Challenge Penticton participants, fans and the curious - The Bench Market is the happening spot in Penticton for cyclists, runners, swimmers and walkers of the Okanagan's many cycling routes, running routes, lakes and walking paths to fuel and re-fefuel before, during and after your workouts. I know because I am one of you, and it is my go-to. It's not simply that the Bench Market is at the entrance to the picturesque cyclists, runners and walkers routes on the Naramata Bench - which is absolutely convenient - it's that in combination with the healthy tasty food by Chef Stewart Glynes, the casual atmosphere, great sunny patio, and actual designated bike parking that has naturally made The Bench the unofficial "scene" for those sporting their "kit" (cycling jersey and shorts) or various other athletic spandex ensembles. I think if I were a single cyclist I may say this place really is where to be for that special chance encounter too :D
Today I rode in to Penticton from Summerland, and of course the route was planned to head to The Bench Artisan Market. I know that I will find the right food to re-fuel and sustain me for the ride back home while enjoying the patio without feeling out of place in the spandex get up I'm sporting. The shelves stocked amidst the tables at The Bench are really market style. Provisions are available for your essential kitchen needs, for ultra gourmet picnics, or pre made epicurean take-home dinners, and what's more for athletes is that the shelves are ideally lined with healthy whole foods and high-end energy products for you athletic clientele. Our favourite whole food energy treat is Chef Stewart's Granola Bar, which has locals hounding them for their secret recipe.
The Bench is a well known locals-who-lunch spot, with signature dishes that continue to bring people back weekly, and sometimes daily (myself included). Espresso and fresh baking to start the morning off, a few all-day breakfast options, to-die-for paninis - the Big Smoke Panini is a current favourite - and daily salad creations and specials that incorporate what's fresh, seasonal and local comprise the ever evolving menu.
This Saturday, pre race day, find The Bench Market baked goodies like the super tasty granola bars and granola down at the Penticton Farmers' Market for your carb loading needs. After all racers and fans alike need their energy for Sunday. They are at the intersection of Main Street and Front Street across from the Valley First Bank entrance. You can't miss the aroma of their truffled popcorn fresh off the old fashioned popper. Or after your registration down the road, head up for a little pre race day pow-wow with fellow racers and supporters.
I will see you there to enjoy the patio and weekend brunch while getting the scoop on the who's who and what's what of Sunday's big race day - The second annual Penticton Challenge!
Enjoy a photo journal that follows below.
by Tarynn Liv Parker, Editor
the cooler filled with daily salads and gourmet treats for here or take-home
today I rode in for lunch for this Sonoran Salad - Free Range Chicken, Spinach, avocado, beans, gluten-free
Find shelves of power food snacks ready to go
or have the whole food favourite, The Bench Granola, take home, bar or in a bowl to stay
espresso drinks with a smile
the place to find local literature
local artisanal cheese for your picnicking plans
more culinary supplies for the gourmand
pick up some new kitchen tricks
Find The Bench at the Penticton Farmers' Market
Meet Chef Stewart Glynes