My Meal Cost: $13.48. Health Rating A. Yelp 3.5 stars
Getting closer to the end of the mission of this blog. Only 9 more weeks left. Whew. With the excitement of the Pomona Christmas Parade just past it was time to get something healthy (or at least the opportunity to get something healthy), so this week I headed north to Farmer Boys at the corner of Garey and Bonita.
The location has a well lit, clean and friendly dining room for those who want to eat in, and a lively drive-thru. Farmer Boys is all about fresh food. They have a farm to table philosophy which shows in their food. This is my go-to place when I feel like a salad. Their large Cobb or Southwest Salads are more than enough for a meal and full of nice fresh veggies. The lovely Mrs. C also likes their Chicken Avocado sandwich and I've been known to have a Pastrami (better than Samos, nearly as good as The Hat, but, as always, less than Langers --but closer than downtown LA). They also have a pretty large breakfast menu as well as unique sides like their fried zucchini.
The staff is friendly, but it appeared that on this visit that they were understaffed a little. In past visits they have been very good about checking with us at the table, making sure we had everything we needed and keeping things clean and tidy. During this lunch period they seemed to be limited to someone to bring the food out to the table. I even had to stand at the counter for a few moments while the person at the drive thru slipped over to take my order. Even with this, they were friendly, if a little busy.
Being on Parade committee, I had the pleasure (?) of standing in the middle of Garey Avenue at Fourth Street for over three hours in the cold. So, while I was pretty much thawed out by Monday, I thought I'd really like something warming. Not part of their regular menu, but a special seasonal item, they have Sourdough Soup Bowls. A round of fresh baked sourdough bread, scooped out and filled with Cheddar Broccoli, Clam Chowder, or scratch made Chili. I opted for the Chili with a medium beverage (Diet Pepsi in this case) and an order of 4 of their gigantic onion rings.
Now I've always been intrigued by the "bread as a bowl" concept but usually see this type of thing when I'm out with the Lovely Mrs. C who has an aversion to "sopped up bread." She doesn't like the concept of sopping up gravy with bread and even eschews stuffing because of it. But since she wasn't with me on this trip I decided to give it a try.
The chili was excellent. It was a meat only chili (no beans) which reminded me of the Chili on a Tommy's burger. It was topped with grated cheese. The young woman who took my order asked if I wanted onions and they appear on my receipt but I didn't get them. She may have miscommunicated because I also ordered onion rings. Because I could see that they were busy, I didn't press the issue and it was very good without. I wasn't sure about how filling the chili would be so I ordered their onion rings. I actually could have done without, but the rings here are excellent. Hand battered on site and cut very thick so that four is really more than enough for a meal. They come with a ranch dressing dipping sauce as well.
The bread was dense enough that the chili did not penetrate it very much. On the one hand that meant that it didn't make the chili dry, but on the other, once you've eaten the chili there's nothing really special about the bread, and unfortunately, at my stage in life I just can't eat a full round of bread so there was a bit of waste. But I was fully satiated and satisfied regardless.
Again, a very fresh, healthful alternative to most of the other fast food places along Garey. I'm sure that in the spring when the weather gets a little warmer I'll be back for their refreshing salads.