Sunday, November 14, 2010

Blogger Ethnic Market Tour Part 1: El Burrito Mercado


Blogger Ethnic Market Tour? YES! While chatting about Vegan MoFo with Liz from Food Snobbery is my Hobbery last week, she suggested we do some sort of co-posting extravaganza in honor of Vegan MoFo, which I thought was a fantastic idea! After a flurry of emails back and forth, we settled on our best idea -- bloggers tour local ethnic grocery stores and blog about our finds! Woot! Today was the day, and after I hopped on the bus to meet Liz (and her friend Sarah) in downtown St. Paul, we headed to our first location:

El Burrito Mercado
175 Cesar Chavez St.
St. Paul, MN 55107

(I'll apologize once, now, for the poor quality photos throughout these posts. The weather was gray and lousy, and I was just too busy shopping and looking at everything to take many pictures!)
El Burrito is located on the east side of St. Paul, an area of the city heavily populated by folks from Central- and South-America, and El Burrito is definitely the place to get the weekly family shopping done. The store was PACKED! While we were probably kind of annoying, getting in peoples' way while we wandered and browsed with our overloaded baskets, I took the bustle as a good sign -- this is a well-shopped store with high turnover. The produce all looked excellent, the store was well laid-out, organized, and clean. Besides the usual groceries, they have a full deli, (including a huge salsa bar -- see Liz's post for a photo!), tons of grab-n-go prepared foods, (including three different kinds of house-made refried beans, and tamales of all varietes, including veggie!), and a cafe/restaurant! The street entrance of the store is beautifully decorated with bright yellow paint, tiles and mosaics, but unfortunately, we entered off the parking lot, so we only got a drive-by glimpse of the gorgeousness. The employees all seemed friendly and helpful, and we were able to find everything we needed . . . and then some! What did I buy?

BACK: GOYA jumbo green olives, corn husks (I WILL make tamales!), masa harina, 7 g of saffron for 99 cents!, annato seeds, horchata concentrate, house-made tortilla chips
MIDDLE: GOYA Sazon, queso fresco (totally hiding in the photo,) canned tomatoes, canned chipotles in adobo, 3 different darling soup pastas (ABCs, stars, and mini wagon wheels,) GOYA guava paste
FRONT/PRODUCE: bell peppers, garlic, avocadoes, limes, jalapenos, cilantro, red and yellow onions, and a mango

After wrapping up our purchases and heading back out to the car, Liz decided she HAD to crack open the salsa she had purchased from the deli:

I think a salsa tailgate might be my favorite kind!

Don't forget to check out Liz's blog to read her review of El Burrito Mercado.

Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of our Blogger Ethnic Market Tour!


Alessandra said...

Good shopping, but how can the saffron be so cheap?

Emily said...

I want to go there today!! Wow!

Anonymous said...

SO jealous! I wish I hadn't had to work so I could have gone too :-(