Friday, August 26, 2016

beating the crowds to eat good stuff

it's always easy to find ways to keep ourselves entertained around here.  i'd heard that the 626 night market was coming around again, and it was sort of on our way back from celebrating mama wan's birthday.  so we headed over to arcadia's santa anita race track and got there not long after the gates opened.


coming this early meant that a lot of people were still at work or en route.  fighting crowds is not my favorite thing, so this was awesome.  but first...a potty break, which took us inside the actual racetrack.  it was a little weird to be there when it was so empty.



although i was a little disappointed.  previous night markets have been these really big, bustling gatherings with tons and tons of vendors in this space.  i wondered, though, if maybe they relocated it all to the parking lot because the lawns and bushes and things got trampled on.  people do suck, after all.


we followed the signs back out the gate and found the first cluster of tents, where vendors were selling their wares and services.


the bean stopped at a booth advertising events and rallies for LGBT rights and got to play a silly game where she had to scoop ping pong balls out of a bowl of water using only a pair of chopsticks.


and then it was on to the food.  as always, pretty much anything you can imagine was available there...and a lot of things you might not have thought of, too.





the girls were hot and thirsty, so they each got a cold drink served up in fun glasses.



when i saw this booth, i knew we had to stop.  the old lady and i had tried and failed to sample ice cream rolls not too long ago - we'd arrived at the shop only to find that there was a 40-minute wait for the treats to be ready after ordering.  what they do is take the liquid ice cream base, pour it onto this frozen slab and then scrape it into rolls once it solidifies.  it's a relatively lengthy process, but this booth had about four or five guys working at the same time.  the shop only had one.


you get to choose your ice cream flavor and toppings, and look how cool it looks when it's all ready:


there was a giant toyota tent at the end, and we stopped to let the bean spin the wheel for a prize.


aaaaaaaannnnnndddd...she won a fabulous reusable bag!


by then, i was ready for a tasty beverage.  because we all know i'm a sucker for fun packaging, mine looked like this:


the bean tested it out first.



that zombie blood is pretty delicious.  really, it's just a green apple kool-aid kinda thing.  either way, i was happy.

we stopped here to grab something to take home.  these ended up being little sweet rolls with various flavors of fillings.



MIL decided to try some fresh sorbet.


at a booth for a local radio station, the bean stopped to say hello and collect a prize.


here, you know she's totally thinking "pssssh, i could do that."


the novelties at this place were endlessly amusing.


and then we decided to stop and actually buy food to sit down and eat.  look, ramen in a cup sealed boba-style!  they layer everything in there and then you shake it up and pop it open to eat.  it was good, but not worth the money.  see?  it's all about the packaging.


 the bean opted for something much more satisfying.



the old lady stopped here to pick up some things for her special friend:


we stopped for one last photo op:


and then we got the hell outta there just as it started getting super packed.


a quick pitstop on the way home yielded something we'd been looking for but didn't necessarily trust the unknown vendors for it.  boba, anyone?


i think there's one more night market coming up, although i'm not sure if we're going to go this time.  once a season seems to be more than enough for us.

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