Three hours into my six hour drive across the desert from Las Vegas to my home in coastal Carlsbad, CA it must have been my rumbling stomach that had me daydreaming of Annel and Drew's Lamb Sliders. Even though I was returning from the restaurant rich Vegas Strip and the mere thought of Mesa Grill's Coffee Rubbed Fillet still brought a reflective smile to my face, those juicy, bursting with flavor, sliders had me eagerly anticipating Sunday.
Sunday for my husband and I begins with a leisurely cup of coffee before we make our way at 10 AM to the Leucadia Farmer's Market. North of San Diego, CA and along the coast in quaint Leucadia, near Encinitas, the market not only fills our fruit and veggie needs for the week with local and organic offerings, but it starts our day with those coveted Lamb Sliders from Annel and Drew's Kitchen.
Stumbling upon the stand a few months ago, my husband and I have come to crave Annel and Drew's menu items. Fresh, local, and innovative, the team has put together food that is not only good for you, it's just plain good. Drew's background not only includes graduation from the Culinary Institute of America but time in restaurants in my recently visited Vegas, including the Bellagio and Red Rock Resort and Spa. Annel, born into a family of restaurateurs, has worked in the food industry for years and brings a flair for design to the plate (literally!).
From their web site: Annel & Drew opened the kitchen with the objectives of having fun, making people happy, providing an original dining experience, and most importantly, creating great homemade food prepared with as many local ingredients as possible. They always like to support local businesses and the local economy.
With the lines I see at their kitchen in the Leucadia Market alone, the comments I hear in the community, and my own personal experience, they have most certainly succeeded!
As mentioned more than once already, my favorite mouth-watering menu item is the Lamb Sliders: Hormone free, vegetarian fed ground Lamb “Mini-Burgers” cooked to sizzling perfection, served with house-made cucumber –dill yogurt sauce on fresh baked rolls with Farm Fresh veggies: arugula, tomato and red onion. Paired with seasonal mixed veggie salad picked straight from Suzies Farm.
Available with one, two or three sliders (we get three... two for me, one for my husband) Annel's salad includes fresh, organic greens and grilled seasonal veggies. I've not asked what the dressing is, but the light and savory flavors only enhance those fresh, organic greens.
Walking around the market I see numerous plates of Drew's Grilled Balsamic Artichokes (California grown, cooked with lemon, herbs & garlic, then balsamic marinated and grilled over an open flame. Served with lime aioli or chili aioli dipping sauces.) and will concur with the general consensus that they are some of the best around.
Breaking out of our "we must have Lamb Sliders" mantra last weekend my husband ventured into the infamous Spiedie Sandwich arena telling me that he's no longer sure which is his favorite. From the menu: Your choice of meat made with our very own famous marinade, then skewered and grilled to achieve perfect tenderness. Served on fresh baked Sicilian style bread with Suzie’s organic baby greens, heirloom tomato, onion and avocado. Watching Drew put this guy together only heightens the anticipation of the first bite. I only wish I had had my camera focused as my husband's eyes grew wide with pure pleasure as the first taste hit his tongue.
|This little guy enjoys a Chicken Skewer every Sunday!|
Wandering over to the tables at the friendly market many of the market customers will peer over their plate to get a look at what you have on your plate. We've frequently bumped into other Drew and Annel fans of all ages enjoying their own plates of freshly cooked food, some of them for the second day in a row as Saturday finds the team in Encinitas across from Cap'n Keno's. Can't wait for the weekend? No fear! Wednesdays will find Drew and Annel at the Ocean Beach Market and Thursdays they pop up at the Oceanside Sunset Market. Check their web site for times, and you can also find them of facebook.
Whether in town on holiday or a regular market visitor, Annel and Drew's Kitchen is worth stopping by the market for. Hmmm...Today is Tuesday, only 5 days to Lamb Sliders!