COOS BAY — The things you can find at the farmers' market.
Wander the four blocks of the Wednesday market here in downtown and there's almost no end to the goodies you can find. From lavender products to quilted gifts and so many edible goodies there are too many to count.
Have you tried the chocolate turtles at The Makery. And has anyone seen the guys from Oregon Seafoods this year. I stocked up on tuna last year before the market closed in October and I'm almost out.
Sports editor John Gunther and I are enjoying our trip around food row. The first week we tried Wrappin and Rollin and Graham's Pacific Grill. This week we visited Sprengelmeyer's and Big Bite BBQ.
I'm going to start with Sprengelmeyer's this week. A sign out front caught my eye: "We make our own organic corn tortillas."
Now, if you've ever seen tortillas made, you know it is a process. I used to go to a restaurant in San Diego that made the flour tortillas for many of the restaurants in the city. The conveyor belt was mesmerizing.
So I'm intrigued by anyone who makes tortillas.
Sprengelmeyer's is a farmers' market restaurant that is here in Coos Bay on Wednesdays and in Bandon on Friday and Saturday. Brian and Evelyn of Charleston are the owners and this is their second year at the market.
Their organic taco menu includes: local fresh tuna ($5), local bay shrimp ($5), grass fed beef ($4), organic chicken ($4), local pork ($4), vegetarian ($4) and a breakfast taco with bacon and egg ($5).
With the idea of trying new things, I chose the tuna and the grass fed beef.
The tuna and grass fed beef tacos were very good, but what I really like about this meal was the tortilla. This just completed the meal. I am a huge fan. I had just the two tacos, but it was enough for lunch for $9.
"We love that so many people can come here on their lunch breaks," Brian said.
John chose to try Big Bite BBQ, which I have tried at another event. But he ordered something I hadn't tried on their menu — the brisket gyro.
I love the bumper sticker on the side of the truck: "Brisket is my spirit animal."
But, I never thought of having it on flatbread with tahini sauce and feta cheese.
Neither had John, so that's why he tried it.
"This is not something I would normally go after," he said. "I might as well try, open my horizons a little bit."
His gyro came with plenty of brisket (very good) and veggies.
"This one needs to come in foil," John said from our lunchroom. "The sauce makes that a requirement.
"It sure is good though."
Eric Brophy and Ross Mathews are the owners. They do the farmers' markets and barbecue competitions.
"It would be fun to be the guy in Portland that goes to all the food trucks and tries all the different food," John said.
Maybe he'll get a little taste of that this weekend, when Big Bite BBQ competes in the Food Truck Off at the Mill Casino on Friday and Saturday against 12 other trucks from across the state.