4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Farm eating — the life for me

Rescued vegetables at Carmel Valley's Mendocino Farms

The Caprese Sandwich: local mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil pesto.ated red peppers add sweetness; balsamic vinegar adds tang.
The Caprese Sandwich: local mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil pesto.ated red peppers add sweetness; balsamic vinegar adds tang.

In the fast casual restaurant space, convenience and consistency is often the goal more than transcendent eating experiences. But places that can do all three can shine.

Place

Mendocino Farms

12873 El Camino Real, San Diego

Case in point: Mendocino Farms, an L.A.-based chain that has opened two locations in Carmel Valley and La Jolla. It calls itself a Sandwich Market, and it’s a fast casual restaurant specializing in locally sourced ingredients.

The Rescued Veggie Burger has lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles and a 1000 island dressing made with beets.

Decorated in a farm theme fitting its name, the Del Mar location also has natural plants and a couple of cow statues (one on top of the restaurant). There are cornhole games and foosball on the patio.

The place is both kid and cow-friendly.

I heard about the place from my wife, who says the place she works at caters from it two to three times a week. “No one has gotten bored by it yet after nine months,” she said.

The interior strives for an indoor-outdoor feel.

My wife is vegetarian so I want to comment on Mendocino Farm’s newest offering: A Rescued Vegetable Burger ($11.95) made from the remnants of juiced vegetables. This is stuff typically thrown away that has been turned into a hamburger patty of sorts.

The Save Drake Farm's Salad has roasted chicken, beets, goat cheese, green apples, cranberries, almonds, red onions and greens topped with a citrus vinaigrette.

It sounded, frankly, not appealing — which meant I had to try it. It was better than the one at Cafe Gratitude. Part of it was because the other ingredients were first-rate: A soft brioche bun, thick pickles and tomato slices, red onions, crunchy lettuce and a beet-flavored 1000 island dressing.

The Peruvian Steak Sandwich seems more like a Mexican torta.

This vegan burger doesn’t try to imitate meat.

The Caprese Sandwich ($8.95) is another vegetarian option: local mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil pesto. Marinated red peppers add sweetness; balsamic vinegar adds tang.

Mendocino Farms isn’t just for vegans: The Peruvian Steak Sandwich ($11.25) seems more like a carne asada torta from Mexico. I’m not sure what the Peruvian connection was, since it uses Oaxacan cheese.

We enjoyed the Save Drake Farm’s Salad ($12.45), which contains roasted chicken, goat cheese, beets that seemed more like watermelon, along with green apples, dried cranberries and onions served over greens and topped with a tangy citrus vinaigrette.

As you can see, Mendocino Farms’ prices are in the $10-plus range for most of the entrees and this is without sides. I feel the quality is worth it, but it’s not a $5 footlong at Subway.

The sides they do have are exceptional, especially the Curried Couscous and the Sriracha Potato Salad ($4.50 each). Both come on smooth with a pleasant blast of heat on the back end.

Rather than going with Coke or Pepsi-brand sodas, the drinks are craft sodas from a brand called Puck’s. The black cherry was the best, the cola was the worst, but we enjoyed trying all the styles.

One thing that is bizarre about Mendocino Farms is the ordering process: The entrance has a menu at the front and two kiosks which are manned by people who answer your questions. Ian Anderson said in his review of the La Jolla location that it “feels like you’re being solicited by a petition-gatherer in front of a grocery store.

Then you have to go to someone else to get your drinks and pay.

It was OK when we were there, but seems like it could be annoying if there’s a line and you’re behind someone indecisive.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

The memories floating in Judith Moore's mind

The small town, solitary holidays, the dad reading Babar, summers in Washington state, the gay uncle, granny's farm
Next Article

Daily News Cafe: looks like a breakfast-all-day

In our search for new variations, we sometimes forget how good the originals are.
The Caprese Sandwich: local mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil pesto.ated red peppers add sweetness; balsamic vinegar adds tang.
The Caprese Sandwich: local mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil pesto.ated red peppers add sweetness; balsamic vinegar adds tang.

In the fast casual restaurant space, convenience and consistency is often the goal more than transcendent eating experiences. But places that can do all three can shine.

Place

Mendocino Farms

12873 El Camino Real, San Diego

Case in point: Mendocino Farms, an L.A.-based chain that has opened two locations in Carmel Valley and La Jolla. It calls itself a Sandwich Market, and it’s a fast casual restaurant specializing in locally sourced ingredients.

The Rescued Veggie Burger has lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles and a 1000 island dressing made with beets.

Decorated in a farm theme fitting its name, the Del Mar location also has natural plants and a couple of cow statues (one on top of the restaurant). There are cornhole games and foosball on the patio.

The place is both kid and cow-friendly.

I heard about the place from my wife, who says the place she works at caters from it two to three times a week. “No one has gotten bored by it yet after nine months,” she said.

The interior strives for an indoor-outdoor feel.

My wife is vegetarian so I want to comment on Mendocino Farm’s newest offering: A Rescued Vegetable Burger ($11.95) made from the remnants of juiced vegetables. This is stuff typically thrown away that has been turned into a hamburger patty of sorts.

The Save Drake Farm's Salad has roasted chicken, beets, goat cheese, green apples, cranberries, almonds, red onions and greens topped with a citrus vinaigrette.

It sounded, frankly, not appealing — which meant I had to try it. It was better than the one at Cafe Gratitude. Part of it was because the other ingredients were first-rate: A soft brioche bun, thick pickles and tomato slices, red onions, crunchy lettuce and a beet-flavored 1000 island dressing.

The Peruvian Steak Sandwich seems more like a Mexican torta.

This vegan burger doesn’t try to imitate meat.

The Caprese Sandwich ($8.95) is another vegetarian option: local mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil pesto. Marinated red peppers add sweetness; balsamic vinegar adds tang.

Mendocino Farms isn’t just for vegans: The Peruvian Steak Sandwich ($11.25) seems more like a carne asada torta from Mexico. I’m not sure what the Peruvian connection was, since it uses Oaxacan cheese.

We enjoyed the Save Drake Farm’s Salad ($12.45), which contains roasted chicken, goat cheese, beets that seemed more like watermelon, along with green apples, dried cranberries and onions served over greens and topped with a tangy citrus vinaigrette.

As you can see, Mendocino Farms’ prices are in the $10-plus range for most of the entrees and this is without sides. I feel the quality is worth it, but it’s not a $5 footlong at Subway.

The sides they do have are exceptional, especially the Curried Couscous and the Sriracha Potato Salad ($4.50 each). Both come on smooth with a pleasant blast of heat on the back end.

Rather than going with Coke or Pepsi-brand sodas, the drinks are craft sodas from a brand called Puck’s. The black cherry was the best, the cola was the worst, but we enjoyed trying all the styles.

One thing that is bizarre about Mendocino Farms is the ordering process: The entrance has a menu at the front and two kiosks which are manned by people who answer your questions. Ian Anderson said in his review of the La Jolla location that it “feels like you’re being solicited by a petition-gatherer in front of a grocery store.

Then you have to go to someone else to get your drinks and pay.

It was OK when we were there, but seems like it could be annoying if there’s a line and you’re behind someone indecisive.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Two things brewing at AleSmith this Halloween

Seasonal special Evil Dead Red Ale gets a haunted maze showcase
Next Article

Ideal round of golf: “any Wednesday evening at Mission Bay with three friends and 12 Stellas”

Lowest score wins
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close