Monday, October 22, 2012

San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust's 10th Anniversary Celebration

Weather is ALWAYS a concern in Fresno, but yesterday's couldn't have been more perfect for this event. Not too hot, not too cold (like Goldilock's porridge)and blue skies as far as the eye could see. If you've never been out there, its a real hidden gem (we seem to have a lot of those around here).

There was music, art, a self-guided historic home tour, a hike, things to amuse the children, a raffle, farm goods for sale, and food...oh the food..

It was like walking into Christmas morning with a tree loaded with presents and not knowing where to begin! There was P*de*Q, Tako BBQ, La Elegante, Mattie's Wood Fired Pizza, Express Grill, Summertime Pies, and Ooh De Lolli ice pops.

I had to start with the one thing I'd been neglecting for too long, P*de*Q, (Pao de Quejio). A kind of South American cheesy bread ball made with tapioca flour, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. They are naturally wheat and gluten free as well. We tried the parmesan and the jalapeno (they also had chocolate and carrot raisin, but I wasn't ready for sweets). Luckily they had just taken them out of the oven and they were everything they say, crispy on the outside, soft and cheesy inside. I really enjoyed the jalapeno because it gave some real oomph to the gentle tasting dough.

Next on the eating agenda was Tako BBQ truck, an old fave, the owner even remembered me as that "foodie chick".. its nice to be remembered! My hubby went for the Spicy Pork Quesadilla, and my daughter and I shared the Eggplant Korta. As usual everything was amazing. The quesadilla had plenty of meat and cheese, with a delicious sauce on top. The Korta (Korean/Torta), has been my new fave for a couple of weeks now, but this was our first time trying the Eggplant. Delicious! You don't even miss the meat because the eggplant seems to be marinated and chargrilled and cut into meaty chunks.

While waiting for our order, I sent the girl over to Summertime Pies to secure a new Chocolate Chess Pie, something this Southern girl had been dying to try ever since I heard about it. It was perfect. Not too sweet, very rich, and chocolatey good!

My last food stop was Ooh De Lolli for ice pops. I'd been chomping at the bit ever since I heard she was doing a pop made from the Chicken Pie Shop's legendary rice pudding, oh man! She had mixed it with our local persimmons for a rich, subtly fruity treat that I can't stop thinking about. My daughter got the roasted banana, and if you love bananas this is for you! It tasted like bananas, amped up with a rich, roasted flavor. A stop at this beloved cart always reminds me of the scene from Willy Wonka where they're tasting the wallpaper..and he says, "the snozberry tastes like snozberries".. everything she makes tastes exactly like what its made you're eating that thing, in ice pop form!
Sorry about the bite taken out of mine...I couldn't wait!

We wandered around for a bit, taking in the lovely scenery, chatting with dog owners and the helpful docents, taking a tour of the lovely historic house, and overlooking the water.

By that time I was ready for a nap! (Gimme a break, I'm old..), but I am looking forward to their holiday fete on November 17th! Again, its a beautiful place and it helps preserve one of our natural treasures, so please, visit when you can.
San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust
11605 Old Friant Road
Fresno, CA 93730
Hours: M-F 9 am to 5 pm, and Sat: 830 am to 3pm.

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