Jamie Gluck, a longtime marketing professional who splits time between Los Alamos and Los Angeles, runs Bell Street Farm, a charming space that serves comfort food. Los Alamos could easily qualify as a one-horse town, except that the surrounding wine country attracts thousands of vino-tourists each weekend, and the café is right near Vandenberg Air Force Base, America’s third largest. Gluck features local produce and proteins in delectable sandwiches and salads.
Bell Street Farm resides in a building that originally housed a bank. The front room is a combination café and market, with a shiny pressed tin ceiling, worn floor, open kitchen, white walls, and plenty of chicken imagery. Shelves hold local wine and wine country products, a refrigerator adds craft beer to the mix, and pastry pedestals showcase rustic baked goods. A fenced in back patio features red, umbrella-protected picnic tables.
No bank has a back patio like the one at Bell Street Farm. During my second visit, their red, umbrella-shielded picnic tables hosted officers from nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Bell Street Farm’s rotisserie yields chicken, and my spit-roasted protein of choice, pork. They feature hot and crispy pork belly-wrapped shoulder, which rests on a butter leaf lettuce bed with roasted potatoes and fennel dressed in house vinaigrette.
Bell Street’s Meatloaf Sandwich consists of a slab of crusty San Julian grass-fed beef and pork meatloaf with spicy house-made tomato-harissa jam, mayo and arugula on ciabatta.
Bell Street Farm’s display case touts salads, which are available to mix and match for combo plates. Possibilities may include quinoa with black lentils, tahini and cilantro; smashed potatoes with pancetta; golden beets with walnuts and goat cheese; cannelloni beans with Parmesan cubes and sweet onion.
Gluck makes sure to showcase impulse buys, in the form of pastries, on countertop pedestals. Options may include flaky almond croissants or most coconut macaroons.
On the Third Saturday of each month, Bell Street Farm hosts a blowout $40 feast, complete with a jam-packed Antipasti Bar, a proper Dinner featuring Huntsinger free-range rotisserie chicken, and Dessert.