Cutie Reviews Farm Artisan Foods in Redlands, CA

On New Years Eve we took a family road trip to Redlands, which is a very charming little town outside of San Bernardino. Along the way we took old Route 66, where we stopped to see a giant orange at the side of the road, and a peculiar hotel with rooms shaped like teepees. I absolutely fell in love with the teepees, and hope to go back soon to spend the night in one. When we got to Redlands, the snow on the mountains ringing the town looked real, but I couldn’t believe it. It didn’t feel like we were up so high.

There is a very fine restaurant here called Farm Artisan, and they have a very, very wonderful hors d’œuvre of a little bowl of sticky black balsamic vinegar. Yes, vinegar–to swirl your bread in. I have had plenty of different vinegars in my 94 years, but not like this! The waiter told me that they have a secret recipe that involves cooking their special vinegar in a pot with some sugar and a lot of love. I could taste the love.

So what does this special vinegar taste like? Sweet, slightly bitter, fruity, then sweet again. It sticks to your tongue in the nicest way. It just tastes like… like MORE! Honestly, I would come here just for the balsamic vinegar, and I am very happy that I was able to get a little pot “to go” along with some extra bread for my breakfast. The crusty bread here is delicious too, but I think that it would be naked without the balsamic vinegar reduction.

As the dinner progressed, the edge of my vegetarian quiche was dipped into the balsamic. Every selection on my cheese plate was dipped into the balsamic. A little bit of vinegar was drizzled atop my soup bowl, As I discovered through this lovely meal, pretty much everything goes better with vinegar. And my family kindly indulged me as the vinegar bowl gradually crept over to my side of the table and remained there.


On New Years Eve we took a family road trip to Redlands, which is a very charming little town outside of San Bernardino. Along the way we took old Route 66, where we stopped to see a giant orange at the side of the road, and a peculiar hotel with rooms shaped like teepees. I absolutely fell in love with the teepees, and hope to go back soon to spend the night in one. When we got to Redlands, the snow on the mountains ringing the town looked real, but I couldn’t believe it. It didn’t feel like we were up so high.

There is a very fine restaurant here called Farm Artisan, and they have a very, very wonderful hors d’œuvre of a little bowl of sticky black balsamic vinegar. Yes, vinegar–to swirl your bread in. I have had plenty of different vinegars in my 94 years, but not like this! The waiter told me that they have a secret recipe that involves cooking their special vinegar in a pot with some sugar and a lot of love. I could taste the love.

So what does this special vinegar taste like? Sweet, slightly bitter, fruity, then sweet again. It sticks to your tongue in the nicest way. It just tastes like… like MORE! Honestly, I would come here just for the balsamic vinegar, and I am very happy that I was able to get a little pot “to go” along with some extra bread for my breakfast. The crusty bread here is delicious too, but I think that it would be naked without the balsamic vinegar reduction.

As the dinner progressed, the edge of my vegetarian quiche was dipped into the balsamic. Every selection on my cheese plate was dipped into the balsamic. A little bit of vinegar was drizzled atop my soup bowl, As I discovered through this lovely meal, pretty much everything goes better with vinegar. And my family kindly indulged me as the vinegar bowl gradually crept over to my side of the table and remained there.

This is a family place, warm and cozy but it has a sophisticated look. It is right on the main drag, but we found parking easily. Everyone was very nice to us, and even though it was a holiday, nobody seemed rushed or irritable. I was surprised that it wasn’t more crowded for New Years Eve, but we had an early reservation, just after it got dark.

I am learning from my grandchildren about organic produce. Pesticides? I didn’t see any, and everything tasted fresh and healthy. Along with all this good organic food and my pills, I will stay alive until I am 105. I do not relish taking all my pills, but if I need them, I eat them–and if I take them it keeps my family quiet.

Back to my New Years Eve dinner. I had some squash, a nice quiche, a leek consomme, and a selection of fancy cheeses. Now consomme is just a fancy name for a soup. It’s a good thing to eat hot soup on a cold night. Listen to your grandmother: you must put up your pot so you can have hot soup to keep you from shivering. It’s cheaper than turning the thermostat up–but also, you have to wear a sweater, and sometimes a hat if it’s really chilly. If you do all this you won’t catch cold, and if you don’t and then you do, please don’t come crying to me.

We finished our meal with some rich, dark chocolate cake for dessert. The chocolate tasted like fudge. It was not too sweet, the way I like it best, and very, very good. And no, silly, I didn’t put any vinegar on it (but mostly because my little bowl was empty by then)!

I would highly recommend that people in Los Angeles take a day and go to Redlands, especially if you take Route 66, pay a visit the teepee hotel, and stop at Farm Artisan for a delicious meal of vinegar and…

For more of grandma’s reviews, visit her on Yelp http://barbaracooper.yelp.com