree play structures. I hear in the summer they even have movie nights there. See you next Saturday!

Cornerstone, One of Our Favorite Stops in Sonoma County

November 16th, 2012 By Stephen Pringle

Cornerstone Sonoma is one of the coolest places around to visit with the kids, have a picnic, and do some shopping all at the same location. The grounds have a bunch of outdoor art installations and are very inspirational. It’s like walking through a wonderland from each exhibit to the next. There’s a barn with tables to sit at and a great place to share a bottle of wine and just let the kids run wild. They do private functions there as well–a great place for a wedding reception or a kids birthday party. There’s a cool wine bar, a cafe, and numerous shops to browse in. And don’t forget to get a photo of yourself sitting in the big blue chair.

Napa’s Oxbow Public Market

October 23rd, 2012 By Stephen Pringle

Wow, how cool is Oxbow Public Market in Napa! My dream would be to open up something like this in Marin…we have nothing like it. It’s an indoor marketplace with all kinds of super cool restaurants, butchers, cupcake makers, coffee houses, gifts, oysters, and cheeses from around the Bay Area. The atmosphere is awesome and the concept and food are amazing. Stop by here on the way up to wine tasting on the Silverado Trail in Napa. Very inspirational and another reason why we love living North of SF.

Oxbow Public Market. 610 & 644 First Street, Napa, California 94559

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