Early look at Wild Animal Park, troubled elephants come to the zoo, China’s panda hunter and pandas end up in San Diego, the morality of SeaWorld’s dolphins
Various Authors 3:49 p.m., Dec. 3
Passing along National Avenue. Come to the big orange barn where they have the San Diego Public Market. This is before ten in the morning. But it's like "Honey I Shrunk the Market." Only one of the two big spaces is being used, and doesn't look like too many stalls in the other one.
Is this place not getting the peeps?
I jump off the bus, and walk back up to the old boiler factory that's now the market. Jane Sandi, one of the managers, says everything's fine. "We're concentrating on setting up a commercial kitchen first, before we develop the permanent market," she says. "But you need to speak to Catt White. She knows all about the plans. This is her operation."
It suddenly strikes me that, hey, it's still a little early. Maybe I was jumping to conclusions. Like, while I'm talking, this couple is setting up their stand.
She's Roxy, he's Mark.
He's from Egypt, she's from Brazil. They are working on getting their cookers going. They'll be making dishes with an Egyptian flavor, like falafel in a wrap, fried cauliflower and sauce, kebabs on skewers, ranging from $6 to $8. They call it Roxy's Rockin' Grill.
"We met in Florida two years ago," says Mark. "We fell in love. Roxy had this passion for healthy, organic food, changing the world. Me too. So we decided to come out here where people are conscious, and got this organized. We were up and running here in three weeks."
The grilled stuff may be organic but one, it's a tough sell for me for breakfast...
...and two, I'd have to wait about half an hour while they got up to speed.
Three, what calls to me is their juices that they're busy squeezing right now. Mango, orange, veggie ones, and oh yeah. The one I know I need, the "Super Juice." "It's wheat grass, apples, grapes, lemon grass, peaches and strawberries," says Mark. They cost $4.
Now this I can handle. I get one. The taste is fab. The apples and grapes and lemon grass flavors definitely come through. And I swear you can feel the energy coursing through your veins. I'd stop for the $6.50 fried cauliflower dip...
...or a shish kabob skewer...
...if I had time to wait while they set up.
"Well, might catch you Sunday," I say. That's when this market is open again.
"Actually no," Mark says. "We're headed off on a national tour with Phish, the band. They have healthy food people like us tour with them so their fans can get food without getting gouged. We start off in Bangor, Maine, end up in LA. Twenty-eight days."
Wow. How cool is that? And what a gig for these guys.
And the future of the market? I try to call Catt White, but just get her message machine. I'll let you know when we do connect.