Melanie, Jennifer, Tida, Ruth, Alex and I had a lovely outing/field trip yesterday to the Oakland Farmer's Market and then Jade Villa for dim sum. It's so much fun to hang out with Chowhounds who can do lunch on a weekday!
We bought many varied purchases at the farmer's market - Thai basil, Thai eggplants, lemongrass, Italian basil, green and wax beans, heirloom tomatoes, ciopinni (sp?) onions (which I realized when I went to bake them last night, I'd left on the farmer's scale - bummer! Oh well, it was too hot to bake anyways), salted duck egg, lychees (not from market but from a store just down the street in Oakland Chinatown), and I can't remember what else. I know Alex had gotten some greens that none of us had cooked before.
There was a piroshki vendor there I hadn't seen before. Didn't get a chance to buy any but had a taste and am looking forward to going back and getting a few for the freezer.
Didn't get a chance to stop at Swan's market for sausages or anything (but last week I got some boudin blanc there - both plain and hot and would highly recommend them. We grilled them and they were moist and delicious and the spicy-hot ones were hot!)
Plus Dibrova has a booth/stand at this market selling their sausages in packages and also grilled as sandwiches. Love their spinach/chardonnay sausages.
Then we did the dim sum. Unfortunately none of us took notes (too busy eating!) so I don't have a list of dishes but from what little I know of dim sum they were pretty standard ones (or at least some of them were the ones I've had before). Maybe someone else can jump in with a better desription of dishes and comments?
Based on my enjoyment of lunch (the company and everyone's stories made it alto of fun!) I'd go back to Jade Villa. Prices seemed reasonable (came out to about $12 each for more food than we could eat) and service was fine.
We kicked around ideas for more get togethers and all agreed we have so many ideas and not enough time!
Happy eating all!