Green Jeans Farmery demonstrates how space can both create and define community.
Even if that community is temporary, and even if we’re calling a concrete pad “the Green,” the shared feeling of participation in an urban adventure is real in the upbeat, diverse, all-ages crowd of families, beautiful people, tourists and locals. This assembly of upcycled burgundy, emerald, lilac and lime painted shipping containers is this summer’s coolest place to hang out.
Unabashed people watching and a luxury of choices make GJF seem like part boardwalk, part state fair, and part food truck extravaganza. Several eateries will be familiar from other locations as food trucks or cafes, but this is no ordinary food court.
Be prepared, as it’s a bit of a quest to get there. And parking can be hellacious in the crowded lot, or, alternatively, getting there may require a long walk, particularly on a weekend evening.
However, the voluptuous ice cream at Chill’Ns, made in small batches of pure ingredients with organic berries and exotic toppings like Himalayan salted caramel, is worth the effort. There’s a dairy-free coconut, and a chocolaty java chip, plus a mango sorbet with Chimayó chile. Green tea matcha pistachio, anyone?
The entertaining show of injecting the ingredients with 320 below zero nitrogen produces icy clouds worthy of a scene from Harry Potter. Meanwhile, fresh waffles are coming off the press for cones and waffle bowls. About $4.50 a scoop.
Rustic on the Green does its awesome, and if you’ve ever had one, you know that word is not used casually, burgers and serves them on Fano brioche rolls ($8-10 with fries). Beware the Day of the Dead burger with Diablo puree, the tongue-searing, sinus-cleansing addictive mélange of super-hot chiles that will win the hearts of hard-core chile heads looking for the next hurt so good experience.
I favor the Divine Intervention, oozing caramelized onion and blue cheese, consumed on the breezy second-floor pavilion, with an Epiphany Espresso iced coffee and an interesting view of midtown.
Rockin’ Tacos (and wings) takes street tacos to the next level. All are served on freshly made corn tortillas. The succulent wild mushroom topped with crisped onions and the elegant duck confit, as well as the fresh-tasting mahi mahi with mango salsa, deserve attention, and the more down-to-earth carne asada ($3-$6 each) served with the house salsa, make a meal or a snack and go well with a cool melon agua fresca.
That’s just a quick trip through, but there’s a beer garden at Santa Fe Brewing for the grown-ups as well as Distillery 365’s tasting room, and a playhouse for the kids. You can also order pizza from Amore, Bocadillo’s slow-roasted sandwiches and Chumly’s creamy pasta, spicy homemade chips with queso dip, and even sip a healthy fresh-pressed juice from Zeus Juice while you relax and enjoy the scene, and the blue skies punctuated with puffy summer clouds scudding by.