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Life Again?: Off the Vine is on the money
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Life Again?

Life Again?: Off the Vine is on the money

Not three weeks since their grand opening, Off the Vine is already one of my favorite places to grab a bite.

The small eatery in Hanford has a simple approach — fresh, locally sourced menu items. From their Jalapeno Business hot sandwich to the Wedging It In salad, everything I’ve tried has been tasteful and savory.

The former is my absolute favorite sandwich. The melted cheddar and cream cheese give an initial gooey bite followed by the saltiness of bacon and flavorful spice of blistered jalapeños smashed between two pieces of perfectly toasted sourdough bread. Other sandwiches, some of which are self-explanatory, are Classic Turkey, Eggin it on, Playing Chicken, and more. My plan is to try all of them.

Wedging It In is as fresh a salad as you can get in these parts. I haven’t tried their others, which include Perfectly Pear, Very Berry and Walnut Apple, but I will say I’ve heard positive reviews all around.

Off the Vine also has soup, which appears to rotate on a weekly basis. I’ve had their kale soup and lasagna soup, with both being super tasty. I had my reservations about the lasagna soup, but after tasting it, I won’t question anything Off the Vine puts out.

I haven’t had the chance to try too many of their desserts, but it’s another area where they display their affection for local. The cookie dough jar that I did try was a mix of chocolate, chocolate chips and cookie dough, and came from Courtney’s Confectionery, a business located in Visalia.

A recent Instagram post shows how Off the Vine uses locally grown nuts, including Sesame Glazed Almonds, Butter Toffee Almonds and Raw Almonds, from Avila and Sons Farms, a local farm in the Central Valley. “What sets us apart from the rest, we use quality local grown nuts here in the Central Valley,” the post read in part.

Another post showcased their freshly picked fruits and vegetables, including Central Coast Brussels sprouts, and Central Valley mandarin citrus and pink lady apples. “Fruit cups are always jam packed with our favorite produce from our farmers,” it said.

Prior to opening their brick and mortar location, I knew Off the Vine for their various charcuterie boards, which they still offer and must be ordered at least 24 hours in advance. They offer personal, medium, large, custom platters, and a two-tier grazing table to serve anywhere from two people to 30 depending on the size. The boards come with assorted specialty cheeses, salami, seasonal fruit, vegetables and a lot of other options.

Off the Vine is located at 701 N. Irwin St. — Sweet Palette Bakery’s old spot — and have made the most of the space. A door for entering and another to exit ensure a smooth ordering process with large handwritten menus. The staff is friendly and organized, which keeps things moving. Earlier this week, they place outside seating, so locals now have a place to sit, chat and enjoy their food.

The joint is open Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — or until they sell out on any of those days, which has happened more than once already. Give them a try and check out all they have to offer. Local is good!

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