Seaside Market in Cardiff is a very la-de-da specialty market. Although you may want to stay clear of buying over-priced everyday items like eggs and paper towels here, there are a few things worth coming for. Namely: Cardiff Crack. It’s proper name is Burgundy Pepper Tri Tip, but you will sound like a fool if you walk in and order it by any name other than “crack”. A few summers ago we hosted Jose, a student from Spain for a month. When we told him we had to drive over to Cardiff to score some crack, you should have seen his face turn white! “To get WHAT?” he asked in broken English, not understanding our strange American ways. “CRACK” we answered matter-of-factly. “We are going to get CRACK for dinner, you’ll love it” answered BP. When we ordered it by name at the counter, Jose couldn’t stop laughing.
On Sundays, Seaside Market does an outdoor BBQ and that’s what we were here for. This past week in August has been very hot. Knowing this, choosing a late dinner time seems logical and reasonable. But we decided to meet at 5:00pm, right in the thick of the heat. Not smart! The good news is that Seaside has a large shared patio with tons of covered seating. Even better is it was all completely unoccupied for our large party of 13! The bad news is that the sun does not throw shade under this covered seating at 5:00pm AT ALL.
To order the BBQ, you need to go inside the market, stand in a long, (yet blissfully cool) , air-conditioned line, place your BBQ order and then go outside to collect it when it’s ready. It’s brilliant on their part because there is no way to get out of here with only your BBQ order, and they know this. I was determined to resist temptation. Just a cold beer and my BBQ order was all I was getting. That’s it. I stayed laser focused on getting through the line without anything extra. But when I went to check out I was told that no alcoholic beverages are allowed on the patio! Wait, what? B..b…b..but it’s BBQ! How can we enjoy BBQ without beer? And it’s soooo hot! But they were hard asses and refused to listen to logic or whining. So I placed my order and went back out into the hot hot inferno. But how did these hatch chile cornbreads end up with my order? Darn it, I caved!
But I wasn’t alone! Shoshana barely escaped the line with only her order and some mac-n-cheese.
Most of our BBQ orders came with “Seaside Spuds”. I envisioned roasted potatoes with rosemary or something similar. But “Seaside Spuds” is just potato salad. Some of us were disappointed in this while others really liked it. Sheryl liked her half rack of ribs, but was not a fan of the Spuds.
Destiny liked her Crack sandwich but it was thumbs down on her Spuds too. Lynne was thrilled to help these delicious Spuds not go to waste!
The crack here is so popular, that you can even purchase crack swag. Not all meat deserves its own wardrobe.
Debbie and I both ordered the Grilled Local Ono Sandwich. The little glob of “boom-boom” sauce was very spicy. Next time, an even smaller glob will be enough for me. Just one “boom” please. The fish was cooked beautifully but we both agreed that the bun did the fish more harm than good.
The Pulled Pork sandwich was so jammed packed with meat, it was trying to escape it’s captor bun. But it was a futile attempt, and the jaws of Kelly devoured its prey!
Others in our group stayed clear of the BBQ altogether and ended up with culinary creations from around the world. Katie, our vegetarian, enjoyed some vegetable samosas and some vegetarian sushi. Joyce got a California burrito. The pre-made salads looked amazing.
Violet got a salmon salad.
Even though she was determined to eat healthy tonight, a few sinful desserts hopped in her cart too. They are quite aggressive little buggers!
The only thing to make a vegetarian caprese pesto sandwich better, is to add bacon. Yup, they do this!
Qwen was happy munching on some healthy squash-kale salad thingy.
Seaside market’s pre-made food selection is seriously ridiculous. How can you even choose what to get?
Let’s face it. No matter if you live near or far, there is one solid reason to come to Seaside Market. It’s to get your Crack fix. And it’s worth the drive. But if you really can’t get here, don’t worry. No need to stay by your phone. No need to call your dealer. And there is no need to go looking for it down a dark alley. They will ship it to you!
The Seaside Market BBQ was pretty good. The Crack is always a winner, but you can buy it inside and grill it yourself at home. Easy to follow instructions are right on the package, and no matter how much you buy, you will always run out. Next time I will skip the BBQ and just grab a bunch of deli items for a picnic at the beach across the street. I would probably end up with them in my cart anyway, so next time I will just plan accordingly. And if you see a good looking teenage young man in a small village outside of Barcelona running around with a Cardiff Crack t-shirt, say hi to Jose!
Next week’s blog…er….tomorrow’s blog starts early! 7:00am