I know, Cowgirl Creamery and the Marin Sun Farms Butcher Shop aren’t strictly farms, but they do make great destinations on a Farm Visit day, not to mention these are the places where farm goods are sold.
After our visit to Drakes Bay Oyster Farm, we drove back to the town of Point Reyes Station, which we had passed earlier. Point Reyes Station is a cute little town, and it’s hard to get lost. Still, don’t confuse “The Old Creamery” with Cowgirl Creamery—The Old Creamery used to house the town’s butter, cream and milk but is now home to the local library. Walk 2 blocks southwest from the library, and you’ll find Cowgirl Creamery located inside Tomales Bay Foods, a barn converted into a retail space for local and gourmet foods. You can watch through a glass window the cheese being made. At the cheese counter, the cheesemongers dole out generous samples of cheese, moving from mild to pungent cheeses. I have a weakness for the Mt. Tam Triple Cream, though I do love the Chevre. In addition to Cowgirl Creamery, Tomales Bay Foods houses a stall of beautiful local produce, a cafe and a clothing shop. Tomales Bay Foods is a great place to buy picnic fare, though beware you’ll be paying tourists’ prices.
The cheese sampling whetted our appetites, and we were ready for more substantial fare. We hopped in the car and drove 2 minutes south to the Marin Sun Farms Butcher Shop, just outside the main part of Point Reyes Station. Now, this is no ordinary butcher shop: it is also a hip cafe that serves gourmet burgers, beer and Blue Bottle Coffee. When Sam and I visited Marin Sun Farms in June, we came here for lunch after our farm tour. We enjoyed our lunch so much that we were excited to bring my parents and sister to try the burgers on this outing. Sam and I ordered goat burgers with a soft sheep’s milk cheese and caramelized onions; my mom and sister ordered lamb burgers with blue cheese; and my dad ordered the good ole’ classic beef burger. Oh—and we ordered the lard-fried french fries. The fries were crispy and flavorful, a definite must if you visit the butcher shop. If you like your burgers medium-rare, then this is a safe place to order it medium-rare. Most ground meat travels thousands of miles before it reaches its destination and is at high risk for contamination, but the Marin Sun Farms meat comes from local pastures and is grass-fed, resulting in clean meat and a tender, flavorful burger. And if a goat burger sounds odd, you might be surprised to discover that it is milder in taste than lamb. Eating our way through the day left us quite tired, but a cup of Blue Bottle Coffee was all we needed to energize us for the car ride back to the City and suburbs. I love living in the City, the hub of all that is new and hip, but I also love living so close o the country, where we can take a day trip, slow down and watch our cheese being made and walk in the fields where our burgers were raised.