Forcing yourself out of bed at 7am on a Saturday morning is no easy feat. But with the promise of a sunny day, and a small road trip with my good friend, Nicole, ahead of me, that’s exactly what I’m doing today.
We have planned an excursion to Quesnel, about an hour and half’s drive from Prince George, to visit their community Farmers’ Market, which I’ve heard is quite impressive. Promising locally grown fresh produce, along with locally grown friendly smiles, I’m told Quesnel’s Market isn’t to be missed. So we pack our reusable grocery bags and a thermos full of home brewed coffee each and hit the road.
Quesnel, known as “Gold Pan City,” is quite a bit smaller than Prince George, but boasts a market about twice as large. We find it in the center of town, outside the Helen Dixon Center, on a nice stretch of grass that is as green as the sky is blue. Luckily for us, this day is one of the nicest that we’ve had all Summer.
The amount of vendors for the size of Quesnel surprises me – but nothing leaves me wide-eyed more than the selection! A handful of produce stands, several tables of fresh bread and baking, homemade granola, crafts, flowers – even fresh samosas. I try not to rush through, but as soon as I hit one stand, I see another I want to visit that second.
Nicole and I take at least three strolls around the market grounds, noticing something new with each turn. My reusable grocery bag certainly gets heavier as I load up on bright red tomatoes, long green beans, fragrant cilantro, a thick-skinned zucchini and a fresh loaf of cinnamon raisin bread.
We leave the market with some freshly made samosas, intent on finding a nice spot to sit and enjoy them for lunch before heading back to Prince George.
I’ll preface this next part by saying that I’m obsessed with the Food Network. Love the shows, love the recipes, love the amazing food. One of my favorite shows is Eat Street, where they profile food trucks — traveling providers of a delicious array of amazing street meat — all across North America.
So imagine my reaction when I see what’s parked not twenty feet from my vehicle – nothing other than a taco food truck! Taco Gypsy, in fact. [Another very important side note: I love tacos.]
Samosas all but forgotten, we immediately head for the food truck and I ask for whatever they recommend. I’m presented with two pulled pork carnitas, which I immediately devour and decide that this is the best Mexican food anywhere north of the Mexican border.
Bellies full of delight, we pack our veggies into the back of the truck and turn it due North. Quesnel is an hour and a bit away from Prince George, but I find myself wondering why I don’t venture down here more often. People drive farther than this to the office on a daily basis in the big cities of BC.
We decide we will be back. For the Market (and the tacos) – for the food.